Commercial Kitchen Equipment List for Quick-Service Restaurants

Commercial Kitchen Equipment List for Quick-Service Restaurants
Here's everything you'll need for setting up your QSR commercial kitchen and fast food restaurant.
by Austin Tedesco Apr 11, 2022 — 4 min read
Commercial Kitchen Equipment List for Quick-Service Restaurants

What do you need to run a quick-service restaurant or commercial kitchen?

After going through the process of finalising your restaurant business plan, registering your business, acquiring licences, determining your financing and finding a location, you’re ready to take the next step and build out your space. But where should you start and what are your options?

Having a well-equipped, connected, and easy-to-manage restaurant is essential to setting up yourself, your staff and your business for success. Today’s customers are looking for smart and simple ways to order and pay at their favourite restaurants and food businesses. With the right automated tools and system in place, you can offer just that.

Here is the Square checklist for some hardware and tools you may want to consider purchasing to get up and running.


*Download a PDF of the checklist here!

Back office


It can be easy to forget about these basics when you’re starting out and focused on fine-tuning your restaurant, but planning ahead will help your operations run smoothly while avoiding surprise expenses.


You might not need a traditional break room, but consider spaces dedicated to your staff. Giving employees an area to unwind with amenities – even small ones like comfortable chairs and a stocked fridge – is a nice step to attract and retain talent.

Kitchen equipment: Operations, shelving, storage and food preparation


Specific kitchen tools will vary depending on the type and size of your restaurant, but this essential list can help you get started. For larger expenses, such as ovens, consider if it makes more sense to track down used equipment or if it’s worth investing more money in something new.


Restaurants with revenue streams outside of the core business – such as subscriptions, grocery options, or meal kits – can build a wide range of revenue streams. Consider not only what additional items you might need to run the essential elements of your restaurant, but what tools could help you with diverse revenue streams.

Dining room operations


Quick-service restaurants have plenty of flexibility when it comes to dining-in options for customers, and some businesses have found traditional dining rooms unnecessary. If you have a dining area for customers, cover the basics to start and then you can see what else is within your budget.


While both seating and uniforms are optional for a small commercial kitchen, consider how they fit into both your financial planning and your vision for the brand and feel of your restaurant.

Restaurant point-of-sale (POS) system


Whether it’s a stand for your tablet, a credit card terminal, or a fully integrated register, your point-of-sale system is so much more than a tool for the essential task of processing payments. The best POS nails the basics while streamlining administrative tasks and tracking everything from sales reporting to customer engagement to inventory management. Here’s how to get started choosing the one for you.


Here’s a helpful breakdown of the receipts you should keep as a business owner.



The quality of your food and service will play a large role in creating repeat customers, but people also connect with restaurants because of the space itself. Consider what design elements will align with your brand and what additional touches are within your budget.


Have the budget to amplify your space a bit more? Small things can make a huge difference in retaining customers.
Work with the existing look and feel of your brand to create a memorable space that impresses and attracts customers. Whether it’s custom neon lighting, large-scale artworks or simply some greenery and potted plants, the options are only limited by your imagination.

Marketing materials


While physical marketing tools aren’t essential items for your retail business, you should consider whether they’re useful for the business you’re starting and if they fit inside your budget. While digital marketing can be highly effective, a new salon can get a boost from these items.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.

Austin Tedesco
Austin Tedesco is an editor at Square covering all things management — from the technical aspects of payroll and taxes to the soft skills that lead to strong teams for any business.


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