Category Archives: Restaruant Equipment

Effective Restaurant Layout Tips By Equipment Street

Things to Consider for Your Restaurant’s Layout

The physical layout of a restaurant is one aspect most subconsciously noticed by customers. Although patrons of your restaurant are unlikely to complain outright about the layout and structure of your establishment, an ineffective layout creates issues with flow and ambiance that customers are very sensitive to. To ensure you are creating an atmosphere that is both productive for your employees and inviting to your customers, keep the following information in mind.

Inviting Restaurant Entrance The Entrance

Arguably the most visually important part of your restaurant is the entrance. The entrance is the area that makes the first impression on customers, both current and potential. If your entrance looks welcoming and friendly, people will be more likely to want to visit your establishment. There are a lot of options for decorating and designing your entrance in a way that both reflects the atmosphere and attitude of your restaurant as a whole. Consider corresponding types of lighting, outdoor furniture, shrubbery, signage, and other decorations for your specific restaurant when laying out your entrance.

The Waiting Area

A good waiting area will be large enough to accommodate those waiting to be seated in the dining room or bar area without overpowering the rest of your restaurant space. It will also be a type of funnel that ushers people into the areas of your restaurant where they can make purchasing decisions. One of the key things to keep in mind when laying out and designing the waiting area is to make it comfortable, but not as comfortable as the bar or dining room. The waiting area is a great place to get your customers excited about the dining experience they are about the enjoy. Creating a board of daily specials or discounts along with having copies of the standard menu nearby will create excitement in the customers about the food they will soon be eating.

 The Dining Room

Dining Room AmbienceThe dining room is the area where your customers will be spending the most time. But before setting up the seating in this area, make sure you check the fire code standards for your establishment so you are aware of how many people you can legally fit in your dining area. Once you have this information, you will be able to decide if you prefer booths or tables, private or open seating. Different people are more comfortable in different situations, so if you can swing it, it is best to try to have a little bit of everything. Places for large groups as well as areas for more private meals will be enticing to almost every diner. Just be sure that your dining room is comfortable for your patrons and functional for your staff.

The Bar

Depending on the type of bar you are planning to have in your establishment, you will probably want to have different goals for your bar area. If you want a full-service bar where patrons can get both food and drinks, your bar area should be just as comfortable and inviting as the dining areas. However, if your bar is strictly meant to serve drinks and possibly appetizers, you might want that area to have more of a laid-back feel. While many bar areas are slightly separated from the rest of the dining area, it is still important to keep the layout functional because most servers will be placing orders and picking up drinks from the bar.

The Kitchen

The heart of every restaurant is the kitchen. You as a restaurant owner know better than anyone what type of equipment you will need to have in your kitchen. But as you are acquiring this equipment, keep in mind that you will need to fit storage, people, and the equipment in the same room. Your staff will need room to move around comfortably and safely within the kitchen while still having everything they need in close proximity. The amount and type of food you are able to make in your kitchen will dictate a lot about what your restaurant becomes. Make sure your expectations can be met with the kitchen facility you equip your restaurantwith.

As for the layout of the kitchen with regards to the rest of your restaurant, this is largely dependent on how much of that space you want your customers to be able to see. Most restaurants keep their kitchen closed to customers; however, some restaurants have their allure in the customer’s ability to watch as the magic unfolds. Decide which of these camps you prefer and lay out your kitchen accordingly.

Storage and Administration Areas

You will need both storage areas and rooms in which you can do the administrative business for your restaurant. These rooms are best kept behind closed doors. While you might like the idea of having a very open floor plan for the rest of your establishment, keeping stored food or cleaning supplies in a place that isn’t visible is best for your clientele—there are some portions of your restaurant that customers don’t want to see. It is also a good idea to keep the storage area near the administration office so you can always be aware of any upcoming needs. This also helps to prevent theft or vandalism.

Appealing Restaurant RestroomsThe Restrooms

Do not underestimate the importance of having a classy restroom. One of the worst things customers can hear about a restaurant is that their restroom is unpleasant. Many patrons will use the restroom while eating at your restaurant, so don’t neglect it. Let your design theme travel from your dining room and into the styling of the restroom. Also, try to find a balance between having enough space for multiple stalls while still maintaining a large enough dining and kitchen space. Restrooms are typically found at the back of your restaurant, generally to either side of the kitchen.

When it comes down to it, you can lay out your restaurant whatever way you like. Just keep in mind that there are some locations that work better than others for certain spaces. If the space and design flows well throughout your entire establishment, that is one less thing you have to worry about when you have a full house.

