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.
Apr 11, 2022 — 4 min read
Commercial Kitchen Equipment List for Quick-Service Restaurants

What’s inside

  • A list of everything for your new commercial kitchen, all in one place.
  • Considerations to keep in mind as you get set up.

This article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, employment, or tax advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.
 

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

After going through the process of nailing your restaurant business plan, registering your business, acquiring licenses, 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. According to the Square Future of Restaurant report, 79% of customers say that they’d prefer to order via online kiosks rather than directly through staff. Executing that kind of automated, omni-channel strategy requires upfront planning and organizing.

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

qsr hardware guide

Download a PDF of the checklist here

Back office

Essentials

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.

Consider

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

Essentials

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.

Consider

Restaurants with revenue streams outside of the core business — such as subscriptions, grocery options, or meal kits — say that an average of 17% of revenue comes from those offerings. 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

Essentials

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.

Consider

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

Essentials

Whether it’s a stand for your tableta mounted POS, a small mobile terminal, or a full 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.

quick service restaurant

Consider

 

Ambiance

Essentials

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.

Consider

Have the budget to amplify your space a bit more? Small things can make a huge difference in retaining customers.

“For some reason, it sounds nuts, but having the plants that we have feels so welcoming the moment you walk in,” WTR Cooler Studio owner Ivana Cajina said. “And I know I may be biased, but there’s something about it. Every time someone walks in they go, ‘Whoa.’ Because you don’t expect it. It just feels good.”

Marketing materials

Consider

While physical marketing tools aren’t essential items for your restaurant 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 restaurant can get a boost from these items.

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