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Seeking advice on restaurant kitchen equipment!!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Greetings! I have been reading many threads and comments on this site, it seems like there are many helpful and well educated/experienced individuals here, which is why I decided to post here to ask for some advice on restaurant kitchen equipment. 


My parents opened a Korean bbq restaurant a few years back and we are in the process of opening up our second location. My parents are now much older and I would like them to be able to retire, I am sure as most of you know operating a restaurant is no easy task. Therefore I will be taking over the opening of our second location. To be honest I have very little experience within the kitchen and with kitchen equipment, as I have spent my time operating the front of house. When I speak with most equipment vendors I cant help but get the feeling that they are always trying to pull one over on me. I need your help! I am a 25 year old man looking to open a 6,400sq/ft restaurant for the first time. 


Apologize ahead for the amateur or naive questions, but any assistance would be helpful and greatly appreciated.

Any general advice or heads up would also be appreciated! 


Questions regarding cooking equipment:

1. For the stock pot range, charbroiler, and hot plate I am shopping between Wolf, Imperial and Jade brands and was wondering if anyone has had any personal experience with these that they could shed some light on? 

2. How important is the output BTU? How would I judge how much BTU is required for my style of use and operation?

3. The charbroiler will be mainly used to grill meats such as beef, chicken and pork, do you have any recommendations on what units to use?

4. For floor fryer I am shopping between Pitco and Imperial, if anyone had any experience they could share?


Questions regarding cooling equipment:

1. For reach-in refrigerators I am shopping between True and Hoshizaki, if anyone had any experience they could share?

2. From research I hear some refrigeration coil units may be corroded by the type of food your store in it? Should I try to only stick to stainless steel or copper coil units? 

3. I hear that some units may be food graded and some are not, what are the pros and cons?


Questions regarding ice machines:

1. Is a remote condensing unit really worth the extra cost? 


Questions regarding stainless steel equipment:

1. What are some good brands for stainless steel equipment, such as work tables, equipment stands, sinks etc. I am planning to use Advance Tabco, if anyone had any experience they could share?


Questions regarding walk-in cooler and freezer:

1. Do you have any recommendations for brands for walk-in cooler and freezers? 


General equipment question:

1. Do you think it is important to try to keep all equipment the same brand? As it will help when dealing with repair, warranty and maintenance issues?


Once again I wanted to thank you for your time at least reading this thread and any help would be greatly appreciated! If you are in the area as well dinner is on me! 

post #2 of 3

Do not overlook used equipment if you can find some nearby. Buying all brand new is very expensive and often unnecessary. Check out liquidation auctions as well as used equipment supply houses. It is a lot like buying a car. New drops in value immediately. If you can buy used in good condition, you can save some money. Coolers and other electronic equipment may need service if used but certainly there is no need to buy brand new work tables and other equipment if you can get used. 

I don't have specific brand recommendations. Just check with the local health department to make sure the equipment you buy is in compliance with them. 

post #3 of 3


It sounds as if you can go look at what is at the first restaurant. That would be a great place to get a base line for how many BTU's are needed.


I do not look at brand names for a lot of stuff and buying new can cost extra. I try to buy stuff that my supplier and local repair man can work on. I have found it cheaper some times to just fix something than to deal with warranty.


I always buy new reach in's, sandwich units, and walk in's. I found that the stainless steel coil units last longer than copper.

I dislike the reach in's that have the plastic lining on the bottom of the insides and would prefer stainless steal.


Remote condensers are a pain. You are not able to move equipment for cleaning and end up with more line to leak. All it dose is move the heat to a different location. Have the AC system sized right for the equipment. It's also best to have more than one cold air return for HVAC's to keep the temp even for your cooks.


If I can find stuff like speed racks, hotel pans, sheet trays, tables, shelving, and ext used in good shape then I buy it.


Stuff like cambor I like to buy new and in bulk. I hate when lids don't fit right or you have to search for the right lid.


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