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Checklist: Essential Commercial Kitchen Equipment

When creating plans for a commercial kitchen, it's critical to closely examine your equipment needs to ensure an efficient operation. Mistakes can be costly, but good equipment planning can bring success. Equipment choices are based on many important criteria, such as:

  • Your menu and the types of dishes that need to be made (you may also want to choose equipment that allows you to be flexible with your menu and make frequent changes)
  • Chef and staff preferences
  • The space and footprint of the area where the kitchen is being built
  • Electrical and water hookups, plumbing and areas for ventilation
  • Safety codes and standards
  • Budget and cost considerations

To ensure that you're buying equipment that best serves your restaurant or foodservice operation, it's best to work with an expert on the layout, brands and styles. A great commercial kitchen partner will take the time to understand how you need the kitchen to function and how best to achieve your goals.

Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Our team of experienced kitchen designers and project managers put together a helpful baseline list of kitchen equipment you'll likely need to account for in your commercial operation.


  • Refrigeration: Should it be walk-in or reach-in? Which set up is best for your operation and budget?
  • Dry storage for food, beverages, paper products, china, and more


  • Worktables
  • Sinks: How many compartments will you need? And do you need an underbar sink?
  • Mixers: Floor, countertop, or immersion?
  • Slicers
  • Food processors
  • Baking-specific supplies and equipment


All of your cooking equipment will require careful consideration regarding power sources and what's possible in your venue. Are you using gas or electric power? And do you know what voltage to select? Avoid critical errors by enlisting the help of an expert.

  • Ranges
  • Griddles
  • Char-broilers: These have different power concerns. Do you want radiant heat, lava rock, or ceramic coal?
  • Fryers
  • Convection ovens
  • Combi ovens
  • Tilt skillets
  • Steam kettles
  • Consider new technology like Rapid Cook if these are a good fit with your operation.


  • Exhaust hoods (both type 1 and type 2)
  • Fire suppression systems


  • Worktables/chef's tables
  • Hot holding carts and/or cold holding carts, depending on your menu


  • Make sure your hand-washing station is "hands free”


  • Dishwashers: Your service volume will determine which model will serve you best.
  • Pot and pan washing
  • Racks, carts, or shelving for clean items


  • Ice and water service
  • Coffee: Brewing, holding, and serving
  • Juice, soda (is there a need for CO2)


  • Chemical storage (separate from food storage!)

When you're putting together a commercial kitchen, there are a lot of factors to consider. A seasoned professional can help you make the right decisions for your business. Ready for an experienced commercial kitchen designer to help you determine the best equipment to choose for your operation? Reach out to us to get started.

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