Things To Consider When Buying A Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Things To Consider When Buying A Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Purchasing new commercial kitchen equipment is a milestone for any hospitality business. No matter the size of your kitchen, whether you’re serving national events in New Zealand or local avid patrons,  your business only deserves the best commercial kitchen equipment. 

You may be wondering:

  • Which commercial kitchen equipment is best for your specific need? With too many options in the market, it can be daunting to find the best commercial kitchen supply that will match your business’ demands.
  • How will this new equipment help your business grow? You’ll be shelling out money so it only makes sense to choose kitchen equipment that can maximise profit, time and productivity.
  • Where can you find the best commercial kitchen supplier in New Zealand? Ideally, you are looking for a service provider that offers the best warranty and guarantee for commercial kitchen equipment.  

In this guide, we’ll give you a thorough walkthrough on how to choose the best commercial kitchen equipment in New Zealand for your business.

Domestic versus Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Any commercial kitchen equipment you purchase can make or break your business. So this is the kind of decision that you have to sit and ponder and think twice…or as many times as needed!

Now you may be tempted to opt for the same kind of kitchen equipment that you use at home. After all, they’re much cheaper and easier to obtain.

This could work but only if you have a limited number of dishes served per day. You see, in commercial settings, you require heavy duty commercial kitchen equipment that can withstand high traffic and constant repeated use. This is something that domestic kitchen equipment isn’t built for.  

So yes, if you are running a business, you might as well invest in proper commercial kitchen equipment that can serve you well for years.

There are so many options out there.

We put together this guide to help make decision-making easier for you. We also have templates that you can use for finding the best commercial kitchen equipment.

Heads up…you shouldn’t only focus on pricing.

What are your kitchen’s needs?

First things first, of course. 

The type of commercial kitchen equipment you need depends on your theme, cuisine, menus, staff and space availability and design. It is important to analyse what a piece of equipment will do for your kitchen, how it will affect your day-to-day operation and which part of the kitchen you’ll put them in.

Remember that your new commercial equipment will affect productivity, workflow, service, safety and compliance with laws and regulations. Our extensive range of high-quality ovens in NZ is designed to meet the needs of any commercial kitchen, providing superior performance and efficiency to help you streamline your operations and take your business to the next level.

Brainstorming and Menu Inventories

The best place to start brainstorming what sort of commercial kitchen equipment you need are your menus and future menus.  You can do this with a simple spreadsheet. Something like this:  

DishMain equipment Others, Accessories Ideal Dimension My Budget
Buffalo Chicken TendersNonstick skillet or wok
tongs, cutting boards, sieve, paper towels, saucepans, peelerdimension 45(H) x 280(W)mm and at least 1.8 ltr capacity $35-$45
Jalapeno PoppersOvenbaking sheet, parchment, mixing bowl, knives, measuring cup 795(H) x 812(W) x 725(D)mm $7100-$7200
(Insurance included)
Meat piesTurnover maker machinewire rack, pastry brush, oven thermometer, baking sheets, aluminium foil, pie dish, pie warmer 1900 (H) x 800(W) x 1400(D) mm $3500-$4000
(Insurance included)
Buffalo Chicken TendersNonstick skillet or woktongs, cutting boards, sieve, paper towels, saucepans, peelerdimension 45(H) x 280(W)mm and at least 1.8 ltr capacity $35-$45
Jalapeno PoppersOvenbaking sheet, parchment, mixing bowl, knives, measuring cup 795(H) x 812(W) x 725(D)mm $7100-$7200
(Insurance included)
Meat piesTurnover maker machinewire rack, pastry brush, oven thermometer, baking sheets, aluminium foil, pie dish, pie warmer 1900 (H) x 800(W) x 1400(D) mm $3500-$4000
(Insurance included)

For refrigeration, storage and shelving equipment, measure your space availability including height, width and depth.

Also, keep in mind the ventilation space between the unit, floors and walls. Of course, think about the delivery path to ensure that when the equipment arrives, it can fit right into the spaces where it has to pass through prior to installation.

Knowing these narrows down your search for your ideal commercial refrigeration equipment and shelving units. If you have limited space, consider chest freezers NZ for efficient and compact refrigeration storage.

Types of Restaurant Equipment

There is a wide range of food preparation equipment available in New Zealand. You can choose single-purpose equipment or a multi-purpose one that gets everything done. 

Cooking Equipment

Cooktops, ovens, fryers, griddle plates, Bain Marie, char girls, salamander, past cooker, wok burner, and steamers are among the most needed cooking equipment in hospitality settings. Among all of these cooking equipment options, what you’ll need will depend on the menus you planned to serve.

These cooking equipment are also accompanied by tools like scrapers, tongs, whips, ladles, brushes, measuring cups, chef’s knives, etc.  So make sure to keep those on the list as well while shopping for commercial kitchen equipment. 

