Are you starting a new restaurant, cottage food or catering business?
Do you just want to upgrade your kitchen with new kitchen equipment?
Whichever is the case, you’re in the right business.
The idea of starting a food business or upgrading your kitchen can be exciting.
With so much to do and lots of things to buy within a short time, you may feel overwhelmed.
Kitchen equipment are quite costly, hence the need to choose the right items built for safety and durability.
However, the right kitchen equipment depends on various factors, including the type of your food business and your menu. This ensures you get value for all your equipment purchases.
Some kitchen equipment you may need include:
- Air fryers
- Food warmers
- Prep stations
- Cooking surfaces
- Food processors
You must also determine whether you’re buying kitchen equipment for commercial or home use. In the former case, you’ll need heavy duty kitchen appliances to support commercial needs.
The right kitchen equipment is safe, optimizes your existing space and efficiently manages your processes atop being cost-effective.
Here’re some factors to consider when purchasing food equipment to ensure you get safe and durable items:
11 Tips to Choosing the Right Kitchen Equipment for Preparing Your Food
- Commercial or home use
Determine if you’re buying the food equipment for home or commercial use.
Never buy equipment for home use to deploy in your commercial food business.
Professional kitchens have high demands on a daily basis that domestic equipment can’t fulfil.
What’s more, your manufacturer won’t honor your warranty if you use your home kitchen equipment in your food business or vice versa.
- Is design fit for intended purpose?
Choose equipment designed to meet your kitchen demands and workload in terms of performance and how much food you can process within a certain period.
Consider power capabilities, quality and size when choosing a kit designed to meet your specific application. Regular breakdowns may cost you in maintenance of less powerful equipment.
- Energy efficiency
What’s the whole lifetime cost of the kitchen equipment you want to buy?
Unlike other commercial spaces, commercial kitchens use up to 2.5 times more energy in every square foot area. Opt for energy-efficient equipment to reduce your energy costs.
Energy-efficient food equipment can result in up to 20% savings on utility bills.
- Compliance with existing legislative requirements
The Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for food equipment is a legislation that can save you some dollars.
Targeting commercial refrigeration equipment, the legislation focuses on energy-efficiency. It tests and ranks related equipment on an A-G scale.
If you’re buying a commercial refrigerator, make sure it meets this standard. You can also upgrade your existing equipment to reduce your energy bills.
- Compliance with food safety requirements
Does the food equipment comply with food safety requirements?
With millions of food poisoning cases worldwide on an annual basis, it only makes sense to buy equipment certified to be safe for use with food items.
Make sure you buy equipment that meets this legislation to protect yourself and customers from food poisonings and other food related health issues. It also protects your business reputation.
- Future-proof equipment
Buy food equipment that’ll grow with your business if you expect to expand in the future. This ensures you can continue using the equipment for many years.
Also check for any upcoming new models before making a purchase. Wait for a new model expected to be released in a few months instead of spending lots of money on a product that’ll be phased out sooner or later.
If it’s an upgradable model, you can opt for it. This ensures you spend on an equipment you’ll easily get its replacement parts during maintenance or repair.
- Fit for your existing space
Is your existing kitchen layout and space fit for your new equipment? Consider multi-functional or versatile equipment to save on space. Otherwise, modular equipment designs fit well in spacious kitchens.
- Emerging dietary requirements and food trends
The food industry keep changing every few years in terms of allergies, emerging dietary requirements and intolerances to food.
Your kitchen should meet varying customer tastes and prevent cross contamination. When using food ingredients such as eggs, nuts, wheat and other allergens, you need a kitchen layout that prevents cross contamination.
Similarly, when choosing air fryers, opt for multiple or twin tank fryers as a healthier choice to prevent cross contamination. The equipment can easily trigger an allergic reaction.
- Renting vs. buying equipment
If the kitchen equipment is too costly and comes with high maintenance costs, consider renting it. This also allows you to upgrade easily as your business grows without the high expenses involved in buying new equipment.
- Maintenance costs
It takes maintenance to keep your equipment working, and ensuring food consistency and quality.
Opt for reliable equipment. Otherwise, you may just rent out the kitchen appliance you need to reduce costs long term.
Look out for whisks, peelers and knives with handles made from textured, non-slip material for easier grip even if your hands are wet.
Long spatulas, blades (increased sturdiness), and tongs also increase safety from burns in the kitchen. Consider detachable shafts in blenders and cordless technology in electrical appliances for use in kitchen areas with water around. Quality control and shared tasks are other factors to consider when choosing safe food equipment.