Posts tagged by: restaurant equipment

What to Buy Before Opening a Restaurant

Fast casual food dining area with chairs and wooden tablesFor 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 discount restaurant supply 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 containers, condiment holders and food baskets.

Remember food safety supplies. Glovespot 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, 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.

Supplies You Need to Cater a Buffet

Grey Catering Cart with wheelsSummer 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 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 franks off the hot dog 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, traveling 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.

Heated Banquet Cabinets: 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 are 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 hot food transport carts with capacities ranging from 14 to 36 pans to keep it at just the right size for your uses.

Chafers Dishes & Accessories: Find all your chafing dishes, pans, and accessories at Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies. Our high quality chafers, including stainless steel chafers, 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.

Buy Now, Pay Later with Burkett’s Equipment Financing Program

LeasingBurkett offers customers the opportunity to get the equipment they need, for an affordable monthly price. We’ve partnered with QuickSpark Financial to offer financing on all of our new equipment. Applying is easy and there’s no obligation.

Why should you finance?

The Payments are Affordable – Choose from a variety of payment terms to ensure the best fit for your business. Terms range from 24 to 60 months. We also offer Variable Payments that can be matched to seasonal cash flow variations and other budget limitations.

It’s 100% Tax Deductible – An IRS Tax Code allows your business to deduct the full purchase price for the equipment you’re financing in the current tax year. You essentially get a year of equipment tax-free!

Get More for Your Money – Leasing your equipment minimizes initial costs and allows you to earn profits from your new equipment faster.

Keep Lines of Credit Open – Keep potential lines of credit open for financial emergencies and use leasing to help build your credentials with any bank.

Avoid Bank Restrictions – Leases do not include blanket liens, restrictive covenants, rate escalator clauses, “call anytime” provisions, compensating balance requirements, or many of the other surprises related to traditional lending arrangements.

Financial Reporting Advantages – We can structure leases to meet FASB requirements for “off balance sheet” accounting.

If restaurant equipment leasing sounds like the right solution for you, learn more and apply now.

Restaurant Resource: How to Test for Gas Leaks in Your Kitchen

A few months ago, I found a natural gas leak in my basement. While I watched my local gas company pull out and test my appliances and various gas lines in and around my house, I realized I could have taken some preventative measures. Because not all leaks are large enough to be detected by smell, it’s important to periodically test your restaurant equipment that is fueled by natural gas. The two most common ways to test for a leak is through a bubble test and using an electronic leak detector.

Bubble tests can be easily performed with a simple mixture of soap and water. You can also buy commercially prepared test solutions. These solutions can be more reliable since they’re designed to stick to your pipes and valves for easier detection. To use them, simply brush or spray the solution on the pipes, fittings and valves. If you have a gas leak, the solution will bubble at the site of the leak.

An inexpensive electronic leak detector can be found at any hardware store. Even the tiniest leak will set off the audio alarms. They are simple to use, often just require batteries for operation.

Where to Check for Leaks

Prior to beginning any test, turn off the gas at the shut-off valve and then burn off any gas remaining in the stove. Start by testing the flex pipe that connects your range to the cut-off valve. Keep in mind that older ranges are more prone to flex pipe leaks. Also, thoroughly check the cut-off valve itself.

Check all the individual control valves for the top burners, oven and broiler. Check the oven/broiler’s thermostatically controlled valve and all the internal pipe connections. Finally, check the pilot light connections if your range has the older pilot light systems.

What to Do if You Find a Leak

If the leak is coming from the cut-off valve itself or coming from around the valve’s shaft, call in a professional to replace the valve. Replacing a leaking flex pipe, burner-control valves, oven thermostatic control valve or internal piping can be done easily. Contact your range manufacturer for parts and instructions. Burkett Restaurant Equipment houses numerous owners and installation manuals for a range of products.

The Vita-Prep… This One is for Food!

With the ability to chop, grind, puree or blend dense ingredients at the exact speed, the Vita-Prep offers unparalleled commercial kitchen versatility. That’s right, the Vita-Prep’s 2 peak output HP motor allows you to whip up amazing guacamole, salsa, bisque’s and more with the simple flick of a button. Variable speed control also allows for flexibility and creativity while maintaining the integrity of your ingredients and a patented accelerator tool allows for easy control and processing of dense ingredients.

Vitamix also offers the Vita-Prep 3. From chopping delicate ingredients to blending tough purees this food preparation machine  is the only tool you’re kitchen will need to perfectly chop, grind and blend it all. The Vita-Prep 3 contains an advanced cooling fan for optimum reliability during peak hours of operation so that you do not burn out your motor.

