Commercial Kitchen Equipment and Supplies List – The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

The Ultimate Buyer's Guide to Commercial Kitchen Equipment and SuppliesAs a result of the lockdowns imposed to combat COVID-19, many establishments dealing in food and beverage went out of business. Proprietors have had to contend with ever-evolving dining limitations and a dramatic movement on the part of customers toward takeout and delivery. With already insubstantial profit margins, many restaurant owners find it difficult to stay afloat with less cash; however, despite the challenges, some have still managed to thrive. The question is, how?

The truth is that running a restaurant is no cakewalk; however, at the same time, it is one of the most prevalent routes to entrepreneurship in the United States. Those who aim to achieve their hospitality dreams with a proper business foundation are destined to succeed, while for others, it is nothing less than climbing a mountain barefoot. When it comes to the foundation of the restaurant business, commercial kitchen equipment and supplies are incredibly crucial.

Having the appropriate commercial kitchen equipment and supplies list is essential to your restaurant's success, regardless of whether you are just starting in the hospitality sector or are a seasoned veteran. Since there are so many brands and models to choose from, it is easy to feel overwhelmed when determining which purchases are essential and which are simply money grabs.

Below we've created the ultimate buyer's guide for kitchen equipment and supplies, followed by an extensive list of essentials.

Factors to Consider When Buying Commercial Kitchen Equipment and Supplies

According to research conducted by the National Restaurant Sector, eight out of 10 business owners in the restaurant industry started from scratch. There is a good chance you already have a general idea of the various equipment and supplies required to operate a restaurant; however, this particular selection may make or break your business. Here are some essential factors to consider.

Look for Energy-Efficient Equipment and Supplies

When shopping for kitchen equipment and supplies, whether for your restaurant business or food truck, you should be aware that some of them consume a significant amount of energy. Consequently, choosing equipment or supplies with a high energy efficiency rating is a good idea to reduce the money spent on monthly electric bills. Even better, the United States Department of Energy estimates that restaurant business owners may save up to 25% on energy bills with such supplies.

Remember: Quality Over Price

When buying commercial equipment, never go straight for the cheaper prices; instead, always look for quality. The better the quality of the equipment, the longer it will survive, which means your investment will be worthwhile. Since commercial equipment is used daily, you must invest in high-quality items that can withstand pressure and handle hours of rigorous use. Additionally, check the labels to ensure the equipment is made using genuine commercial-grade materials.

Consider Functionality and Size

The size of your commercial kitchen has the potential to impact the operation's effectiveness significantly; therefore, size should be your top concern. On the other hand, your primary objective should be to invest in equipment that reduces manual effort and the amount of time needed to complete a task. In light of this, it is recommended that you go with those supplies that serve multiple purposes. This will save money as well as free up some space.

Ease of Use and Maintenance

Compared to other types of businesses, restaurants have one of the highest employee turnover rates. This is why you need to be sure that the commercial kitchen equipment you choose is simple to understand and use. Consider factors like ergonomics, how easy it is to clean, and storage possibilities. In addition, you may also need to consider the processes involved in cleaning the equipment to keep the hygienic requirements of the food preparation area up to standard.

Overall Budget and Costs

It should come as no surprise that kitchen equipment may be rather expensive, particularly if it is designed to be used in a commercial kitchen like those found in high-end restaurants. The trick is to strike a balance between what you can pay and the level of quality you want. In addition, you may need to sort out the essentials and source them first.

The first thing you need to do is make a budget and then stick to it.

Picking the Right Supplier

When buying commercial kitchen equipment and supplies, it is important to choose the right supplier. Having a supplier that is reliable, reputable, and credible will give you one less thing to worry about. Considering that the equipment and supplies are the centerpieces of any restaurant, if you're looking for a vendor that values its clientele and strives to meet its customers’ needs with products of the highest possible quality, check out TigerChef's commercial kitchen essentials.

