March 2019 Culinary Depot Blog Posts

    Fast Food Restaurant Equipment List

    While national fast food restaurant chains are seemingly everywhere, that doesn’t mean there’s not also room for smaller operations. They might require more work, but success is certainly possible if you have perseverance. If you’re thinking about opening a fast food restaurant but aren’t quite sure what equipment you’ll need, then you’ve come to the right place. This post features a fast food restaurant equipment list that includes the most important appliances you’ll need.




    fast food fryer


    Fast food restaurants are perhaps best known for their fried offerings. As a result, commercial fryers place high on our list of essential fast food restaurant equipment. Fish, French fries, onion rings, and mozzarella sticks are the most popular types of fried food. But that doesn’t mean you can’t also deep fry things like ice cream, bananas, dough, and even Oreos.

    Since not all kitchens are the same, there are a variety of different types of fryers on the market. Some take up minimal space and conveniently fit atop counters. These types are ideal for smaller commercial kitchens found in concession stands. Other fryers are bigger in size and require floor space. These commercial deep fryers can have as few as 2 tanks and as many as 6, which makes them perfect for frying large volumes of food. In the event that you don’t have access to a gas hookup, an electric fryer is your best bet. And if you prefer something that will fit seamlessly into your countertop, consider a drop-in fryer.




    fast food griddle


    Commercial griddles are must-haves for any fast food restaurant. Whether you’re cooking burgers, eggs, sausages, pancakes, steak, chicken, or fish, a griddle is up to the task. Countertop commercial griddles are as compact as 12" wide and as large as 72" wide. So if you have some spare countertop space, this type of griddle is the perfect solution. If you’d prefer something a little more permanent, drop-in griddles fit securely into countertops. If you want something like a griddle that will leave beautiful grill marks on your burgers, then a commercial charbroiler is for you.


    Refrigeration Equipment


    fast food refrigeration


    Fast food restaurants preserve food so it tastes delicious as possible. That’s why every restaurant needs to outfit its commercial kitchen with refrigerators and freezers. Glass-door refrigerators offer better visibility, while solid door units provide superior insulation. For kitchens that crave versatility, commercial refrigerator-freezer combos are the perfect solution. These units come in a range of styles. Whether you prefer drawers, full-size cabinets, or half-size cabinets, there is a refrigeration unit for you. If your fast food kitchen could use a commercial chef base that doubles as a refrigerator or freezer, we have plenty available.




    fast food kitchen hood


    A commercial kitchen hood is imperative to the safety of you and your kitchen staff. Especially important in fast food restaurants, a hood helps rid your kitchen’s air of unwanted smoke and grease. This process keeps your kitchen’s air fresh and, more importantly, reduces the risk of fires. If you’re opening a smaller fast food restaurant, a ventless hood system might be your best option. These units require minimal space and provide kitchens with more versatility when it comes to design. Commercial exhaust hoods are the other option. Mounted directly to your wall or ceiling, these units become fixtures in the kitchen and are best-suited for high-volume fast food restaurants.


    Prep Table


    fast food prep table


    Before you cook your meals, you’ll to have to do some meal prep. Stainless steel work tables are popular for their durability. Coming in a range of styles and sizes, there is a perfect prep table for every operation. Some have built-in sinks, while others only feature just table top space. All units have undershelves that offer extra storage space.

    If you want a prep table that can multi-task, a refrigerated prep table is perfect for you. Especially great for kitchens that make a lot of sandwiches, salads, or pizzas, these units have easy-to-access storage bins that hold ingredients. Cutting boards come standard and allow your chefs to quickly slice and dice food. The refrigerators located underneath these prep tables come in the form of doors and drawers. So no matter your preference, there’s an option for you.




    fast food sinks


    Maintaining a sanitary environment is not only important for the health of your staff and customers, but it’s also the law. That’s why every fast food restaurant needs commercial sinks. Whether you’re using a sink to wash hands, rinse supplies, or dip a mop, there is a sink that suits your needs. Compartment sinks have as few as 1 compartment and as many as 4. Drop-in sinks fit conveniently into countertops, while hand sinks can be mounted to walls. The type of sinks you need will largely depend on the layout of your kitchen, so it’s best to know your design before browsing options.




    restaurant shelving


    When opening a fast food joint, it’s easy to get caught up in all the commercial restaurant equipment. But also remember that you’ll need space for storage. Restaurant shelving offers a compact solution that works seamlessly within your kitchen’s layout. Wall mount shelving can be affixed to walls and is perfect for kitchens that don’t have space for more traditional shelving units. If you prefer a more mobile option, you can always apply casters to the bottom of your shelving.


    Getting the proper equipment is just one step toward opening a fast food restaurant. After all, starting a restaurant business is a complicated process that requires months on planning. So don’t rush into buying equipment until you have the rest of your restaurant’s foundation in place. But when you’re finally ready to start looking at equipment, this fast food restaurant equipment list can be a helpful guide.

