Buying Guide

What to Buy Before Opening a Restaurant

New Restaurant EquipmentFor restaurant owners just starting out, the search for the right equipment and supplies can be daunting. Figuring out exactly what you need is a difficult task. For any restaurant, there will be a long list of equipment and supplies that need to be procured before even opening, and that list is different for each person and each restaurant.

Determining What Equipment You Need

The equipment you need will largely depend on your menu and your restaurant concept. However, here are a few general guidelines to follow when you first make up the list of equipment you want to purchase:

Limit yourself. When deciding how much equipment you need, the key is to limit your equipment. Evaluate your menu to determine the fewest pieces of equipment that are needed to produce all of the dishes. For example, if you own a sandwich shop, your absolutely essential equipment needs might be limited to a commercial refrigeratorsrefrigerated prep tablesice machines and meat slicers.

Add strategic extras. The list of essential equipment should be your basis for purchasing. However, if you have extra room in the kitchen and enough extra capital, you can purchase extra pieces: for example, a commercial food processor or cheesemelter. While this equipment may not be a necessity, it can reduce the kitchen labor required to produce your menu, enhance the final taste or appearance of the food or make your kitchen more flexible in case you need to change your menu in the future.

Does slightly imperfect sound perfect to you? 
Shop Burkett’s Scratch and Dent Clearance section today!

Determining What Supplies You Need

Most commercial kitchens need basic kitchen utensils on hand, such as scoops, spoons and spatulas. Often, fledgling restaurant owners overlook purchasing these necessities until the last minute, so before opening, be sure to consider even the smallest things you will need.

Speed up your kitchen. Purchase handy food prep supplies, like vegetable cutters and slicers for high volume produce. Commercial kitchen tools like these can help increase your workers’ productivity.

Stock up for storage. The last thing you want to do is overlook your storage requirements. Every restaurant will need food storage and shelving to hold its supplies. Many full-service restaurants will also require food service carts to help move supplies from one area of the kitchen to another.

Do not overlook the tabletop. Every restaurant will need smallwares. Quick-service establishments will need disposable restaurant supplies, while full-service restaurants will need reusable dinnerware and drinkware. Most restaurants will also need other supplies for their tabletop, like condiment containerstabletop signs and food baskets.

Remember food safety supplies. Gloves, pot holdershairnets and thermometers are easy to overlook, but they include essential items that any commercial kitchen needs to meet strict health codes and keep workers and customers safe.

Finding the Right Equipment and Supplies

Every restaurant is different and therefore has different equipment requirements. Using a buying guide or speaking directly with an expert will empower you to make the best possible decisions when purchasing equipment.

Think about going green. Purchasing eco-friendly restaurant equipment and supplies is a good way to help the environment and attract customers at the same time. It will also help you save a significant amount of money on your utility bills.

Consider used or discounted equipment. On a tight budget? You may want to look into buying used equipment or equipment that is cosmetically damaged. Although there is some risk involved, for some restaurant operations, this is a viable option. Check out this blog post on the pros and cons of used restaurant equipment.

Finding a Good Dealer

You can often get a better deal if you choose one restaurant supply dealer and stick with it. Since you order all of your supplies from one business, you are likely to receive a discount. To find a dealer that is right for you, you must first consider your priorities. Usually, your priorities will include one or more of the following:

  • Price. While a local dealer may offer excellent pricing, usually the least expensive products can be found online. However, the cheapest online dealers usually offer low prices but lack the customer care services and expertise that can be found with higher-priced online or brick-and-mortar dealers.
  • Expertise. Speak directly with salespeople to determine their level of expertise. If the salespeople seem to be experts at making a sales pitch, rather than having knowledge about the actual products they are selling, it may be time to find another dealer.
  • Customer Service. When buying expensive equipment, any restaurant owner should make sure that their dealer offers superior customer service. Without good customer care, if you receive damaged equipment or your equipment does not live up to your expectations for any reason, you may be stuck with it.
  • Installation. One of the major advantages of buying from a local restaurant equipment dealer is that they will often provide you with equipment installation, for a fee. If you buy your equipment online or at an auction, you are less likely to find installation included in the package. However, some online dealers, such as www.Burkett.com, will help you find someone to install the equipment.

