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Commercial Catering Kitchen - Lets build it

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
If you were to set-up a commercial kitchen for catering, what would your ideal kitchen have for equipment (not your "dream" kitchen...ideal/necessary)? Share your thoughts.

Quick short list
6-8 burner range
Walk-in Cooler
Freezer
Dry Storage
30 Quart Mixer
Double Convection Oven
Standard Oven
Microwave
3 compartment sink
prep sink
2 stainless prep stations on wheels
Broiler
post #2 of 19
large automated dish/pot washer
tiltins steam jacketed kettle
pressure steamer
5-6 quart mixer
large Robot coupe food processor
speed racks with plenty of full and half size pans
cambros for transporting food

www.foodandphoto.com

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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post #3 of 19
Pac o Jet
Cryovac
bone saw :)
Sausage grinder :) :)
possibly a wood fired oven......
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 19
96" grill.
3 double convection ovens.
60qt mixer
20qt mixer
2 kitchenaids
96" Flatop
8 burner stove
1 stock burner
200ft of prep table space
Double steamer (8 perf pans altogether)
50 gallon tilt skillet
2 alto shams
Walk in coolers
2 slicers
About 60 speedracks and 800 sheet pans ;)

That should do you about 2000/night easy.
post #5 of 19
ditto the speedracks and sheetpans.

Walk ins, freezers, and dishpit are very important, big is better.

Tilting skillet is probably the most versatile piece of equipment you can use

Now, are you catering in-house? Your own banquet halls? Then the cat's meow would be a large Rational combi oven. Shove in 72 cold dressed plates, press a button, and 9 minues later out comes 72 perfectly hot plates, magic, sigh....

If you're catering off-site then you will need:

About a zillion of those stackable plastic trays, the kind large bakeries use for buns and brad.

A very dependable transport vehicle, one that can get you into underground parkades. With a non-skid rubber mat.

Transport dollies,--good ones with pneumatic wheels. You don't want to find out what happens when a loaded cheapo-transport dollie wheel gets caught in an elevator door threshold or on a door sill...

Cambros. lots of em, lots of shapes and sizes, including coffee urns.

Coffee brewing equipment and airpots. You gonna say no to $13.00 for an airpot of coffee?

Baskets, trays, bowls etc. Lots of em.

4" cocktail napkins with your name and website printed on them

A big-a** propane bbq
and on, and on, an on, and on and o............
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #6 of 19
forget wish lists. What are you trying to achieve?
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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post #7 of 19
Nick.Shu long time, good to see your name come up again.......I thought this whole exercise was in what each one of us would want if we built our dream kitchen....
Though I was just adding on to the affore mentioned lists....one cannot live just on sausage.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Nope, I wasn't looking for anyone's dream kitchen, or general catering supplies. Just curious what others considered necessary cooking/prep equipment for putting together a commercial catering kitchen.

I wasn't familiar with tilting skillets. They look huge! Thanks for the input so far.
post #9 of 19
Shake, if you are going to cater off-site you will need the bread trays and solid transport carts, as well as a dependable delivery vehicle. These are not "dream items" but rather every day items that, once missing or broken, all he** breaks loose and orders are missed, food damaged, and contracts lost. It aint pretty when a trolley wheel becomes lodged in the gap between elevator doors as you're rolling it out and $500.00 worth of food slides in slo-mo to the floor....

Yes, the Rational oven is a dream, but seriously with one of those ovens you can put out 300 hot meals with only two staff in the kitchen. Wrangle one of those ovens and with even a 100 seat bqt hall your path to success is pretty darn smooth. They cost, big bucks. But like the old saying goes, "Money gets money".

Tilting skillets come in all shapes and sizes. You can do the usual stuff in them: soups, stocks, sauces, braised dishes; you can poach whole salmon sides, snausages, corned beef; you can blanch off pasta, spuds, etc by putting the stuff in deep perforated inserts and just pulling out the inserts when the product is done;(can't do pasta in steamer, can you?); but you can also deep fry in them, whip up scrambled eggs for 200 pretty darn fast, saute up hashbrowns for b'fst parties, use it as a "second" flat-top for burgers or what-ever..........
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #10 of 19
ooooo......forget shoes, forget dresses, forget purses......what's really exciting is going through an equipment supply store. I still pet the cambro as I walk by it....the full sheet tray one on wheels.
A kitchen supply store is also pretty thrilling, I could spend hours exploring.
It's facinating to find out what equipment works well for your catering business....thanks for starting this thread and thanks to those of you that explain why certain things are on your need/desire list.