 

 

 

 

 

New Food Service Industry Intelligence Now Available

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) announced a new partnership with SmartBrief to provide the food service industry with a daily update of restaurant industry news from leading sources such as The Wall Street Journal, FastCasual.com and other well-known reliable sources.  After reading some sample editions, you should find this daily newsletter a quick and easy way to scan the important events in the industry.

Equipment Street is a proud member of the association, and this new addition, along with many of the other tools they provide, really helps getting the industry intelligence and news we need easily accessible… hope you find this to be true as well.  The NRA SmartBrief is a free resource and requires minimal sign-up information.

If you are interested in signing up, for your convenience, just click on the link below:

Sign Up Now For SmartBrief 

If you are not familiar with The National Restaurant Association, they are the largest foodservice trade association in the world and provide support and guidance to nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses. You can check out their services at http://www.restaurant.org/.

7 Things to Consider When Opening a Second Restaurant

Your restaurant business is booming, and you are thinking about expanding to a second location. You are making a comfortable profit, your clientele is growing, and your customers keep telling you how much they love your place. But you remember how hard it was to open the restaurant you are in now. It all started with a dream–and not much else. You had to plan the menu, hire staff, find the money and location, outfit it, and perform countless other tasks before opening the doors, crossing your fingers and hoping people would come. Those vivid memories are enough to scare anyone away from opening a second restaurant.

Just take a deep breath and relax a little, because opening your second restaurant isn’t nearly as difficult as the first one. You already have your menu, and your clientele is begging for more, which is half the battle. Still, there are several things you must take into consideration. To be on your way to a successful small franchise, consider these 7 suggestions before beginning the process to opening your next restaurant.

1. Have a Plan

Lucky for you, you aren’t exactly starting a restaurant from the ground up, so some things are already planned. For example, you could carry your menu over from the first restaurant, and since you already have a food supplier for your first restaurant, you will probably use the Open signsame supplier for the second one. Make sure you are planning the things that do not carry over to your new restaurant like, location, demographics, staffing, financing, purchasing or leasing equipment, decoration and ambiance, advertising and marketing, and so much more.

This can be daunting, but it can also be handled efficiently and without excessive stress. Take a moment to sit down and write a list of all of your wants and needs for your new place before you do anything else. Then, research. With a little elbow grease and the right resources, you can find anything from the best deals on equipment to the best location for your new restaurant.

2. Avoid Falling into Traps

Double the locations can mean double the problems if you aren’t careful. There are many traps you could easily fall into, such as failing to obtain a second liquor license, inefficient management and staff, ignoring the demographics, and improper planning. Make sure you avoid any traps through proper planning. Take into account everything that makes your current restaurant run smoothly before taking any steps towards opening your new restaurant. Also, make sure you address all the paperwork and other legalities.  If this becomes too difficult for you to handle on your own, you can hire temporary help for these tasks. Certain legal consultants can help you make sure you are obtaining the correct permits and licenses, and an accountant or financial advisor can help you organize your budget.

3. Location, Location, Location

As any realtor or business owner knows, it’s all about location. When you are opening your second restaurant, there are a number of things to consider regarding location. It might seem logical to open a second restaurant just two blocks from the next one so that you can easily commute between the two and manage both at the same time, but consider the limits that puts on your audience. If you don’t have enough clientele to split between two restaurants in the same area, you should open your second restaurant in a different area so that you can reach more clients and gain more business.

You will want to research locations. Examine the restaurants in any area you’re interested in to see which restaurants are there and doing well so that you can gauge whether or not your restaurant will thrive. Maybe an area already has five pizzerias, and three of those are struggling to stay afloat. This is a pretty good indicator that another pizzeria in this area is a bad idea. You can also observe areas to see how populated they are. If it is a downtown area with plenty of traffic, you are much more likely to catch more passersby.

4. Hire Trustworthy and Competent Staff

equipmentstreet-Depositphotos_33437351_lNothing will discourage clientele more quickly than rude or incompetent wait staff and poorly cooked food. Unfortunately, a new location means more interviews for a reliable and competent head chef, line cooks, wait staff, and hosts/hostesses. Just take a deep breath because you already have a head start. If your first restaurant was a success, you can likely recognize the qualities of good staff members. Before you go through the stacks of resumes, you might want to make a detailed list of good qualities you’ve found in your first staff as well as qualities you want to avoid. With this list in hand, you can easily weed out the unlikely resumes as well as come up with a list of questions to ask during the interviews.