When looking for a good dealer, it is also important to look into the following:

  • Shipping costs
  • Return policies
  • Parts availability

Finding the right equipment and supplies at a good price from a reasonable dealer is a major aspect of opening a restaurant. If you do not have the right supplies from the right dealer, it will end up hurting your bottom line in the long run. Be sure to carefully consider your equipment and supply needs, as well as your choice of dealer, before you begin to purchase.

Portable Draft Beer Keg Coolers: Perfect for the Outdoors!

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How do you plan to store and cool beer kegs during a concert or outdoor party? Keg coolers can be portable and provide great performance for parties, receptions, and more. Burkett Restaurant Equipment carries a variety of portable draft beer keg coolers, all of which are the perfect accessory for your outdoor events and catering! Two coolers that we suggest are from True Manufacturing, a leader in the refrigeration industry. 

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The True TDD-1 Keg Cooler allows you to keep a keg of your customers’ favorite draft right in front of the bar. This beer dispenser is designed with enduring value and quality. It is made with the highest quality materials, and assures colder product temperatures and years of trouble-free service. This oversized, factory balanced, refrigeration system holds 33°F to 38°F (.5°C to 3.3°C). With a stainless steel counter top and black vinyl exterior, this cooler not only looks great, but hides scratches and dents well.

 

 

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The True TDD-1-S Keg Cooler from Burkett Restaurant Equipment lets you provide your customers with chilled-to-perfection brews. It also keeps your drafts fresh for long periods of time, all without reducing quality or taste. It is also an oversized, factory balanced, refrigeration system that holds 33°F to 38°F (.5°C to 3.3°C). Its interior features a stainless steel floor with 1/2″ (13 mm) reinforced lip, and heavy gauge galvanized steel walls. It is NSF-7 approved for bottled and packaged product. The cooler comes with an anodized aluminum glass rail on top that provides convenient storage for glasses.

 

Keg coolers are available in different materials and sizes, and finding the right one for you is easy with Burkett. Visit our website for the current selection, and contact a sales representative for more details or questions. Your guests deserve the coldest draft beer and fast service, so give them both with a draft keg cooler from True.

Steam Kettles vs. Tilting Skillets

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Are you considering a new steam kettle or tilting skillet for your restaurant but don’t know which is best for your business? Both options have a lot of pros. Take a look at the highlights below and contact one of Burkett Restaurant Equipment’s knowledgeable account representatives today!

Steam kettles are unique because they cook more quickly than standard stock pots. They are a good spot to heat soups, sauces, and pasta quickly. Cooking is achieved through the steam jacket- a welded space between the cooking surface and the steam source that holds steam and creates a larger cooking surface area. Therefore, steam heats evenly and every serving is the same as the next. Steam kettles come in two varieties- self-contained, in which the steam kettle has its own built-in steam source, and direct steam, where a separate boiler provides steam to the unit. We offer a large variety in steam kettles to suit any need, in varying sizes depending on how much food you are preparing.

Tilting skillets are a great space saving unit for smaller restaurants as well as a versatile piece of equipment for larger ones. Tilting skillets allow you to cook soup in one space, scramble eggs, brown meat for chili, and then cook the chili. The tilting skillet is one of the most variable items we sell. Available in countertop or floor models, there is a model to fit your space requirements. They also come in hand-tilt models for the personalized feel or a steadier pour for soups, or power-tilt models for the larger batches of thicker items that are too heavy to pour by hand. A tilting skillet is one of the best things a restaurant can buy because of their versatility and convenience.

If you need help making the right choice for your business, give our friendly sales team a call at 844-788-4684.

Nine Big Benefits of Light Duty Deck Ovens

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Light Duty Deck Ovens are great for commercial or even residential use, heating a simple pizza to serve a customer or to feed a family. Light duty models are much less intrusive on your space and energy costs, keeping floor space open in any size kitchen for other equipment.