Financing and Leasing Options

Even if you have a limited budget, you may still be able to get the necessary products with the assistance of restaurant equipment loans. When you sign a conventional lease, you pay rent in exchange for the use of the equipment, but you do not get ownership of the item. On the other hand, equipment financing enables you to return the whole cost of a piece of equipment over a period of time until you finally buy it outright. Discover TigerChef’s Equipment Financing today.

Commercial kitchen equipment and supplies list

Commercial Kitchen Equipment and Supplies List

So, by now, you know what the beating heart of a restaurant is - it's the kitchen equipment and supplies. Without these fundamentals, you won't be able to cook, whip up, or deliver delicious menu items to your customers. To build a devoted clientele base, you must equip your kitchen and storage areas with the appropriate supplies.

Profit should not be the legitimate objective of any business; instead, it should be to fulfill consumer demand for a product or service while simultaneously operating at a level of efficiency that generates a profit. The question is: how do you get a commercial kitchen off the ground and running successfully? Where do you even begin to get started to be able to deliver outstanding service? Below, we've separated the essential items for your kitchen into distinct categories, broken down as follows.

Food Preparation  
Restaurant Equipment  
Janitorial Supplies  
Storage Supplies  
Food and Beverages  
Disposable Tableware  

Let's take a more in-depth look at this commercial kitchen equipment and supplies list. Considering that no two businesses operate the same way, you might need to pay extra attention to the sections that match your restaurant's requirements and skimp on the unnecessary ones. As you go through this list, the most important thing to consider is your kitchen layout and menu.

Smallwares supplies buying guide


The term "smallwares," which is synonymous with the term "serviceware," refers to a broad variety of commercial equipment and supplies that are small in size, such as cutlery and cookware. When opening a new restaurant, purchasing new equipment is often one of the first things people think about. However, the selection of smallwares should never be left on the back burner. With appropriate smallwares in place, you can guarantee that your commercial operations will be a breeze.

Kitchen Utensils  
Kitchen Knives  
Steam Tableware  
Food Storage  
Ice Cream Supplies  
Food and Employee Safety Products  
Coffee Service  
Restaurant Signs  
Chef Wear  


When it comes to running a restaurant, you need to get everything just right. In most cases, the concept and goal of the brand are conveyed to customers via the food, the interior design of the place, the furnishings, and the employees. Dinnerware, also known as tableware, is one of these vital components that will showcase the culinary skills of your chef and the presentation of your food in the best possible light. Here’s a list of dinnerware that every restaurant must have.

Restaurant Flatware  
Melamine Dinnerware  
China Dinnerware  
Plastic Dinnerware  
Wooden Dinnerware  
Glass Dinnerware  
Restaurant Flatware  

Commercial kitchen tabletop


Once smallwares and dinnerware are sorted, it's time to pay attention to tabletops—essential supplies placed on top of the restaurant table. As a rule of thumb, every hospitality business must take time to select appropriate tabletop supplies since it is the first thing customers notice after sitting at the table while waiting for their food to arrive. Follow the checklist below to discover TigerChef's exclusive collection of tabletop supplies from top brands that are sure to wow you and your customers.

Tabletop Serveware  
Tabletop Accessories  
Condiment Holders  
Beverage Service  
Server Supplies  
Condiment Servers  

Food Preparation

When it comes to preparing food, the equipment is a crucial component of the procedure, beginning with the arrival of fresh food in the kitchen and continuing all the way through the preparation of the food for the customer. When stocking your commercial kitchen, you need the best food preparation equipment in the industry. Follow the checklist below but make sure the equipment and supplies are from leading brands like Nemco, Winco, Thunder Group, and more, all conveniently available at TigerChef.

Kitchen Knives  
Food Preparation Tools  
Seafood Preparation  
French Fry Cutters  
Commercial Slicers  
Meat Processing Equipment  
Restaurant Scales  
Commercial Mixers  
Commercial Blenders  
Commercial Immersion Blenders  

Restaurant Equipment

Whether you own a stand-alone company or are part of a restaurant or hotel chain, the commercial kitchen is often where your establishment's culinary magic happens. If you are a chef, this is the heart of your business and probably the place where you do most of your creative thinking. To work your magic, it's essential to ensure that your restaurant kitchen is always in top shape. For starters, invest in the following commercial restaurant equipment list to start on the right foot.

