This is a guest article from Monica Parpal, Head Writer for www.FoodServiceWarehouse.com , the online leader in restaurant supplies and food service education. Monica has written professionally since 2008, and focuses primarily on issues pertinent to food service operators and restaurateurs.
Getting from Kitchen to Market - How to Equip your Kitchen
The question How To Start a Food Business has no easy answer and food entrepreneurs have many challenges, one of which is the decision on whether to produce your own products or use the services of a copacker.
Getting your products on the shelf means you have product to sell which means you have a way to produce your food product.
If you decide on producing your own food products, your "food factory" will be closer to a commercial kitchen vs. the industrial sized versions you might have seen on you need to create a space for food production.
Commercial Kitchen Equipment - A Must in Any Commercial Kitchen
Different restaurant formats and food factories require different types of equipment.. A food service operator relies on kitchen equipment to cook everything on the menu, and if one piece fails the whole kitchen could shut down. When first starting out, or when installing a different piece of equipment, one of the biggest concerns is cost. Commercial equipment is an investment, and the biggest choice is usually whether to purchase a brand new item from a dealer or to buy a used item from an auction house or another restaurant that is closing its doors.
Although used may seem like the best restaurant equipment to purchase from a budget perspective, there are always risks involved when the equipment was not yours to begin with. Before making a decision, consider your menu, your kitchen layout and your budget.
Always Buy Commercial-Grade Equipment
Don't buy residential equipment for your restaurant! Whether new or used, commercial restaurant equipment is a must. In most commercial kitchens, installing a residential model in place of a true commercial piece of equipment is against local health codes. Though it may be tempting to choose residential equipment, commercial-grade food service equipment is generally easier to clean, more durable, and designed with constant, heavy use in mind.
Let's explore the 2 roads of New vs. Used.