The third food preparation blender is the Vitamix XL Variable Speed. Maximize your kitchen’s possibilities with this heavy-duty unit, that will reduce prep-time, improve staff efficiency and allow you to expand your menu capabilities. Its large blending capacity, allows for up to 24 8 oz. servings in a blending cycle.

Warranties are always important selling points when investing in expensive commercial equipment. The Vita-Prep and XL comes with a standard three-year limited warranty on motor and base parts and a one-year limited warranty on parts and labor of the full unit.

Vita-Prep Features & Benefits

  • 2 HP Variable speed
  • 2.0 liter high-impact container
  • Polycarbonate container with wet blade
  • 54 page recipe and technique guide.

Vita-Prep 3 Features & Benefits

  • 3 HP Variable speed
  • (2.0 liter) high-impact container
  • Polycarbonate container w/ wet blade
  • 54 page recipe and technique guide
Vitamix XL Variable Speed Features & Benefits
  • 4.2 peak output HP.
  • Extra large 1.5 gal. container with lid
  • Extra blending capacity for both hot and cold ingredients.
  • Pulse function and variable speed control allows for flexibility and creativity.

When volume, consistency and quality are essential, Vita-Prep is perfect in even the busiest of kitchens.

How to Properly Grease a Cake Pan

Picture this.. You’ve spent hours beating, mixing, and stirring all the ingredients to make the most delectable cake your customers will ever eat. After much hard work and love, you pour your batter into a cake pan and gently place it in a 350-degree preheated oven for 40 minutes. You sit back and wait until your timer dings. After allowing the cake to cool you flip it over to remove it from the pan and……. NOTHING HAPPENS! Your delicious cake is stuck in the Cake Pan and no matter how much you try to wiggle it out it’s not going anywhere unless you pry it out. You followed all the steps perfectly except one thing- you didn’t properly grease the pan to allow the cake to be easily removed.

Don’t let this happen again! Before you make the batter, grease the pan. Here are 3 steps to ensuring that any cake will easily slide out of its pan.

  1. Melt butter/shortening in the Microwave in 10-15 second increments until it completely melts.
  2. Using a Pastry Brush, evenly spread butter all over the inside of the pan (make sure to get the corners very well)
  3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour* at a time into the greased cake pan. Shake the pan to spread the flour side to side, then turn the pan in circles to coat the sides, adding more flour if needed.

*If you’re baking chocolate cake use cocoa instead of flour to avoid white spots on the bottom and side of the cake.

Follow these easy steps and your cake won’t stick!

5 Most Common Types of Bakeware for Perfect Baking

Are you baking a cake or making cupcake muffins? Are you getting ready to bake up your classic cheesecake recipe or making your customers favorite dinner rolls? Having the proper pan will simplify the baking process and ensure perfect baked goods.

Baking Sheet Pans… A necessity from the most elite commercial kitchen to a  basic at home cook, Baking Sheets are a handy product. Use them to bake dinner rolls, prepare  or to make tasty meat pies.  Baking Sheets have rolled edges which makes them perfect for roasting foods that produce a lot of juice- such as apple strudels and come in 3 sizes- Quarter, Half, and Full-Size Sheet Pans. We carry a great selection of aluminum pans that are affordable, bake evenly, and are easy to clean. Just make sure not to bake acidic foods with them because the pans will create an unappealing metallic taste to the food.

Cooking Sheets Made with the same aluminum material construction as Baking Sheets, Cookie Sheets do not have rolled edges which makes them perfect for baking cookies or jelly-cake rolls! Unlike aluminum sheets, nonstick sheets are darker in color, and will bake cookies quicker than standard. While cookies will come out crunchy, the nonstick surfaces are easy to clean.

Spring Form Cake Pans… Have you ever made a deliciously succulent cheesecake only for it to stick in a standard round Cake Pan? What makes Spring Form Pans unique is its interlocking sides which  allows for the sides and bottom to be removed. Available in 6, 8, 9, and 12″ sizes.

Bundt/Angel Food Cake Pans…  Now who doesn’t love a perfectly rounded cake with a hole in the middle for easy serving? Characterized by a distinctive ridged ring, Bundt Pans, the center hold ensures an even bake. Our Bundt Pans are made from cast aluminum, with a fluted design and features a non-stick interior. Similar to a Bundt Pan, an Angel Food Cake Pan is used to create light and spongy cake. The main difference is the flat sides of the Angel Food Cake Pan allows for easy release.

Cake Pans… There are a variety of cake pans available in different sizes and shapes that will help you create perfect cakes time and time again. 9″ Round Cake Pans are perfect for making double-layered cakes with silky frosting or fruit compotes between each layer. Rectangular 9×12″ Cake Pans are ideal for single-layered cakes, biscuits, and dinner rolls.

