Top Ten Pieces of Equipment Needed for Restaurant Startup

Top Ten Pieces of Equipment You Need When Opening Your Restaurant

For many individuals, opening a restaurant is a dream come true. Many people are passionate about food, and take delight in preparing it, so it’s only natural that they’d want to share their passion by opening a restaurant.

But every great business venture presents unique challenges. When it comes to opening a restaurant, you will need to know what equipment is needed for a restaurant startup in order to set yourself up for success. No matter what type of restaurant you open, whether it’s a small intimate bistro or a 60-seat space, you’ll need equipment for food storage, prep, and cooking.

You’ll also need a few items for your kitchen to keep it organized and up to standards. Let’s look at 10 pieces of equipment needed to start a restaurant.

Refrigeration Units

Whether you’re opening a burrito shop or an all-American bar and grill, you’ll have to have good cold storage. A refrigeration unit is an essential piece of kitchen equipment needed for a restaurant.

Storing your food means choosing a good commercial refrigerator. Don’t think you can “get by” with a residential refrigerator, either, as they weren’t made to stand up to the rigorous environment of a commercial kitchen. There are many commercial refrigerators for sale on the market for any size kitchen and any size budget.


Once you’ve started buying food to prepare for your restaurant’s customers, where are you going to store the dry and cold goods? You’ll need a good set of shelving units to keep bags of flour off the floor, as well as to store other items safely and within reach. Shelving is a major piece of equipment needed to start a small restaurant, and you can choose to put shelves in the refrigerator, in the freezer, on the wall, or in a cart.

Ovens and Ranges

A great restaurant begins with great food, and if you don’t have the proper cooking tools, you’re starting off from zero. You’ll need to invest in proper cooking equipment, such as a commercial kitchen oven. Commercial kitchen ovens come in multiple sizes and styles, and a commercial range will let you have multiple methods of cooking accomplished on one handy piece of equipment.

When it comes to purchasing this piece of equipment needed to start a fast food restaurant or any other restaurant, you must consider the food you’ll be serving.

Prep Tables

Will you serve any foods that will require preparation, such as a pizza or salad? If you’re preparing these meals and anything made-to-order, you’ll need a prep table to properly chill your ingredients and keep them handy.

Ice Machines

Your customers expect cold drinks at your restaurant, and it’s your job to give these refreshments to them safely. Because you shouldn’t have a residential refrigerator/freezer with an ice maker in your commercial kitchen, you’ll need a dedicated ice machine. Ice machines are a necessary thing needed to start a restaurant, and they can dispense large quantities of ice with ease and also come with filtration options, so you can ensure your customer’s ice is great-tasting and properly filtered.

Commercial Dishwashers

Once the food has been served, and your customers have eaten their fill, you’ll be left to deal with the dirty dishes. Not only can washing dishware by hand be wasteful, but it’s also time-consuming and the dishes may not be cleaned properly. A commercial dishwasher is a key piece of equipment needed for a restaurant startup because it will let you wash and sanitize high quantities of dishes quickly in an hour, and many for sale come with environmentally-friendly features.

Utility Carts

Restaurants have a lot of clutter if you’re not careful with your organization. A utility cart can be one of the most overlooked pieces of equipment when it comes to starting a new restaurant. These carts will let you store food, such as dry goods, and also help you transport things across your kitchen thanks to the cart’s attached casters.

Food Weighing Scales

Each meal starts with a recipe, and each recipe relies on the right amount of ingredients. You can measure your ingredients well and make sure you’re keeping an eye on food costs with a weight scale. A weight scale is also a good way to make sure that you’re offering a good portion size, especially if you’re advertising a “lean, fit” type of menu.

Food Display Cases

Many restaurants love to offer desserts, such as homemade pies and other baked goods. If you intend to offer these items, you should invest in a food display case. Most food display cases are refrigerated, but there are others that are made to ensure your products stay clean & sanitary from unknown environmental factors that take place in one's business.

This type of equipment is needed for a restaurant startup to protect your customer's health and safety. Food display cases also present them well to your customers, so they won’t be able to avoid taking home a treat on their way out the door.

Commercial Blenders

Commercial blenders are the best equipment needed for a restaurant that wants to serve mixed drinks, smoothies, and other iced drinks. This restaurant equipment lets you mix up your concoctions to your delight and offer a speed that surpasses common household blenders. With a variety of settings on every model, a commercial blender is a must-have for any prepared drinks.

Final Thoughts

The National Restaurant Association predicts that the foodservice industry workforce is projected to grow by 400,000 jobs, for total industry employment of 14.9M by the end of 2022. 9 out of 10 American individuals say they enjoy eating out regularly, and the NRA forecasts that the food service industry sales will reach $898 billion in sales in 2022, with many individuals trying their hand at the restaurant game. If you’re considering opening a restaurant for the first time, make sure you’re ready for the demands of daily restaurant life with this equipment.


  1. comment authorHAROLD LEWIS JR Aug 11, 2021

    Very informative... I'm looking to open a Chinese food restaurant in the near future

  2. comment authorTANYA WALTON Apr 2, 2023


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