Investing in the right cooking equipment is a very wise choice.
One thing that trips people up during the buying process is the price. It can be tough to make that initial outlay with no guaranteed rate of return. That’s why I’ve decided to highlight the most versatile, best priced machinery with the most bang for its buck. Some are no-brainers, some are my favourites, but all could (and probably should) have a place in your business.
Commercial Microwave Ovens
A mainstay in most busy kitchens already, commercial microwave ovens differ from their domestic counterparts through component quality and cooking power. They can defrost, reheat and cook many different foods in a short amount of time, making them invaluable in fast-paced establishments such as pubs and cafes. One such machine, the Buffalo 1800w commercial microwave oven, is robust, has 5 power levels and 200 programmes. As far as cooking equipment goes, the commercial microwave oven is one of the most hands off of the lot and can save you a lot of time.
Much like the microwave, the commercial toaster already has a significant presence in the commercial kitchen, due mostly to its speed, ease of use and the evergreen popularity of bread and toasted sandwiches. Lots of different variations exist but a solid choice for a busy catering establishment is a 4 or 6 slot toaster, such as the ones supplied by Dualit and Buffalo.
Whether you go freestanding or countertop, a fryer is a great investment for two reasons. First, it has the capability to cook large amounts of food in a short amount of time. Second, that food is great tasting and sure to sell. If the freestanding fryer is the big, high capacity model, suited to ‘fryer’ businesses such as fish and chip shops, then the countertop is the smaller equivalent, with all of the same great pros but in a smaller, space-saving package. Take a look at some of the Blue Seal, Buffalo and Lincat fryers for some great options.
The commercial grill is an easy to use, versatile machine with a simple premise; cook great, evenly-heated food in the shortest amount of time possible. There are a few variations, such as the salamander grill, where the heating elements are placed in the top, but the main objective is always the same. They’re also fairly inexpensive, making them one of the first things you should consider buying if you’re starting up a catering business or upgrading your kitchen. For some of the best products on the market consider the grills from Buffalo, Lincat and Burco.
This won’t be applicable to everyone but it’s one of my favourites and it’s a piece of equipment that everyone should at least consider purchasing. Why? Popcorn in cinemas is known to have a mark up of 1,275%, making it one of the highest profit margins of ANYTHING in the world. It might just be the thing you need to kickstart supplementary sales and diversify your offerings at your bar or venue. JM Posner make great, traditional looking popcorn machines that tick all of the right boxes.
Like most things, investing in good quality cooking equipment is not easy and almost always carries some kind of risk. Hopefully this post has helped to underline some of the best ways to get started or improve your kitchen, whilst minimising the risk and without denting the budget too much.
by Sam Beddall