The kitchen is the heart of any restaurant, and it has to be equipped with professional restaurant equipment and supplies. Cheap items will not be able to withstand the daily demands of a busy restaurant kitchen, and regularly having to replace them doesn’t sound like a good investment at all.

Of course, depending on the type of restaurant you already own, or want to open, you might not need all the items on this list, but it should give you a good idea of what you should start shopping for. If you are ready to invest in quality commercial kitchen equipment, here are 9 must-have kitchen items for your restaurant:

Item #1: A set of chef knives

A set of chef knives is one of the must-have kitchen items for restaurants. Every kitchen, whether it’s a home kitchen or a restaurant kitchen, needs a high quality set of chef knives. They come in different sizes and styles, and they are designed to be ergonomic and comfortable, which is necessary for chefs who have to cut, slice, and chop many ingredients all day long.

Great chef knives will improve the quality of the meals your chefs prepare, and will make their job easier.

Item #2: Non-stick cookware

Your restaurant kitchen also needs a set of non-stick cookware. Non-stick pots, pans, and baking sheets will improve everyone’s experience: they will be easier to use and to clean for your kitchen staff, and your customers will be served meals of a superior quality.

A quality set of non-stick, commercial grade cookware can seem expensive at first. However, these types of commercial restaurant equipment are important investments that will benefit your restaurant for many years to come.

Item #3: Restaurant shelving

You need to keep your restaurant kitchen well organized, with plenty of storage space. Sturdy and durable commercial restaurant shelving can be used to store ingredients, kitchen tools, cookware, dinnerware, and other items, without buckling or tumbling down.

Some types of restaurant shelving are designed to be resistant to rust, which makes them ideal for walk-in coolers, refrigerators and freezers, and other environments where a lot of moisture is present in the air.

Item #4: Refrigeration equipment

No matter which types of meals you are serving in your restaurant, you will need to keep many ingredients stored in a commercial refrigerator or freezer. Quality refrigeration equipment will help prevent food spoilage, and is necessary to keep your customers safe.

Depending on the size of your restaurant and of your inventory, you could only need a small refrigerator, or a large walk-in cooler. Compare your different options, and select the right one for your situation.

Item #5: Ice machine

If you serve beverages, an ice machine would be a good investment for your restaurant kitchen. These machines quickly produce ice, and they can also store it when it’s not needed. Whenever you need to add a few ice cubes to a drink, your ice machine will deliver.

Of course, ice machines are also useful if you want to serve smoothies, slushies, and other types of blended drinks. Look for one that is easy to maintain, and will help you save some energy.

Item #6: Grills and griddles

Your kitchen will also need the right equipment to cook your meals and prepare different items on your menu. Commercial grills, stovetops, ovens, and griddles come in many styles and sizes, so they can meet the needs of different types of restaurant kitchens.

Cooking equipment represents a large investment, so before you buy or lease a grill or a griddle, take a good look at the space available in your kitchen, and consider your specific requirements.

Item #7: Salamander broiler

A salamander broiler is a useful appliance that can melt cheese, broil meat, and brown the top of different dishes right before serving them, to make them even more appetizing.

They are perfect for sandwich shops, pizzerias, and bakeries, but they can have so many applications that they are generally a welcome addition to any restaurant kitchen. Fortunately, many models are compact and don’t take up a lot of counter space.

Item #8: Commercial fryer

If there are fried items on your menu, you need a commercial fryer. Using a commercial fryer is the safest, and easiest way to prepare delicious fries, onion rings, fried chicken, and many more.

A commercial fryer will make it possible for your kitchen staff to fry a large quantity of ingredients, and quickly. Once again, there are different types and sizes of fryers to choose from, so don’t hesitate to compare a few options before making your choice.

Item #9: Grease traps

Finally, grease traps are essential items that will help protect your restaurant kitchen’s plumbing. Attaching grease traps to your sinks or dishwasher will prevent grease and large food particles from going down your water pipes, and clogging them, which can result in costly repairs.

Depending on the concept of your restaurant, other kitchen items could be essential. Which ones can you think of?