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A Guide To Catering Equipment For New Businesses

Aug 6, 2008
Are you tired of working for someone else? Are you thinking of starting your own business but do not know what industry sector? Well here are some interesting statistics about the hospitality and catering industry. The hospitality industry employs 1.7 million people about six percent of the total working population and commands an annual turnover of a massive 55-60 billion GBP, including all subsectors. Still interested?

These statistics cover everything from public houses to hotels howecver anywhere that serves food will require catering equipment. Your initial outlay on catering equipment in whatever business venture you undertake can be crucial to your businesses survival during the tricky early stages. This article aims to explore the different types of catering equipment, the suppliers and the regulations surround the industry.

As we are dealing with a massive range of products this will be a basic overview of different categorisations of products and what is best to look out for. The sections we will be looking at will be bar and beverage, cooking equipment, fabrication, food preparation, food service, refrigeration equipment and ware-washing.

Bar and Beverage

This covers any product that is involved in the preparation of drinks such as juicers and blenders, water boilers, coffee grinders and machines, milk dispensers and the actual under bar units themselves.

Cooking Equipment

This covers any equipment where food is heated ranging from light food preparation to industrial ovens. There is a vast range of very specific equipment such as crepe machines or hot dog ovens that might not be absolutely necessary when first starting out. Remember that do not cut corners using domestic appliances in professional catering as they will not last.


This covers any cooking surfaces and ambient storage such as centre benches, micro wave and wall shelves, stands and wall benches. These products allow you to design your food preparation area to your specification making it time and space effective.

Food Preparation

Above and beyond the standard utensils there are time and money saving devices. These are appliances such as potato peelers, slicers, mixers and blenders, chippers and vegetable prep machines. They are more cost effective than hiring staff to perform initial preparation duties and free you up for more important priorities.

Food Service

These products cover the warming and serving of food. It is imperative that this is not where costs are cut and it is a myth that they are unnecessary. Appliances such as chafing dishes, chip scuttles and heated carvery displays are essential to ensure customer satisfaction and safety.

Refrigeration Equipment

These appliances are essential to maintain food hygene. There is probably a more extensive range of these products than any other however some are more essential than others as under counter freezers might not applicable where as large upright refrigerators would be. It depends on your requirements and the size of your appliances depends on your projections, you might find yourself having to upgrade quickly if your food storage requirements are not calculated carefully.
Ware Washing

This covers dishwashers, glass washers and sinks. Again these products are essential to maintain food hygiene and the right investment can save on labour costs and leave you free to liaise with potential clients while the appliances do the cleaning for you.

Whatever products you are dealing with you should remember that you business should grow organically so do not over invest in unnecessary equipment at the outset. Invest in your equipment according to your business plan projections, so that your food storage and fabrication is sufficient to handle the contracts you require to meet your projections. There is a trend in the industry to be overambitious and much of that is down to poor planning.
About the Author
Shaun Parker started life as a chef in the catering industry and has vast experience dealing with wholesalers of catering equipment.
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