Developing the space, filing the necessary permits, selecting front-of-house (FoH) furniture, and all the other tasks that go along with building a restaurant, come with costs. Those pertaining to kitchen equipment are perhaps among the top concerns for every restaurant owner. Understanding this expense is therefore critical to building a viable budget, yet there is no one surefire answer for every project. As such, the total potential cost for a full arsenal of kitchen equipment will fall within a fairly wide range.
While some restaurants have been able to spend less, and others certainly more, a restaurant seeking to outfit a space with all new equipment from reputable dealers should typically expect to pay between $40,000 and $200,000.
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The exact cost of the equipment for your restaurant equipment will depend on a number of factors, however, including:
Size & Scope of the Restaurant’s Kitchen
It goes without saying that the first and most significant factor affecting the total cost of a restaurant’s kitchen equipment is the specific items needed, and anticipated serving capacity. A larger kitchen can expect to serve a larger clientele. Therefore, a more expansive set of tools, such as a walk-in refrigerator instead of reach-in, or even multiple ovens to service multiple cooking stations, may be necessary.
Be sure to involve your chef in these decisions for a more accurate idea of the kinds of equipment you will need.
Features of the Equipment
Even with a list of required equipment, there will still be plenty of options to choose from. Not every piece is the same. A certain model or variety might be adequate for its necessary function, but that does not mean it’s the best fit for the job, or that it will keep the kitchen’s operations and food’s quality at the desired level.
A convection oven, for instance, might be preferred over a conventional oven, but will cost more. It’s up to you and your team to determine when additional features will be critical to the kitchen's overall performance.
Another factor typically driving up the initial costs associated with purchasing restaurant equipment is the energy efficiency of your selections.
Generally speaking, high-efficiency equipment costs more than conventional models. This upfront cost shouldn’t be the only consideration, though.
While this might seem like an intimidating expense at first glance, choosing energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important to all businesses, especially restaurants—which can require as much as seven times more energy than other business types for full operation. With such heightened energy consumption comes a corresponding energy bill.
Utilizing high-efficiency equipment, however, could potentially cut a restaurant’s operating expenses by thousands of dollars annually.
Size of Your Equipment Retailer
One of the most overlooked reasons the cost of commercial kitchen equipment increases is working with the wrong retailer. While one might assume that buying the same piece of equipment from one dealer as opposed to another might be nearly identical in pricing, this is not true at all.
For one, the size and reputation of a retailer can significantly impact the overall cost of your build. Larger retailers, for instance, are more likely to have relationships with manufacturers that yield better pricing, a savings the retailer can then pass along to customers.
Sam Tell is one of the largest restaurant equipment and supplies retailers in the country, and has been working with the finest brands in foodservice for more than 60 years.
Shipping & Handling
It’s no secret that more goes into the cost of a piece of equipment than detailed on its sticker. Another important consideration, especially on large appliances, is the cost to ship those items.
Shipping costs will naturally depend on factors mostly out of your control, such as the total weight of your order, for example. There are methods to minimize this expense, though. One of the leading ways is to work with a retailer with an expansive and flexible distribution network.
Experienced retailers possess the skills to organize deliveries in the most cost-effective way. The best retailers even have their own, in-house delivery operations, which create even more opportunities for efficiency and savings—so don’t forget to inquire about this while exploring possible suppliers!
Sam Tell leverages its own fleet of trucks and decades of experience working with third-party shipping services to craft the best delivery option for each order.