Starting a Catering Company? 9 Types of Catering Equipment You Need
If you have a passion for food and serving your community, catering may be the perfect profession for you.
For those not familiar with the catering profession, however, the industry can seem a bit daunting!
A lot of work and equipment go into running a successful catering business. If you aren't familiar with professional kitchen equipment, you probably don't know where to start.
We've compiled a list below of all the catering equipment that you will need to get your catering business up and running. Keep reading to learn what equipment will have you on your way to success!
Must-Have Catering Equipment
Whether you are just starting out in the catering world or you're a seasoned caterer, there is some equipment that is an absolute necessity regardless of your experience in the field. Without the basics, you will struggle to run your catering business.
1. Upright Commercial Fridge
If you are getting started in the catering business, one of the first things you'll want to invest in is a commercial fridge. This is your standard upright fridge, perfect for product display or storage.
If you're working with food on a daily basis, you will want to invest in an upright fridge in order to keep product fresh and up to code.
Stainless steel interiors and exteriors are a plus when it comes to commercial fridges, as well as those with bottom units or a split door design. Ultimately, every caterer's kitchen operates in a different way, so find an upright commercial fridge that best suits your kitchen's needs.
2. Bar Fridge
Once you've found the perfect commercial fridge, you will also want to look for the perfect bar fridge. A commercial bar fridge is an absolute necessity if you're going to be working events that feature alcohol.
You have a lot of options when it comes to bar fridges. You can get built-in bar fridges or free-standing ones. You can get a single-door, double-door, or triple-door drink cooler, all depending on your needs. There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to choosing a bar fridge, so find the unique bar fridge that will best work for your catering needs!
3. Commercial Oven
Just about every catering business will find themselves using an oven daily, so it's important to choose the best commercial oven for your needs.
Conveyor ovens are one option. When in use, food is placed on a conveyor belt in the oven. After going through a timed cooking process, the food will come out on the other end ready to serve!
Convection ovens will cook your product by circulating air to give an even cook, while commercial microwave ovens will cook your food with just the touch of a button!
There are other options available as well, such as combi-steam ovens and pizza ovens. You may find that your catering business only requires one type of oven or that you work most effectively with two or three different types of ovens.
4. Bain Marie
There's a high chance that you will be providing hot food for most of the events you are catering. That's why a Bain Marie is a must. A bain Marie cabinet will keep your hot product warm during your catering hours. Depending on your catering needs, you may prefer a dry Bain Marie over a wet one or vice versa.
A wet Bain Marie allows you to submerge stainless steel containers of food into hot water baths to keep them warm and at food-safe temperatures. These are a good choice for extended catering events, as the steam and moisture from the hot water will keep food from drying out.
Dry Bain Marie cabinets act in a similar way, however they remove the hot water element. The steel containers are heated directly, which makes these a good choice for mobile catering as there's no need to wait for the water to heat up.
Wet and dry Bain Maries both have their pros and cons, so take some time to figure out which is better for you, or if your catering business could make use of both!
Regardless of what kind of events you are servicing, your catering business will need a dishwasher to maintain a high level of hygiene. Commercial dishwasher machines are extremely fast-working and can handle large batches of dirty dishes at once.
There are dishwashers for every kitchen, from a conveyor style warewasher to an undercounter dishwasher. An investment in a dishwasher is an absolute necessity to ensure your customer's health and safety.
6. Stainless Steel Benches
Stainless steel benches are a necessity in the catering world. To achieve any kind of food prep, you will want to have at least one stainless steel bench to operate as a workspace in your kitchen. Stainless steel benches are perfect for this because they are easy to clean, allowing you to maintain a hygienic work environment.
You can purchase stainless steel benches in a variety of sizes and lengths. They often also include lower shelving, perfect for any additional storage you may desire in your kitchen.
7. Cake Display
Everyone's favourite part of a meal...dessert! If you are featuring cakes and other desserts within your catering business, you will want a cake display fridge to properly show off your product.
You have quite a few options when it comes to cake displays as well. There are displays with two or three shelves, depending on your needs. You can also get displays with a curved glass display or a standard vertical display.
This should be a given, but sometimes we get so caught up in the big picture that we forget about the little things, like pots and pans! Cookware is essential for a catering business.
It's critical to stock your kitchen with pots, lids, spatulas, grill scrapers, tongs, spoons, bowls, ladles, etc. The last thing you want is to be halfway through food preparation only to realize you don't have some of the basic cookware required to finish the prep.
9. Ice Machines
Having ice is more important than you'd think for just about every professional food provider. If you're building a catering business plan, you will want to invest in an ice machine.
If you are catering weddings or other big events where you'll be serving drinks, you'll want to have a supply of ice on hand for your bar patrons. Additionally, ice is used when cooling down or thinning products, such as hot soups.
There are ice machines available for every catering budget and suitable for various spaces, from larger full-scale ice machines to ice machines that you can store under prep benches.
Once you've figured out all the catering equipment that is necessary for you to run a successful catering company, the only step left is to follow through and make the wisest purchases for your own business!
Remember that you will only get as much out of your products as you put into them, so be thoughtful when buying your equipment and setting up your catering space.