Commerical Mixer Maintenance Ensures Longevity, Efficiency

globe sp60 floor mixerIf you’ve invested thousands of dollars in a commercial mixer, chances are you rely heavily on this piece of equipment for your daily operations. The last thing you want is for it to break down and interrupt your sales. A well-maintained mixer will last many years regardless of how often or rigorous its use. For that reason, it is important that you understand how to maintain your mixer to maximize its longevity.

Read the manual and refer to it when you need advice: If you have any questions about your mixer or do not fully understand how to properly use it, refer to your Instruction Manual

A clean mixer Improves its longevity: The reasons to clean your mixer are pretty obvious. Besides contamination, a poorly cleaned mixing bowl could cause discoloration of the mixed product. Before you begin to clean your mixer turn it off and disconnect or unplug it from the electrical source.

  • Dilute detergent per supplier’s instruction.
  • DO NOT hose down or pressure wash any part of the Mixer.
  • NEVER use a scrubber pad, steel wool, or abrasive material to clean the Mixer.
  • NEVER use bleach (sodium hypochlorite) or bleach based cleaner.
  • ALWAYS remove the agitator after each batch. If not, the agitator can become stuck on the shaft and become difficult to remove.

Generally, hand washing the Mixers components with mild soap and water, drying and sanitizing is the proper way to clean your equipment.

The recommended cleaning frequency for the bowl cradle, exterior and hub interior is daily. After each use, clean the agitators, bowl, safety guard, rear splash guard, and planetary shift

Lubrication for maximum performance:  A mixer is only as strong as its weakest link, so keep your mixer well oiled to maximize its performance. For example, a mixer that is not regularly lubricated will cause the safety guard to seize up (not move freely) or cause the agitator to not go onto the planetary shaft easily. Another problem that can occur is that the mixing bowl will stick or stop operating entirely. Mineral oil or food quality grease is generally recommended for lubrication.

NEVER Overload: Prior to purchasing a mixer, determine how much product you’ll be mixing in each batch. Remember to leave yourself extra space in the bowl so the mixture can be properly mixed. Don’t forget, once you combine dry ingredients with liquid ingredients, your mixture will expand (also known as Absorption Ration or AR%). For an easy way to calculate this, refer to the mixer’s capacity chart, located in the instruction manual.  An overloaded mixer will be noisy, cause whip wires to break or lead to a broken dough hook.

Repairing a mixer can be a costly, and a poorly maintained Mixer will void the manufacturer’s warranty. Contact Burkett Customer Service to discuss options to troubleshoot your issue and get you back up and mixing.

10 Tips to Ensure You’re Purchasing the Right Restaurant Equipment

It’s a restaurateurs worst nightmare. You’ve spent months (perhaps years) preparing for your grand opening. You’ve selected the theme of your restaurant, picked the perfect location for success, and created a killer menu. While these are all vital steps in opening a restaurant, many owners overlook the importance of selecting the correct equipment. This oversight can lead to failed inspections and delays in your opening.  Here are 10 ways to make sure that you do not fall into this situation.

1- Talk to Your Local Health Inspector! Have a firm understanding of  the laws in your area and purchase accordingly. Customers always ask if a particular item needs to be under a hood- they shouldn’t be asking us. They need to ask their local health inspector because it depends on where they are located and what specific health laws need to be obeyed.

2- Talk to a Consultant! By communicating your needs and your business specifications your Consultant will verify that the equipment is the correct size and has the correct connection requirements. You may know what you WANT, but do you know what you NEED? That’s where a Consultant will come in and walk you through the steps to ensure a perfect transaction.

3- Follow the Instructions! If the instructions say “Professional Installation is Required” please heed this. So often we find out that equipment has been damaged making the warranty void because an owner thinks they can save a few dollars by installing the equipment themselves. (This also means do not hire an unlicensed handy man!)

4- Consider Your Usage!  While sometimes a lower priced product is just a lower price product, often it is a light duty piece of equipment that was never intended to withstand the rigors of a demanding restaurant kitchen. A product that may be a bit more expensive, on the other hand will generally be of comprised of better quality components and offer longer warranties. Know your usage and purchase accordingly.