Burkett Restaurant Equipment offers various pizza oven styles to fit your restaurant countertop requirements. We offer deck style, conveyor, and wire rack oven types. Pizza oven door styles include pull down doors, and drawer-style openings that allow for easy rack sliding and product loading and unloading. Our models range from 4,000 watts up to over 10,000 watts, with BTU options ranging from 40,000 BTU up to 150,000 BTU. Electric and gas models are available to meet your commercial kitchen’s specific electrical specifications.

Are you curious about some of the features and benefits of light duty deck ovens? See below for more information.

  • – High quality brushed stainless steel exterior
  • – Durable heating elements provide even heating performance throughout the oven.
  • – Wider oven opening provides more versatility than standard pizza ovens.
  • – Adjustable Temperature Control
  • – Easy set timer.
  • – Heavy duty chrome plated baking rack.
  • – Removable, stamped aluminized steel crumb tray for easy clean-up.
  • – Ergonomically designed and convenient space saving flip-up handle.
  • – Skid-resistant feet.

Supplies You Need to Cater a Buffet

Catering CartSummer is filled with celebrations, from weddings and graduation parties to holiday get-togethers. Whether you’re a small, start-up catering business, a mom preparing to celebrate her recent grad or a large banquet hall gearing up for wedding season, Burkett Restaurant Equipment has all of the serving line equipment and supplies you need – from set up to tear down – at the right price.

Catering & Buffet Supplies

Concessions Appliances: Burkett Restaurant Equipment offers a wide range of concession equipment ideal for catering and buffet services. Burkett carries new equipment for every concession need, whether you’re serving hot beverages from your new cappuccino machine, fresh soft pretzels from a heated merchandiser, or hot and juicy hot dogs off the roller grill. Don’t forget to pick up condiment dispensers so your customers can doctor up their snacks, and a popcorn machine to entice patrons with the smell of fresh popcorn wafting through the air. Shop our entire collection of concession equipment and supplies today for quality and variety.

Serving and Display Ware: One of the most important parts of a successful catering experience is the manner in which food and drink is served. For businesses, this means it is vital they have the proper equipment and supplies to present and serve food in an appealing and efficient manner. Burkett provides a selection of catering supplies including a wide variety of serving and display ware.

Hot & Cold Buffet Stations:  When the temperature of the food you serve is a priority, having the right equipment is vital. Cold Buffet Stations make it easy to keep your cold food chilled and ready to serve. Hot buffet stations are great for cafeterias, presentations, travelling restaurants, and catering companies because they are mobile. Utility Buffet Stations make it easy to keep your cold food chilled and ready to serve. You can choose from refrigerated cold food serving stations and non-refrigerated cold food serving stations to meet your business needs depending on what you are serving and where you are serving it at.

Banquet Carts: From Sunday brunch to memorable events and tabletop displays, banquet carts are valuable pieces of catering equipment when it comes to promoting your culinary excellence. Banquet carts designed to be mobile, keeping hot goods fresh for foodservice operations. Banquet cabinets are especially great for catering services because of their mobility. We sell a variety of heated cabinets with capacities ranging from 14 to 36 pans to keep it at just the right size for your uses.

Chafers & Accessories: Find all your chafing dishes, pans, and accessories at Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies. Our high quality chafers, including stainless steel chafing pans, and accessories will keep your buffet elegant and efficient. We offer chafing dishes and more from the leading manufacturers and brands at the low prices you love.

How to size Grease Traps

grease trapFats, oils, and greases have no place in drains. A commercial grease trap is the ideal solution to keep them out. Grease traps slow the flow of water allowing the oils and grease to cool and then collect them to be cleaned out. Burkett Restaurant Equipment offers a variety of grease traps. To properly size one you need to use the following formula:

Commercial grease traps are sized according to the rate of incoming flow, in gallons per minute (GPM). Associated with this incoming flow rate is the trap’s capacity. This rated capacity, in pounds, is listed at twice the flow rate. For example, a 10 GPM trap has a rated capacity of 20 pounds.

Keep in mind to consider not only how much grease you may generate, but also the size of the bowl on your sink. Similarly to overflowing a funnel, if your grease trap is too small it won’t be able to keep up with the rate of water flow.

