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Guide to Buying Restaurant Catering Equipment


Guide to Buying Restaurant Catering Equipment

Chaffing dishes are just a few pieces of catering equipment that restaurants need.

Joel Terrell
Many restaurants offer catering services as a way to boostrestaurant sales. Both on-site and off-site catering requires special catering equipment. Before you start buying catering equipment, you must first decide how large your catering operation will be and of course, what your budget is. Read on for the basics of buying restaurant catering equipment.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: On-going

Here's How:

  1. Decide if you are going to cater on-premise, off-premise, or both.
    If you only plan to offer catering services at your restaurant, this will cut down a great deal on the type of catering equipment you will need to purchase. However, if you plan to take the show on the road, you will need to invest in specialized carriers to keep food both hot and cold (if you are making it ahead of time).
  2. Decide the scope of your catering operation
    You need to have enough catering equipment to get the job done. What is the maximum amount of people you can serve. It may be tempting to sign on for a 300 person wedding, but if you don’t have enough plates, flatware or glasses for such an event, you will have to either buy or rent them.
  3. Decide on transportation for your catering business
    One hefty piece of catering equipment is a van or other vehicle to transport all the food, dishes and staff to events. If you are starting out with smaller events, you may be able to get buy with using a personal vehicle. But if you have grandiose plans for your restaurant catering business, you will eventually need a large vehicle.
  4. Decide what catering equipment you can borrow from your restaurant
    If your catering job is fairly small, you probably can take the plates, flatware, glasses, linens and serving utensils right from your restaurant. However, if you have a big party to cater, you don’t want to leave your restaurant bare. Make sure you have enough dishes, glasses, etc…for both operations.
  5. Decide if it is better to rent some restaurant catering equipment
    Again, depending on the scope of your catering business, it may be more profitable to rent items like tables and chair, linens or dishes than investing in them. For example, that 300 person wedding mentioned above? If you aren’t likely to do a lot of 300 person events in the near future, would it be worth it to buy all the catering equipment for it, or would it be easier and cheaper to rent the extra equipment?
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