5. Manage Both Locations

With twice as many restaurants as you had before, you will need to consider proper management. It might be possible for you to undertake the management of both of your restaurants. If the restaurants are extremely close to each other, you could run back and forth all day to keep things running smoothly. However, this is done at the risk of hurting one or both of your restaurants. One way to encourage higher success rates in both of your restaurants is to hire someone else to manage one of them. You could get a business partner, or simply hire a manager to control the running of one of the restaurants so you can focus your time on the other. This way, neither restaurant has to suffer, and you have a little more free time for yourself.

6. Find Financing

You won’t be able to do anything without enough capital. Perhaps you are earning enough at your current restaurant to pay a good portion of the expense, or perhaps you have been slowly accruing savings. Either way, opening a new restaurant will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, and most people don’t have that kind of cash lying around. Make sure that all of your finances are in order from your current restaurant and that your credit score is good so that you can get a loan. To fully outfit your restaurant, you are looking at purchasing or leasing the building, kitchen equipment, tables and chairs, office supplies, host stands, decorations, lighting, and much more so that you can get your restaurant ready for business. If you don’t feel like you have the time or know how to find this cash, you might consider hiring a financial or food service industry consultant to help you organize your budget and find the necessary money.

Restaurant kitchen7. Acquire Equipment

The equipment you need depends on the restaurant you have. Obviously, if you are opening a second pizzeria, you are going to need another brick pizza oven or two. You will probably have a pretty good idea of the things you will need from your first restaurant. But don’t forget to take into account the little things you might have forgotten. For example, remember to take precise measurements of your new restaurant space to ensure that the appliances you want will fit in your kitchen. You will also want to measure the dining area so you know how many tables and chairs you will need and what sizes will fit. Don’t forget that you will need to furnish your office with desks, chairs, shelves, computers, etc.

Finding this equipment can prove difficult. You might not have a commercial restaurant store near you, and with one restaurant under your care already, you probably don’t have time to drive around or search endlessly online to find the perfect equipment. Lucky for you, there are now websites that feature a collection of sellers so that you have unlimited options on equipment but only have to browse one website. Another challenge can be finding the capital to back the equipment purchase. This type of website also offers you the chance to lease your equipment and potentially purchase it for a heavily discounted price after a certain amount of time. This might just be the perfect option for expansion.

Opening a second restaurant might be a little bit easier than the first one, but it will still take some considerable time and effort on your part. It’s up to you to make sure you are including the proper planning and care of your second restaurant so that you can have double the success.

Prevalent Restaurant Owner Mistakes by Equipment Street

Opening A Restaurant? Avoid Making These Common Mistakes

Restaurant Owner

As your restaurant business begins rolling along, you may get caught up in the excitement of the reality of your dream coming true. You finally set the opening date and you want to make sure everything is taken care of for that one exciting day. In your rush to meet apparent deadlines, you may overlook or miscalculate portions of your restaurant business that could be detrimental to you in the long run. When opening a restaurant or other foodservice business,

make sure you avoid making these very common (and very costly) mistakes as the owner and operator.

Opening Before You’re Ready

Once you have set the date to open your restaurant, you will want nothing to get in the way of throwing open your doors on that exact day. However, this could be more harmful than helpful. If you aren’t ready to open on the day you had planned, it is better to push back a little than to open with things still needing to be done.

Restaurant Grand Opening

Another good idea is to not have your grand opening on the first day you are open for business. Your first day is going to be hectic with all the new routines being put into place. This chaos will be added to if you make your grand opening the very day you begin accepting customers. If you plan to have your grand opening a week or two after you initially open the doors, this will give your employees time to get used to the processes and operations of your foodservice business. These previous openings are called “soft openings” and give you time to work out the kinks and unforeseen problems before your grand opening.

 Lack of Funding

Another common mistake made by first-time restaurant owners is not having enough capital or underestimating the costs of opening. If you don’t have enough funding, you could end up justifying cutting corners that should not be cut. On the other hand, you could find yourself having insufficient funds due to overspending initially. Try not purchasing equipment at the beginning that is not absolutely necessary to your restaurant. For that necessary equipment, consider leasing equipment to keep some of your money on-hand for emergencies or unforeseen expenditures.

These problems all come back to your business plan. If you did not take the time to create a reasonable and effective business plan prior to taking any actions toward the progression of your restaurant, you will most likely find that you will run into a variety of problems for which you are unprepared.