It is important to size a grease trap larger than calculated (round up to next available size only). A grease interceptor that is extremely oversized will have longer periods between pump-outs. The rotting grease will adversely affect the structure of the grease interceptor.

Tips for Buying Restaurant Equipment for your Home

buy-equipment-for-your-homeA trend in home kitchens is the use of commercial equipment like the pros use; emulating celebrity chefs can be fun and a great way to practice restaurant techniques at home. Many of these consumers know that commercial equipment can be versatile and durable compared to conventional home appliances. With special considerations, some commercial pieces can have a home within a residence. Burkett Restaurant Equipment is a leading dealer for commercial foodservice equipment and supplies that welcomes residential customers, and wants to provide a few important pieces of information you need to be aware of before you start shopping.

Purchasing Commercial Restaurant Equipment

The equipment Burkett sells is designed for commercial use in restaurants, school and hospital cafeterias, and food trucks or trailers. If you are considering purchasing commercial equipment for your home kitchen, please keep in mind the following:

  1. Commercial equipment is much louder than residential grade equipment, and often utilizes considerably more energy.
  2. Commercial equipment requires special clearance, insulation and power sources.
  3. Many times your home owners insurance will be voided if commercial grade equipment is installed in your home. Check with your insurance agent or homeowners policy before installing in your home.
  4. Manufacturers do not honor warranties when commercial equipment is used in a non-commercial setting.

With that being said, Burkett offers our home chefs a multitude of non-equipment items for your kitchen. Many of our small wares and tabletop items are available for purchase including:

  1. Bakery Supplies
  2. Bar Supplies
  3. Cookware
  4. Commercial Cutlery
  5. Pizza Supplies
  6. Food Prep Items (whisks, mixing bowls, etc.)
  7. Tumblers and Drinkware
  8. Dinnerware and Serving Platter/Bowls
  9. And more!

Many of these items can make a home chef comfortable creating restaurant-inspired recipes, and give confidence in their abilities to grow their culinary skills! By simply adding a Vitamix blender or specialty knives, a home chef can take their kitchen to a whole new level.

Benefits of Buying Melamine Dinnerware

THU-1010TB-2Melamine dinnerware is an economical solution for busy homes and restaurants where traditional china isn’t ideal. Melamine is available in a variety of colors and sizes to match any décor and, better yet, it’s nearly indestructible. If you’re looking for more reasons to give melamine a try, keep reading!

Savings
Melamine truly is a long-term investment. While it also tends to be more inexpensive than traditional china and other dinnerware, melamine is durable and lasts long – even after continual, everyday use. No more worrying about shattering or chipping your plates and mugs.

Variety
Melamine dinnerware is a great option if you’re looking to add a little color and fun to your table. Melamine tableware is designed for many occasions and applications; and is offered in a variety of colors and patterns. In addition, many of the brands offer higher end selections that appear like china and ceramic dinnerware, if you’re trying to keep it classy.

Nearly Indestructible
Thanks to its design, melamine is shatterproof. Melamine can withstand a number of scenarios. Whether you accidentally drop a plate or bowl there’s a good chance your melamine dinnerware will be perfectly fine. An added bonus, melamine is also relatively scratch resistant meaning no more marks from your silverware.

Insulation
Melamine is ideal for cold food displays because of its great insulation. Melamine is ideal for any cold application – salad bars, buffets, deli displays. Melamine also stays cool to the touch, so it’s perfect for nights when you’re serving hot entrees.

BPA Free
Melamine is safe for use. It won’t transfer or leach into food product as long it is not heated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. While it’s not suggested for ovens or microwaves, it is dishwasher safe and meets NSF approval for food safety.

How to Maintain Your Commercial Garbage Disposal

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Garbage DisposerDisposals provide a convenient way to deal with food waste, while improving sanitation in your kitchen. In the name of spring cleaning, here’s a closer look at how to maintain your commercial disposer, thanks to our friends at FES Magazine.

Commercial garbage disposals haven’t changed much since their initial design. Most basic commercial disposals are scaled up versions of residential types and range from 1/2 to 10 HP. While disposals require minimal maintenance, proper use will lengthen the system’s service life. Disposals are simple to maintain, and feature and easy-to-clean corrosion resistant finish.