Cryovac is on my short list of new toys. Do any of you have certain brands you like over another?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 19
Still, what do you mean by catering?

I forget, food warmers. You can do without and plate/serve on the fly, but these things make life so much easier.

I really think counterspace is the most important. Heck you could assemble sandwiches on counterspace alone.
post #12 of 19
I would have to have my small smoker and double steamer.
"Can't stand the heat call JJ"S Kitchen"

JJ's (Almost Famous BBQ)
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"Can't stand the heat call JJ"S Kitchen"

JJ's (Almost Famous BBQ)
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post #13 of 19
I had to do a double take on that dishpit word:lol:

By the way, if anybody is having issues with HVAC or refrigeration, I'd be happy to help if I can.
post #14 of 19
Nope, I wasn't looking for anyone's dream kitchen, or general catering supplies. Just curious what others considered necessary cooking/prep equipment for putting together a commercial catering kitchen.


ShakeandBake.....several of us are already caterers, have been caterers both in large corporate settings, large catering companies or own our own small companies. Catering can be as Kuan said a counter to assemble sandwiches, or if you have a on-site facility having the aforementioned equipment that only a couple staff need to work is long term gold or if you're doing most of your business offsite you need different stuff....cambros being very important.

There are caterers that only do box lunches and make alot of money. There are caterers that just reheat, kinda like chain restaurants. Then there are those of us that get into making the majority of the food from scratch....each scenerio requires different things.....

What I found really interesting about this thread is what equipment is valued and why. Steam kettles are great because they don't burn soups/sauces.
Cambros keep food at the same temp for hours. Carts are invaluable....oh man, offsite catering is all about schlepping. Wheels are outrageously important.

What can you make shift use, but what would be desirable....ziplocs are functional but cryovac now there is something outrageously valuable to preserve food.

K6 is not what it used to be but has a sausage grinder.....the new 1000watt Uniworld now is pretty darn cool.....

Having an animal cut costs $25+ dollars, the new bone saw costs $40 and I get to cut it up any way I want.

Containers, storage containers are a huge part of a kitchen....fish boxes, plastic containers, go-boxes, etc.....Hard disposable platters.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #15 of 19

Dear Shake,

Hello, I am new in this forum and I would be interested in renting or leasing your commercial kitchen once it is ready, as long as it is in the San Diego county area. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find commercial kitchens for rent/lease in this area.
Let me know,
LaNomade
post #16 of 19

Commercial Catering build out & equip. Costs

Do you have a rough estimate on the costs for these items or know of a site that will quote this without getting a million sales calls?
post #17 of 19
Quick short list
6-8 burner range
Walk-in Cooler
Freezer
Dry Storage
30 Quart Mixer
Double Convection Oven
Standard Oven
Microwave
3 compartment sink
prep sink
2 stainless prep stations on wheels
Broiler[/quote]

I have a large commercial kitchen that ready to be rented out. It has everything listed and more. Im in the LA area, more specifically Van Nuys. www.commercialkitchen4rent.com Check it out. Anybody interested PM me or send me a email. EMAIL: indapprsr@yahoo.com Thanks everybody
post #18 of 19

1 full sized combi-oven

4 burner stove w/ double convection oven

and 24 in. grill w/griddle plates

small hobart mixer with all attachments

5 pan self contained steamer 

 

post #19 of 19

First are we talking On premise caterer or Off premise, both totally different.  On premise does not need cambros or equipment like that.

Are you going to do upscale or common? like party platters and things like that.?  Go to auctions, buy some stuff used with guarantee for x amount of time. Either way you need an oven, a stove, sinks, handwash sinks, refrigerators, freezer, work tables. The ability to work hard, and some startup money.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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