Get your restaurant up and running with this list of essential restaurant supplies
Choosing the right foodservice supplies will set you up for long-term success and provide maximum comfort for your guests.
Many restaurant owners and managers agree there are 3 focus areas of the restaurant business that demand the most attention: choosing the right supplies, saving time, and creating healthy margins. Let’s take a look at some tips for each focus area.
Essential restaurant supplies and equipment list
For foodservice operations, there are unique restaurant equipment and supply needs for the front and back of the house depending on the type of operation. The front of the house is where the guests experience what you have to offer, and it’s also the point of sale. The back of the house is more about utility, ensuring that the kitchen staff is able to move about freely, and have access to the right equipment and technology.
Dining room furniture
Dining room furniture is key, for both form and function. Dining room furniture is an important part of the restaurant experience, as the style choice is a major contributor to the aesthetic of the space—are you modern and minimal, luxurious, traditional, or rustic? Dining room furniture choices will make a big impact on the message you want to send to your guests. A list of common dining room furniture items include:
Every great restaurant has a bar area for guests to enjoy a glass of wine, a beer, or a cocktail. Many guests also choose to dine right at the bar, either alone or with another guest as a more informal setting. It’s important to ensure that the bar area is set up for guest comfort, however they choose to enjoy this space. A list of common bar supplies include:
Similar to furniture, lighting is functional, but it’s also part of your aesthetic. Based on your concept, the fixtures, and the brightness of the lighting are equally important factors. You’ll want to consider lighting that is both for environmental design, and for pure functionality (such as in kitchen pre areas. A list of common lighting supplies include:
Office furniture and IT equipment
To effectively keep the operation running smoothly, restaurant managers need a space to coordinate employee schedules, order supplies, plan menus, and collaborate with vendors supplying to the restaurant. A back office space that facilitates this important work for one or more managers is an important part of space planning. A list of common office supplies include:
Point of sale systems
Servers and bartenders alike are in the business of providing a good experience for your guests, and selling the restaurants products. Anyone in the front of the house will need access to a point of sale system and the ability to get checks to guests and collect payments. A list of common point of sale supplies include:
Janitorial and sanitation
From the kitchen, to the dining room, to the bathrooms, all areas of the restaurant need to be kept clean for the health and wellbeing of guests and staff, with unique cleaning needs for each area. A list of common restaurant cleaning supplies include:
Commercial paper products
From the point of sale to guest comfort, paper products are a big part of the typical restaurant operation. Everything from guest checks, to management operations and restrooms, you’ll find paper products in all restaurants. A list of common restaurant paper supplies include:
Smallwares comprise of everything you’d typically think of for the serving of food and drinks. A list of common restaurant smallwares include:
If you have a patio setting, you’ll need outdoor dining furniture, items to provide shade and shelter, and you’ll want to consider adding some greenery to make the outdoor space feel appealing and relaxing. A list of common restaurant patio supplies include:
Hopefully you’ll be using these a lot with all the visitors you’ll have coming through your doors. Dishwashers for foodservice operations are heavy-duty, and there’s a range of options and sizes to consider for smallwares, flatwares, and glassware. A list of restaurant commercial dishwashers include:
Unless you’re in the business of serving all shelf-stable foods, you’ll likely want large-scale refrigeration both in the kitchen and behind the bar for food prep, beverage refrigeration, and to keep things frozen. A list of restaurant commercial refrigeration items include:
Cooking foods for guests can take many forms, and there’s equipment available for virtually all food applications and cuisines. A list of restaurant cooking equipment items include:
Tips for saving time and money on restaurant supplies
There’s two common themes that apply to all foodservice managers: Their time is best spent ensuring guests are having a great experience, and they’re always looking for ways to optimize margins. According to Investopedia, the average profit margin in the food and beverage sector is an average of 5.2%. Here are some tips to save time and optimize margins for your operation:
How to choose the right suppliers for your business
Get the most value out of your budget by choosing the right supplier who can get you the right products, when you need them, at the right price. Here are some important criteria to consider:
Purchasing restaurant supplies for foodservice with Amazon Business
A getting started guide for buying restaurant supplies through e-commerce
Whether you’re just getting started in a foodservice operation, or have been in business for a long time, purchasing restaurant equipment and supplies is one of the largest investments that a foodservice business makes to get started, and for ongoing operations. In addition to financial investment, it can also be time consuming. Many foodservice operators spend hours visiting restaurant supply stores, comparing costs, visiting different locations and reviewing catalogs, and experience long shipping timeframes that often have shipping fees passed to you. If you’re a business owner or manager, you likely want to spend less time searching and ordering, and more time providing an excellent experience for your guests.
A foodservice business can be anything from a concession stand, to a fast-casual franchise, to a fine dining operation. One thing all foodservice operations have in common is the need to buy and furnish both the front and back of the house with the right restaurant supplies and equipment, and look to do this through a restaurant supply store. As sourcing becomes more modernized, many successful restaurant equipment suppliers are becoming sellers on online marketplaces as a low barrier-to-entry to get their products in front of foodservice customers. This means that you can now more than ever, you can leverage the growing e-commerce channel to compare and purchase what you need to keep your operation running smoothly.
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