Beverage and Drinking Equipment

For this equipment, your needs may depend on what types of drinks you’re serving. For example, if you’re running a coffee shop or serving coffee as a part of your menu, then you may need espresso machines or thermal coffee makers.   

Whatever your beverage and drinks are, there is equipment to keep them at their best serving temperature and flavours. Availability in the market includes generic coffee makers, frozen drink machines, drink mixers, drink dispensers as well as ice cream and frozen yoghurt dispensers. Hot beverage dispensers, hot water boilers and urns are also readily available in showrooms in NZ. 

Hot Food Display 

This commercial kitchen equipment allows you to keep foods and beverages at hot or warm serving temperatures. Hot food displays such as pie cabinets, heated display units and food warmers let you cook items in batches whilst retaining their best flavour and serving temperature.

These are nice add-ons if you’re intending to keep foods on display to entice customers. These commercial kitchen equipment have proven to increase impulse sales. 

Servery Equipment

Servery equipment is integral to a commercial kitchen operation especially if you’re running a busy cafe or catering services.  Depending on your menu and planned future menus, you may need soup kettles, warmers, hot plates, chip scuttles, crockery, cutleries and beverage dispensers. 

Commercial Dishwashers

Compared to dishwashers used at home, commercial dishwashers are designed to handle a huge volume of dishes in a much faster process. You won’t have to wait longer for clean pots, dishes and tools. 

The use of these commercial dishwashers easily translates to a faster and more efficient process; allowing you to serve your customers better which ultimately leads to better sales and reputation.

  • Undercounter dishwasher. They are compact and powerful commercial dishwashers that are best suited for smaller commercial kitchens. These units favour small spaces and as the name suggests, they can be tucked under the counter.
  • Conveyor dishwashers. These are big machines that can handle large quantities of dirty dishes and offer a fast turnaround time. They run using a built-in conveyor belt which channels the rack into a chamber where the tableware is washed, rinsed and dried. Bigger businesses like 5-star hotels use this type of dishwasher.
  • Glasswashers for commercial use. If your business uses a lot of glasses, then you’ll likely need a dedicated glasswasher. Glasswashers are designed to clean delicate glassware safely, rapidly and flawlessly.  
  • Passthrough dishwasher for faster washing. These units are usually positioned between two dishwasher tables for faster and more efficient cleaning. These types of dishwashers are highly recommended for businesses selling 200+ meals everyday. 

Kitchen Storage Equipment

Storage equipment is ideal for organising and stocking tools, items, foods and ingredients. Options of refrigerated storage and shelving are best for temperature-sensitive items like ingredients while non-refrigerated shelving units are best for kitchen tools and tableware.

  • Kitchen Cabinets. For heavy traffic settings such as commercial kitchens, stainless steel cabinets are the best option. They require less maintenance, they can withstand everyday wear and tear and they are designed to last. Depending on what you want to use the cabinet for, there are many options available. There are dual-purpose workbench cabinets, and full-custom good-grade or semi-customise stainless steel kitchen storage equipment.
  • Stainless Steel Shelves. Talking about stainless steel commercial kitchen equipment, when it comes to shelving, always choose the ones that are built of stainless steel. The same with kitchen cabinets, some shelves are refrigerated while others are not. They are also available in workbench units, full-custom good-grade or semi-customise stainless steel.
  • Trolleys & Racks. If your day-to-day operation involves moving big stocks of items, then you definitely need trolleys or racks. Choose ones that are easy to clean and can be operated by any staff. You can use trolleys and racks to move dishes to the dining area and workspaces. They can also carry goods from one floor to the other. 

Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

No hospitality business is complete without commercial refrigeration equipment. The ideal units depend on your menus, day-to-day operation and storage needs. Just as with other kitchen equipment, they should be energy-efficient and built heavy-duty for commercial settings. 

  • Commercial freezers and fridges. Generally, there are 4 types of commercial freezers and fridges: countertop or under bench, horizontal, storage and vertical. Aside from keeping your items at a safe temperature, these units are designed to keep them sanitary to ensure nothing spoils.  Commercial refrigeration units are built with heavy-duty construction hinges that can hold up the wear and tear and everyday challenges in business. They are made to withstand repeated closing and opening. For bigger restaurants with higher demands, a large walk-in storage refrigeration unit can be the ideal solution.  
  • Display refrigeration units. These commercial refrigeration units are ideal for convenience stores, cafes, restaurants and bars. They commonly have glass doors and reach-in designs to create beautiful displays and encourage more impulse sales.  If you’re merchandising foods and items, then a display refrigeration unit will serve as another “salesperson” for your storefront.  
  • Commercial workbench refrigeration units. These refrigeration units are designed with heavy worktops so you can use the top as a preparation space. Since the workbench is built heavy-duty, it can also hold other smaller kitchen items and cooking tools.  What’s good about these types of commercial refrigeration units is that you can work in one spot without having to run from your refrigerator to your work counter. Workbench refrigeration units are often the choice for businesses that want to optimise efficiency and productivity.