Minimal Preparation

Prepare Your Staff

The worst thing you can do on your first day open is to be unprepared. The first impression you make on your customers is likely going to last for a long time. If you have customers who are not treated appropriately, have servers or wait staff that seem clueless, or have an overall atmosphere of confusion, your customers are not going to have a very positive first experience in your establishment. One way to avoid this happening is to make sure that your employees have been properly trained in their positions. It is a great idea to have literature that employees can study and become familiar with prior to starting work.

 Bad or Ineffective Marketing

Don’t think that the only marketing or advertising you need to do should be done prior to your grand opening. Yes, this is a very important time to get your name out to the public and to draw in some initial customers, but you should make sure your initial advertising splash isn’t your only advertising splash. Shortsighted marketing plans will do you no good when it comes to continually bringing in customers. A good rule of thumb is to set aside 2% to 4% of your business’ annual gross income to advertising.

With just a little effort, you can put your restaurant ahead of the game. Knowing what some of the most common mistakes made by other start-up restaurants will help you steer clear of those same mistakes. Prepare yourself and your restaurant for success by taking some of these tips to heart.

Commercial Oven

How to Protect Yourself If Your Commercial Oven Servicing Dealer Goes Out of Business

One of the most distressing thoughts for a restaurant owner is that his or her commercial oven dealer will go out of business. Restaurant ovens and other equipment need to be serviced or replaced periodically, and restaurant owners need to make sure that they can deal with a commercial oven dealer that is reliable in the event that something must be serviced or replaced suddenly. For instance, a restaurant owner may have a busy season, and the oven will go out during the middle of the day. In order to keep production going, the owner will need a commercial oven for sale right away. If the commercial oven dealer is out of business, that poses a major problem. The good news is, however, restaurant owners can free themselves of this anxiety because the Equipment Street marketplace provides a vehicle for business owners in all industries to purchase equipment from a variety of dealers, hence protecting their businesses from failure.

Just by visiting one website, company owners are able to buy and sell commercial equipment of all types. Some of the equipment that can be found on the site is in the categories of telecom, office technologies, theft prevention, industrial manufacturing and food service. Basically, a restaurant owner will not have any trouble at all finding a commercial oven for sale.

Prices in the Equipment Street marketplace are reasonable because Equipment Street caters to people who own small businesses. In addition, Equipment Street makes the process of buying and selling virtually seamless. Sellers can benefit from free advertising, and they have tools at their disposal to generate leads and customize their store fronts. Equipment Street provides buyers with tools that aid in effortless equipment searches and procurements.

Entrepreneurs favor shopping at Equipment Street for their equipment needs because they can complete all of their purchases without ever having to leave their establishments. Sellers can grow their businesses in a short period of time without expending too much time and energy. At Equipment Street, restaurant owners have the peace of mind knowing that in the event their oven goes out or some other equipment fails, they can find a commercial oven for sale or any other equipment that they need in a heartbeat.

Restaurant Equipment

Five Critical Steps to a Successful Restaurant Equipment Dealer Evaluation

Outfitting your restaurant with the right equipment is a top priority, and it must be done with the right strategy if you want to be successful in your efforts. The best equipment to purchase will be affordable for your budget but perfectly suited for your needs and for the space available in your venue. Finding the right restaurant equipment dealer is the first step to take when making a purchase, and you can locate the best dealer by following a few steps.

1. Hire a Consultant
Before you can purchase equipment that is best for your needs, you first have to determine which equipment you want to purchase. Hiring a consultant for this process is a great first step to take because a consultant can help you to review the options so that you make a great decision.

2. Make a List of Equipment
You also need to determine which type of equipment you need to purchase from a restaurant equipment dealer. Some dealers only sell walk-in fridges and freezers, and some may sell a full range of equipment models. By understanding what you need to purchase, you can more easily find the right dealer to work with.

3. Use EquipmentStreet.com
After you know which types of equipment you need to purchase, you can put EquipmentStreet.com to work for you. This is a great step to take because EquipmentStreet.com can be used to help you request and receive bids for equipment that meets your specifications from dozens of retailers.

4. Review the Bids
Each bid from a restaurant equipment dealer will have details about the equipment that they offer, and most will have a written quote for the cost. While you may be inclined to make a decision based on price alone, you should also consider other factors like the warranty period, the reputation of the manufacturer and how long the retailer has been in business.

5. Make Your Purchase
Finally, you are ready to make your purchase from a reputable equipment dealer. You can make your purchase through EquipmentStreet.com to enjoy a simplified buying process.

The selection of a reputable dealer is important when searching for restaurant equipment. By following these steps, you can find the dealer that is best for you to work with.