Some things to keep in mind when utilizing your disposal:

  1. Do not use these systems to dispose fat, oil and grease.
  2. Flushing the drain after use will help prevent clogs. Some controls do this automatically.
  3. Periodically check your grind plates to help prevent clogs.
  4. After feeding waste through the disposer, run cold water for 10 to 20 seconds to push all of the particles to the main sewer line.
  5. While some systems just need to be wiped clean, others may include automatic cleaning flush systems that need to be activated on a daily basis.
  6. Use cold water to flush waste, since hot water can melt fat and allow it to solidify and block the drain line.

So how do you know when it’s time to replace your disposal? Depending on running time, the type of waste being processed, and drain plumbing conditions, a typical disposal can last an average of five years or as long as 20 years.

Here are five signs a disposal has reached the end of its service life.

Excessive Noise: Unusual or excessive noise, along with water leakage represent a pair of obvious signs a disposal is failing and needs replacement.

Drain Backups: This may indicate the blade teeth are worn and the mechanism needs replacing or may signify the disposal is on its way out.

Increased Grind Time: Blades wear out over time and when processing an excessive amount of hard material at high volumes. Signs such as increased grinding time or frequent clogging may signify a new disposal is needed.

Cracks: Over time, the disposal may develop cracks due to excessive use, chemicals and vibrations. Retire the unit when its construction is compromised.

Buying Guide: All About Cookware

A set of saucepans, stainless steelAlong with your range and oven, good cookware is one of the most important long-term investments you can make for your restaurant. A well-stocked kitchen likely contains most of the pieces listed below. Browse our guide to build your perfect cookware collection.

Frying Pan

Frying pans have curved side walls for easy stirring and sliding food out of the pan. They’re ideal for scrambling, sautéing, searing, and…well…frying. Their sloped sides prevent steam from forming in the pan.

Sauté Pan

Sauté pans have a wide bottom area for maximum heat conduction. They are ideal for sautéing, searing, deglazing, poaching, and stir flying. Their straight, tall sides help contain food and expose all sides to heat and minimize spattering.

Stir Fry Pan

Stir fry pans offer deep, curved sides to promote excellent food movement. These flat bottom pans sit level on cooking surfaces as opposed to a traditional wok, which has a round bottom.

Saucier

A saucier is a hybrid between a sauce pan and a frying pan. Sauciers can sauté, brown, poach, stir-fry, and build a sauce. Their curved sides allow for thorough and efficient whisking too.

Straight Sided Sauce Pan

A wide bottom area allows for maximum heat conduction in straight sided sauce pans. They are ideal for creating and reducing sauces and cooking vegetables. They often come with a lid to control evaporation and accelerate cooking.

Tapered Sauce Pan

A tapered sauce pan features a small bottom diameter for less heat exposure. The flared sides allow for good stirring action. Tapered sauce pans are ideal when you need to cook at a lower temperature for a longer period of time.

Brazier

The wide heating surface of braziers allows you to cook meats and vegetables in small amounts of liquid. Braziers are ideal for slow cooking and for hot baths along with tapered sauce pans for melting butters, heading sauces, or for blanching vegetables. With their large diameter and short side walls, they are a great multi-use pot in any kitchen.

Sauce Pot

Sauce pots are shorter and wider than stock posts to make it easier to work over the pot. They feature a wide bottom area for maximum heat conduction and they’re ideal for slow cooking stews, sauces, soups, casseroles, and roasts while reducing the amount of liquid. They often have two handles for easy pouring and movement.

Stock Pot

Stock pots have a smaller diameter and taller height to preserve liquids longer. Their dimensions force liquids to bubble up through the ingredients, maximizing your flavor. Stock pots offer a thick base for a good slow simmer and are ideal for soups, pastas, bulk vegetables and seafood.

Griddle

A griddle pan is designed to heat or brown foods. It has a wide, flat bottom for a maximum cooking area. Griddles are a great place to cook eggs, grilled cheese, quesadillas, and sandwiches.

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