Sinks & Sinks Benches

The back-end of the most successful hospitality businesses always has sinks and benches that allow them a smooth, functioning operation. 

From washing dishes to food preparation, there are a lot of sinks and sink bench options in NZ showrooms.  There are flat table workbenches, mobile workbenches, corner L-shape benches, dishwashing outlets and inlets, salamander units and units with splashbacks. Consider your day-to-day operations and space availability to find your ideal sink. 

For example, if you wanted to make use of both corners of the wall and the coving area, then an L-Shape bench is best to maximise space. If you have a passthrough dishwasher, then you’d usually need a sink bench to go along with that. 

Ice Machines

If you’re serving drinks and beverages, then commercial-grade ice machines and ice makers are a necessity for your business. These reliable units produce ice in record time so you can serve ice cold beverages on demand. 

Modular ice machines are designed to sit on top of an ice dispenser, soda dispenser or machine bin. These are ideal for smaller businesses and cafes. Undercounter ice makers are fitted under the counter which makes them perfect for a minimalist kitchen. Combination ice and water machines are able to dispense both ice and water which makes them efficient for self-service hospitality businesses. 

Ranges and ventilation

A properly functioning commercial kitchen needs ranges and ventilation to keep spaces hygienic and well-ventilated. 

Ranges and ventilation are workhorses in your kitchen that keep the air clean whilst keeping equipment running smoothly with proper ventilation. This commercial kitchen equipment whisks away bad odours, removes grease and filters out moisture, carbon monoxide and other pollutants from the air. They are available in different sizes, styles and capacities.

Best Cooking Tools to Save You Time and Money

It is not just about the ideal commercial kitchen equipment. The tools that you use also contribute to the productivity and profit of your business.

For instance, a reliable food processor is a chef’s best friend for so many reasons. With this handy tool, you can shred cheese, puree ingredients or grind spices. What else can you do with it? Almost anything. From guacamoles to shortcrust pastry to sauces. It’s an investment that you’ll never regret. 

Don’t take for granted proper scissors for commercial kitchen use. Kitchen scissors will make it easier for your staff to trim fat from meats or remove the skin from poultry. They can also use it to chop whole tomatoes right from the can. 

Then there’s the most vetted pressure cooker! What once took forever to cook can now be done way faster with a pressure cooker. This kitchen item lets you cook dishes faster as it uses a temperature that’s higher than the boiling point. The heat stays inside the cooker and will not spread out in your kitchen. Imagine all the wonderful dishes you can create with it!

Tips for Choosing The Best Kitchen Equipment Supplier in New Zealand

Now that you know what you potentially need in your kitchen, we go to the exciting part. How to find a reliable supplier that has your shopping list. 

Key factors to consider when searching for a commercial kitchen equipment supplier in New Zealand:

  • How long are they in business?
  • Do they offer warranties?
  • How about guarantees?
  • How is their customer service?
  • What do people say about them?
  • Do they have the equipment you need?

Read customers’ reviews

The easiest way to find reviews of your prospective commercial kitchen equipment supplier is through their Facebook, Yelp and Google business. These places are where customers give praise (or vent) about a provider. 

Ideally, you’re looking for a commercial kitchen supplier that has an almost flawless reputation and rating. Since you’re going to be dealing with your supplier for questions, warranties, guarantees and customer services, you need to choose a reliable supplier. 

Then there’s technical support and warranties 

Look for a supplier that offers good customer service and technical support. For your peace of mind, it is better if the equipment is covered by suppliers. Also, consider post-purchase services like equipment checkups and maintenance. Ask your prospective kitchen equipment supplier if they cover these. 

Manufacturer recommendations

Are you looking for a specific brand of equipment? Commercial kitchen suppliers in New Zealand often carry the biggest brands in the country. This will minimise the middleman’s fees and ensure that you have good quality products. They can also give you advice on which unit matches your specifications and needs. 

Local presence

The worst mistake you can make when it comes to purchasing commercial kitchen equipment is buying the item from abroad. Local presence is essential for service, warranties and maintenance. 

It doesn’t make sense to buy a unit from halfway around the world that might be, say, 10, 20 or 30% cheaper but you’ll have to pay enormously for shipping or to get the unit there for repairs and maintenance. 

Putting these all together

Then comes the time to see your options in the flesh! 

Visit a couple of showrooms around your area. Observe how staff deal with you when it comes to your questions and needs. Get inspired by their designs but stick to your specifications and budget. 

A reliable supplier’s staff should be able to walk you through available options that fit your budget and specifications. 

We have put together a Personalised Kitchen Equipment Shopping Star Rating Card that you can use to find your ideal equipment while visiting showrooms.  Download here.

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