What Is The Use of Commercial Restaurant Equipment?

Equipment is the backbone of any successful restaurant or catering business. The right equipment will ensure that your team can prep, cook, clean, and deliver timely service.

Why Do Restaurants Need Commercial Equipment?

Home cooking equipment isn’t designed to manage the volume and frequency of orders in a restaurant. Nor would it survive the abuse of the food service industry for long.


Commercial restaurant equipment is engineered and constructed to handle the demands of a restaurant, even at its busiest times.


The biggest distinction between home and commercial cooking equipment is capacity.


Commercial stoves, flat tops, range hoods, and ovens need to be able to handle large and diverse orders efficiently. Extended rows of burners and ovens allow for multiple orders to be prepared simultaneously.


Cooking temperatures need to be reached quickly to get orders to the table as soon as possible. Many cooking techniques require higher heat than home ranges allow — BTUs on commercial stoves range from 30,000 to 35,000 compared to the 12,000 to 15,000 of the average home unit.


Stored food has to be kept at precise temperatures, even when the refrigerator or freezer is accessed frequently. Commercial refrigerators and freezers are often walk-in units with large shelves, capable of holding containers of bulk ingredients. A large compressor, too noisy for home use, maintains consistent temperatures despite hard use.


Mass quantities of dishes, utensils, and drinkware need to be washed quickly to keep up with demand.


Even equipment like ice makers are often as large as an entire home refrigerator.


Along with increased capacity comes increased wear and tear.


The average home kitchen handles two to three meals a day. Commercial kitchens often manage two to three meals, or more, at once throughout the entire day.


Commercial kitchens operate at a frantic pace to keep up with orders and demanding customers. Equipment needs to survive heavy pans banging around, sous chefs bumping into units, spills, and the countless other hazards of the food service industry.


Additionally, commercial restaurant equipment must handle the beatings and heavy workload without missing a beat. A stovetop that stops working during lunch or dinner hours is often a costly problem.


Most commercial restaurant equipment is constructed from durable, heavy-duty material, like stainless steel or iron, to survive the rigors of the kitchen.

What Is Commercial Restaurant Equipment Used For?

Commercial kitchens need a wide variety of equipment to meet the demands of a restaurant or catering business. While some types of restaurants need specialized equipment, we’ll discuss the most universal below.

Cooking Equipment

  • Ranges: Ranges, or stovetops, are used for boiling, searing, and sautéing — though creative chefs find many other uses. Commercial stoves are typically gas-powered, though electric ranges have niche uses.

  • Ovens: Along with ranges, ovens are one of the most versatile and frequently used pieces of equipment in any kitchen — used to bake, roast, and braise.

  • Deep Fryers: Deep fryers cook many of our favorite guilty-pleasure foods like fried chicken, chicken tenders, french fries, mozzarella sticks, and many more.

  • Grills: Charbroilers give a smoky char to meat and vegetables. Griddles, or flat tops, cook burgers, pancakes, and everything in between.

  • Holding Cabinets: Holding cabinets keep prepared foods at safe temperatures until ready to be served.


  • Refrigerators and Freezers: Most commercial kitchens house several refrigerators and freezers in different varieties. Walk-in, reach-in, and pass-through units each have their own distinct benefits and hold prepared food and ingredients at food-safe temperatures.

  • Bussing Carts: Bussing carts provide utility to a kitchen — whether used for clearing tables in the front-of-house or moving bulk ingredients in the back-of-house.

  • Shelving: Commercial kitchens have a wide variety of ingredients and cookware. Having enough shelves to organize everything is essential to making things run smoothly.

Food Prep

  • Food Processors: Food processors combine ingredients, chop vegetables, and make sauces — saving chefs valuable time.

  • Mixers: Used to mix batters, sauces, and dough, mixers are a staple in any commercial kitchen.

  • Prep Tables: Chefs use prep tables to assemble dishes, prepare ingredients, and hold small appliances. It’s hard to have enough.