Commercial Freezer

What to look for in Commercial Freezer Warranties and Support Contracts

As a restaurant or catering facility owner or manager, you consider certain aspects when choosing among the many commercial freezers for sale on the market. You not only want a freezer that will be dependable, but one that will also serve your particular needs. Writing down your requirements before shopping in person or online is a good idea, and will help your commercial freezer supplier know which ones to present to you. Beyond this, however, you want to make sure that the freezer you choose will also come with a decent warranty and support contract.

When you are browsing through commercial freezers for sale, you need to keep in mind that even top-of-the-line equipment can have problems. That’s why it’s so important to check what the commercial freezer supplier offers in the form of a warranty. You need to know how long the warranty covers you for, what type of service is available under the warranty, and if you can purchase a longer-term support contract. It’s crucial that you read the fine print and that you speak directly to the sales agent and ask detailed questions.

A commercial freezer supplier who believes in the quality of their equipment is going to back it up with a strong warranty. If you have a problem getting the supplier to commit to reliable support when it comes to repair and maintenance, that would be your cue to shop elsewhere. Read everything before you offer payment or sign a contract, and ask directly about any extra fees that might not be documented.

When you are ready to look for commercial freezers for sale, be armed with the right questions and the right information. The food service industry tends to be fast-paced, and you want to be confident that your equipment is going to meet your needs on an ongoing basis. A trusting relationship with your freezer supplier can go a long way toward ensuring that your business will run smoothly and your clients will be satisfied. A little preparation before shopping and speaking to suppliers will pay off for you in the long run.

Point of Sale (POS)

What To Look For In Restaurant Point of Sale Warranties And Support

If you are shopping for point of sale systems for your business, you understandably want to make the best buying decision possible. Whether you are shopping for a retail POS, a restaurant POS or another type of point of sale system, you want to take a closer look at the different features, specifications and costs of the systems. However, before you make a final buying decision, you also need to review the warranties and support offered by the manufacturer or retailer of the systems.

The warranties on point of sale systems provide you with some peace of mind that your system will function for a period of time without interruption, or if there is a repair issue, the repairs will be made free of cost to you. You do want to compare warranty periods as well as the types of breakdowns and issues that are covered by the warranty. Keep in mind that the definition of a limited warranty can vary significantly from one company to another.

In addition to looking at the warranty information for a restaurant POS or another type of POS, you want to compare the level of support offered. For example, will you get support for your point of sale systems with the initial setup? Is customer support available via phone on a regular basis if you run into issues over the course of a business day? What is the company’s time frame with regards to handling on-site repairs and other related issues? Just as warranty details can vary significantly from one company to the next, the same holds true for the level of support offered.

When you are looking for a new restaurant POS or another type of POS, you certainly want to find a system that offers the best pricing and the right features for your needs, but warranty information and support services are also important. When you are shopping for a new system, take time to shop around for a system that is best suited for your needs. One of the best ways to shop for a great deal on a POS is through EquipmentStreet.com.

Restaurant Equipment

The Down Side to Purchasing Equipment Locally

If you are in the market to buy new restaurant equipment for your food service venue, you may be shopping around for commercial ovens, refrigerators or other items. In most medium-sized and larger cities and towns, there are several local businesses that sell these large appliances and equipment. These are items that are specifically designed for commercial use, and they can accommodate the preparation or storage of numerous food items at one time. However, while you can find these items in local stores in many markets, there are good reasons why you should skip the local stores and make your purchases online.

The fact is that restaurant equipment can be expensive, and you want to do what you can to find the best deal on commercial ovens, fridges and more. The profit margin for most food services businesses is relatively small, so you understand first-hand how important it is to keep costs low. While you need to keep your expenses low, you also need to equip your kitchen with the equipment and appliances that it will most benefit from. This means that you need to take time to shop around and compare different features and specs of equipment and appliances available. When you shop at local stores, your selection of products is often very limited. This does not give you the ability to find the best equipment for your needs or to find that equipment at the best price available.

Because of this, you will find that shopping online for your restaurant equipment is the best option available to you. You do not want to feel as though your options are limited or pay more than you need to for commercial ovens or other appliances. If you are in the market to purchase a new commercial appliance for your kitchen or food service venue, you need to take a closer look at what EquipmentStreet.com has to offer you. Through the website, you can create a custom order that clearly specifies the features that you are looking for in your equipment. Retailers from across the country will see your order and will submit a bid back to you. Their bid will be for the equipment they have that most closely meets your needs. This is a great way to compare products and prices without having to spend hours shopping around. Put EquipmentStreet.com to work for you.