Cooking Equipment  
Food Warming and Holding Equipment  
Countertop Cooking  
Commercial Refrigeration  
Dishwashing Equipment  
Commercial Sinks and Faucets  
Commercial Ice Machines  
Beverage Equipment  
Work Tables  

Janitorial commercial kitchen supplies

Janitorial Supplies

Restaurants are one of the most profitable businesses to run, but at the same time, they are among the most challenging. When the whole establishment is centered on food or derivatives linked to food, cleanliness becomes the most critical battle to win. Do not put yourself in a position where you’re unprepared; take the necessary precautions to ensure you have the necessary cleaning supplies on hand. Follow the checklist below to avoid any negative marks during cleaning inspections.

Cleaning Supplies  
Restroom Supplies  
Restaurant Maintenance and Supplies  
Floor Maintenance  
Commercial Trash Cans  
Kitchen Floor Mats  
Janitorial Carts  

Storage Supplies

Ensuring that goods are kept appropriately is quite essential for any restaurant. The right supplies guarantee that your business will continue to comply with requirements and make things easier for the workers. In the end, having the right supplies for storage will help you cut down on time spent working in the kitchen, enhancing the level of service provided to the customers. To get you started, below is a list of commercial storage essentials.

Bussing Supplies  
Food Service Carts  
Storage Racks  
Restaurant Shelving  
Transport Carts and Dollies  
Storage Equipment  
Food Packaging Supplies  

Food and beverages commercial kitchen supplies

Food and Beverages

The culture around food and beverage is now more prevalent than ever. This is true regardless of whether people like trying out the newest restaurant in town or prefer going to their all-time favorite café. Keeping an adequate inventory of food and beverage supplies, including the following items, is necessary while stocking up for your restaurant. These products include:

Gum and Candy  
Water and Beverages  
Condiments and Sauces  
Coffee, Tea & Hot Cocoa  
Pet Food and Pet Care Products  
Sugar, Creamer and Sugar Substitutes  

Disposable Tableware

When restaurants all across the USA hurriedly switched their attention to takeout service, this was when disposable packaging became the only option accessible. However, even post-COVID-19, most dinnerware consists of disposable materials. Even better, these supplies are perfect for presenting drinks and snacks at catered parties. The following are some of the essentials.

Disposable Takeout Containers  
Disposable Plates  
Disposable Bar Supplies  
Disposable Utensils  
Disposable Catering Trays  
Party Supplies  
Disposable Bowls  
Disposable Mini Dishes  
Disposable Glassware  

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you're looking for commercial kitchen equipment and supplies for your newly renovated hospitality business or want to stock up on the existing inventory, we hope this article helped.

However, we're not done just yet. As a bonus, we've taken the time to answer some frequently asked questions about commercial kitchen equipment and supplies.

What Essential Equipment Does Every Restaurant Need?

The list of equipment that every restaurant needs is endless; however, one should have their inventory stocked up with the right cookware, appliances, and food storage and preparation products.

Where Should Restaurants Begin Selecting Commercial Kitchen Equipment?

To begin, you must determine the exact space requirements. Since the size of the commercial kitchen can significantly impact the operation's effectiveness, it should be your top concern.

How Can You Save Money on Commercial Equipment?

You can save money via equipment financing since it enables you to return the equipment cost over a period of time until you finally buy it outright. Discover TigerChef’s Equipment Financing today.

Final Thoughts

The use of high-quality commercial equipment and supplies in the food industry has entered the mainstream this past year and remains mandated. As of now, we can only predict that the restaurant industry will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years.

Commercial Equipment and Supplies at TigerChef

The good news is that finding the best commercial kitchen equipment and supplies has never been easier. TigerChef—the #1 shop for restaurant supplies - carries all you need to get the job done with speed and professionalism. With a wide selection of over 200,000 products from industry-leading brands, you can get it all under one roof—delivered in one go. So what's stopping you? Kickstart a successful commercial kitchen operation with TigerChef today!