Start Up Restaurant Equipment Needs

Starting a new restaurant is exciting and unforgettable for many, but it can also be stressful. New owners struggle to find the necessary equipment when starting their new restaurant.


It may seem overwhelming to understand what equipment you'll need, but once you break it down and simplify it, you'll have an excellent grasp of what you need to do.

Determine Equipment Needs

Before you even browse equipment to purchase, you'll want a grasp what you'll need.


The best way to determine what you'll need for your restaurant is by understanding your menu and what you or your cooks will serve your customers.


To avoid purchasing and buying every piece of commercial restaurant equipment, you'll want to create a checklist.


Following your menu and through each dish, think about what you'll need to prepare it. This method will be the easiest way to get a baseline of what you will need when starting your search for equipment.


If you're struggling to understand what you might need, the lists below will give you a general idea of what you'll need at a base level for your restaurant.

Cooking Equipment

  • Pots and pans

  • Fryers

  • Food prep equipment

  • Warming equipment

  • Stockpot burners

  • Griddles

  • Commercial restaurant ranges


  • Freezer

  • Refrigerator

Small kitchenware

  • Measuring cups

  • Knives

  • Spatulas

  • Plates

  • Silverware


You'll find some equipment you can't do without regardless of how expensive it is. For example, pots and pans are usually essential. A commercial restaurant range is also expected and considered necessary for most restaurants.


Assuming you want your food to remain excellent and warm, using food warming equipment will prove vital in serving your customers hot and ready food.


Fryers offer a wide variety of utility for most restaurants and are also considered a piece of equipment that is likely necessary for your start-up.


Even the kitchenware like plates may seem like relatively inexpensive equipment, but restaurant plates and cups aren't the same as the standard store-bought dinnerware.


The equipment you'll be buying will stand the test of time and can sustain a restaurant environment's intensity. You'll find your bill increases, but there is a way to reduce the cost of your equipment.

Determine if You’re Buying New or Used

Once you've made the checklist of all the equipment you need, you'll have to consider how you'll finance your equipment purchases and whether you'll buy your equipment new or used.


Buying new and used both have their advantages and disadvantages, but it's imperative to at least consider buying some of the more expensive equipment used.


For example, buying a used commercial range stove and refrigerator are fantastic ideas. You'll save significantly by purchasing these more giant machines than the smaller kitchenware.


There is no harm in buying small kitchenware, used or even new, as the cost of these items is relatively inexpensive. Your knives you may want to consider either buying new or making sure they've retained their edge when purchasing used.


Regardless of buying used or new equipment, you'll want to purchase from a trusted seller to ensure that your equipment quality meets your restaurant's standards.

Determine How You'll Finance Your Equipment

Once you've made a list of all the equipment, you'll want to consider how you'll finance it. For example, most start-ups take out bank equipment loans to help fund their equipment.


If you're considering taking out a loan, you'll want to create an estimate of the general cost to only take out what you deem necessary for financing your equipment.


When starting a restaurant, your average equipment bill will range from $40,000 to $80,000. Depending on how you're going to purchase, you may be on the lower end or higher end of that number.

Wrap up

Starting a restaurant will always be expensive, but don't let that sway you from trying. Making intelligent decisions early when purchasing equipment and jumping on the right foot will help your restaurant thrive in a competitive environment.