5- Inspect Your Delivery! Would you take possession of a car without inspecting it for damages first? Of course not! We hope you’re doing the same when you accept a True® Refrigerator from a freight company. It is extremely important that you OPEN THE PACKAGE and inspect the product for package- don’t just inspect the outside of it. According to the policies of many carriers, once you sign for your shipment you are releasing them from all liability pertaining to the delivery of the package. So PAY ATTENTION and don’t feel rushed by the deliverer to just sign off without inspecting first. You can also ask your Consultant about insuring your shipment that will protect you from concealed damage (damages that you cannot see but occur as a result of the shipping)

6- Know Your Utility Requirements– Electric, Gas or Propane! Before you order a Range or Walk-In Cooler, ask your building contractor what voltage and phase your building has. It may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often we get asked “Should I purchase a gas or electric unit?” The right question though is- “Does your building have a gas or electric supply?”

7- Understand the Function of the Equipment! An ice bin is not the same as an ice machine. The former holds ice and the latter makes ice. It’s small assumptions like this that can cost a restaurateur big bucks in the long run, so read the product description and ask your Consultant for more information if you are still unsure. Make sure the product is capable of holding the necessary capacity. Remember, it is always better that the equipment has a larger capacity than a smaller one.

8- To Warranty or Not to Warranty! Warranties are important but do not assume that anything that can go wrong with a product will be covered. Read the fine print, follow instructions, and take the proper steps to ensure that if there is a problem with your product it can be covered by the warranty. Generally a manufacturer offers a one-year warranty but you can upgrade to a long-term one that will cover the product for up to 5 years.

9- SPACE! Please review the spec sheet and measure the space where you will place the product. A fraction of an inch is all it takes to keep it from perfectly fitting. Another thing to consider is, do you have room for the equipment? You may want a new Espresso Machine for your Italian Bistro, but where will it go? You can do one of two things: Pick a product then designate a space for it OR Designate a space and then pick out a product that will fit.

10- Accessories! Accessories! Accessories! What accessories will you need to optimize the functionality of the equipment. For example when purchasing a griddle, you should also purchase a grill scraper to help you clean it. It is a very large scraper and therefore will cover a larger surface area than your standard grill scrapers. This simple accessory will give you a quicker turn over and therefore allowing you to make more money!  If you are purchasing a new Fryer, it is also recommended that you purchase a new gas hose to go with it. Specifically a “quick disconnect.” It is a simple accessory that is preferred by health inspectors in order to improve the functionality and cleanliness of the product.

We  hope you will consider these 10 factors before purchasing restaurant equipment. They should help mitigate the risks of having to make a product exchange or return. After all, the last thing you want is to delay your opening because you need to reconfigure your kitchen.

Did we miss any important tips? Don’t keep them to yourself! Share your comments below please!

December is National Eggnog Month

It should be no surprise that the month of December is National Eggnog Month. It is the quintessential beverage of the Christmas holiday season. Just a sip of it can immediately take you back down memory lane- images of your youth sitting around the fireplace with mom and dad, fun holiday parties, those Christmas Eve’s when you snuck downstairs late at night to see if Santa Clause was really putting a gift under the tree. Ah, the power of Eggnog- or maybe that’s just the power of some strong rum. In any case, you cannot deny that December and eggnog go together like Easter and eggs. The drink dates back Medieval times in England and consists of milk or cream, raw eggs, sugar, and liquor (rum, brandy or whiskey). There’s a lot that you can do with a basic eggnog recipe- cupcakes, custards, cheesecakes, pancakes, even fudge!

Will your restaurant be serving the traditional beverage during the holiday season or making a delicious dessert out of it? As a serious lover of creme brûlée we decided to share with you a recipe from Epicurious for Eggnog Creme Brûlée. We hope you and your diners enjoy this, but like all the recipes presented here, try to put your own twist on it! (perhaps add some coconut to it, or fresh fruit sprinkled with sugar on top)

Eggnog Creme Brûlée

  • 4 cups whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar


  1. Preheat Southbend S60DD 10 Burner Gas Range with 2 Standard Ovens to 350°F.
  2. Place 11×8-inch (8-cup capacity) shallow ceramic baking dish in roasting pan. Mix cream and 2/3 cup sugar in a 5 1/2 Qt Sauce Pan. Bring to simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  3. Whisk yolks in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture, then rum, brandy, nutmeg, and salt.
  4. Transfer to baking dish. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of dish. Carefully transfer pan to oven.
  5. Bake until custard is set around edges but center still jiggles slightly when dish is gently shaken, about 40 minutes. Remove ceramic dish from water. Chill custard on rack until cold, at least 3 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)
  6. Preheat broiler. Press brown sugar through strainer over custard to cover completely and evenly. Watching closely, broil custard 4 to 6 inches from heat source until sugar bubbles and caramelizes, about 2 minutes. Chill custard until topping hardens, at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. Serve cold.
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