Kitchen Equipment List That Every New Restaurant Needs

Opening a brand-new restaurant can be confusing and stressful. With so many different things to keep track of, it can be easy to forget kitchen equipment and appliances that are essential to operating your business.

To help you stay on top of your to-do list and ensure that your restaurant opening goes smoothly, we created this checklist of the top 10 pieces of

1. Refrigeration Equipment

Refrigeration equipment is critical in a food service establishment because it prevents your food from spoiling or melting. While stainless steel refrigerators and freezers are essential, different types of restaurants will need various features and capacities.

For instance, larger commercial kitchens may need to take advantage of a walk-in cooler for bulk items and to maintain a healthy inventory. Smaller food service businesses can usually get by with a single or double-door reach-in commercial refrigerator.

Fortunately, there are many types of refrigerators to choose from, so you can find the perfect one for every restaurant, whether you’re opening a sandwich shop, a fancy Italian restaurant, or a fast-casual joint. 

2. Commercial Grills

Every commercial kitchen needs a grill, stovetop, or cooking range. Whether you’re creating delicious Cuban sandwiches in a panini press, flipping pancakes on a griddle, or adding appetizing grill marks to your steaks, commercial grills are an essential part of your kitchen.

Grills come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and types, making it easy to find an option that will perfectly meet the needs of your business. The most popular choices for restaurants are commercial ranges, griddles, stovetops, and charbroilers.

Cooking equipment can be costly, so make sure to compare prices before you make a purchase. We’ve compiled the best-selling charbroilers in the commercial kitchen equipment category for you to check out on Amazon here.

3.  Ice Machines

When it comes to serving beverages, ice machines are just as crucial as soda fountains. Ice machines create ice and then dispense it into an ice bin or soda fountain. While ice is necessary for serving soda and iced water, you can also use ice machines to create blended drinks like smoothies, margaritas, and alcoholic slushies.

An ice machine is also essential for bars in restaurants so that the wells (ice bins) can always have plenty of fresh ice.  Most contemporary bars will use under-counter ice makers, but any ice machine that can handle your capacity will get the job done.

4. Salamander Broilers

Salamander broilers are valuable pieces of equipment for pizzerias, sandwich shops, and bakeries as they allow you to finish off your dishes before serving them to your customers. Salamanders brown the top of your dishes and melt cheese on top of your casseroles and sandwiches to entice your customers. Some of these products also attach to your range or directly to your walls, so they don’t take up valuable countertop space.

5. Griddles

Griddles (also known as flat-top grill) are ideal pieces of equipment for cooking many different foods, such as burgers, breakfast foods, and grilled sandwiches. Due to their versatility, griddles are an essential appliance for any food service establishment. Plus, there are several types and sizes of countertop griddles to consider. 

The types of flat grills consist of countertop griddles, drop-in griddles, and teppanyaki grills, each with specific uses. The large drop-in plate styles are perfect for commercial use, and small countertop grills are ideal for small restaurants or food trucks. Some are gas-powered, and some are electric. So be sure to choose the best option for your business type and needs.

6. Grease Traps

Grease, sediment, and solids entering your plumbing system can lead to lengthy and expensive repairs, so it’s good to protect your plumbing by using a grease trap. Grease traps attach to your commercial dishwashers, food prep sinks, and other equipment that connects to your plumbing, and they catch any grease or food particles to prevent them from draining into your pipes. Because they can save your business a lot of money in repair costs, they’re essential restaurant items for any food service establishment.

7. Chef Knives

While maybe not technically restaurant kitchen equipment, make sure to purchase a sharp set of chef knives.  A quality set of chef knives are indispensable to chefs and kitchen staff in any foodservice setting. Chef knives come in many different sizes and styles, allowing chefs to choose the option that best suits their task. Most chef knives also feature ergonomic and comfortable handles, which is ideal when preparing large quantities of food and chopping for long periods of time.

8. Commercial Shelving

You also need commercial shelving as part of your restaurant kitchen equipment checklist.  Shelving helps food service establishments stay organized, and it can be used to store and organize anything from food items to dinnerware. Many types of shelves are heavy-duty and are made out of durable materials, allowing them to hold lots of products without buckling. Additionally, some racks are rust-resistant and feature epoxy coatings that make them perfect for use in humid environments, like walk-in coolers, walk-in refrigerators, and freezers.

9. Squeeze Bottles >

Again, while not necessarily restaurant kitchen equipment, you will also need squeeze bottles for commercial kitchens.  Whether you’re looking for a condiment dispenser to leave on your tables for self-service or you want a product to improve your plating technique, squeeze bottles are perfect. You can use these products to hold many different types of liquids, like condiments, sauces, oils, or salad dressings. Most squeeze bottles also have easily removable caps, which make them easy to refill.

10. Restaurant POS System with Kitchen Printer

A kitchen printer, typically called an impact printer or dot matrix printer, is used to print tickets from your new restaurant point of sale system to your kitchen so your kitchen staff can prepare the food for your guests.  Some commercial kitchens may just need one printer, while others may require multiple printers.  For instance, you may need a dedicated printer for your prep station or expeditor, while having a dedicated printer for your line cooks.

A modern point of sale system like Harbortouch Bar & Restaurant allows you to specify to which printer you want your menu items sent for preparation of your food items.


This list of essential restaurant kitchen equipment makes it simple for every restaurant business owner to get started. No matter if you require commercial kitchen equipment or supplies for your restaurant, we’ve provided the links above to find everything you need.

Each button sends you to the best sellers and pricing that’s updated hourly. We’ve provided these links so you can read reviews, compare prices, and find the most popular kitchen equipment that every new restaurant needs.

To toot our own horn, when you’re ready for a point-of-sale system, please check us out and find out how we can help your business thrive in any economy!