    How to Make a Milkshake

    As the calendar turns to spring, it’s only a matter of time before the weather starts to heat up. And that means milkshake season is right around the corner. The classic summer-time treat is a classic for a reason. If you’re wondering how to make a milkshake, then you’ve come to the right place. This post will cover just that while also detailing some of the best milkshake machines on the market.


    How Do You Make a Milkshake


    strawberry milkshake blender


    The beautiful thing about making milkshakes is that there’s no one way to do it. Depending on what kinds of equipment and ingredients you have on hand, you can take a few different approaches.

    The most basic way of making a milkshake requires milk, ice cream, and a blender. Syrups and sauces can also be added to give your finished product a little flavoring. Chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, and fruit-based options are most common. If you’re interested in how to make a shake that boasts a bit more nutritional value, consider using almond milk as your liquid base. Cookies and candy can inject some extra sweetness or delicious texture into your milkshake. If your kitchen opts to make milkshakes with a blender, be sure to use a reliable, high-capacity unit like the Vitamix Quiet One.


    How to Make a Milkshake with Ice Cream


    how to make a milkshake with ice cream


    Did you know it’s possible to make milkshakes without any milk at all? By blending flavored syrup with ice cream from a soft serve machine, you can streamline your milkshake-making process. In fact, this is how some fast-food restaurants, such as Dairy Queen, make their milkshakes. So if you’ve already invested in one of the best commercial ice cream machines and don’t want to also carry hard ice cream, this method is perfect for you.


    Use a Commercial Milkshake Machine


    use a commercial milkshake machine


    If your foodservice makes a ton of milkshakes, you might want to consider using commercial milkshake machine. These units use premade milkshake mixtures and produce delicious milkshakes that taste just as fresh as the other methods. Many of these milkshake machines have multiple spouts, making it easy for you to offer several flavors. While some units conveniently fit atop counters, others require floor space.

    If you’re interested in exploring the different options, we offer some of the best commercial milkshake machines on the market. The best milkshake maker for your specific operation depends on a couple variables. Size and scope should always be kept in mind.

    In addition to producing milkshakes, the machines we carry can also be used to make delicious frozen drinks. Just Google commercial frozen drink machine recipes and try whatever sounds best.


    How to Make the Best Milkshake


    how to make the best milkshake


    The milkshake that you and your customers consider “the best” will come down to personal preference. Everyone has their own tastes and will likely prefer something different. As a result, the best way to ensure that customers get the best milkshake possible is by offering a wide range of options. By stocking different flavors and mix-ins, you’ll be able to customize milkshakes for each and every customer. Do it right, and each customer will leave your shop with the exact milkshakes he wanted and a big smile on his face.


    While other trends have come and gone, milkshakes have withstood the test of time. Since being introduced in the 1800s, the delicious drinks have continued to evolve and still remain popular. The multiple ways of making milkshakes ensures nearly any café, shop, or restaurant can serve them. So if you don’t currently offer milkshakes, what are you waiting for? Summer will be here before you know it!

    If you like the idea of offering milkshakes but prefer a healthier alternative, be sure to check out our smoothie guide.

    Restaurant Design Trends 2019

    Written by: J. Vigotsky


    Diners consider many things when deciding where to eat. Perhaps the three most important variables are food, service, and ambiance. While delicious food and good service are relatively straight forward, ambiance is always evolving. The restaurant designs that were stylish in the 1950s and 1980s certainly aren’t stylish today (unless you’re going for the whole retro thing). If you’re thinking of opening a new restaurant or redesigning the one you already have, it’s important to be up to date on what appeals to today’s customers. This post will cover some of the most popular restaurant design trends of 2019.


    Eco Friendly


    eco-friendly restaurant


    Until recently, industrial minimalism was all the rage. Silver was everywhere, and restaurants were outfitted with the bare minimum required for operation. But now interior design style is shifting back in the opposite direction. Warm woods like bamboo are increasingly being used for floors, walls, tables, and seating. This shift in approach partly accounts for why recyclable materials are more in vogue than ever. The importance and awareness of a restaurant’s carbon footprint provides further motivation for switching to eco-friendly materials.


    Layered / Textured


    layered restaurant design


    The rebellion against industrial minimalism can also be seen through the switch to more textured atmospheres. By using more layers, restaurant designers are doing their best to liven up their environments. Wood certainly helps in this regards, as does any distinct artwork you can display. Shades, curtains, and bolder seating options can also help give your restaurant’s interior decor a more textural feel. If you have a high ceiling, hanging ornaments is another option.


    Warm Colors


    warm colors


    Today, a large number of customers document their dining experiences through Instagram and other social media platforms. If you want the pictures they take at your restaurant to come out looking great, be sure to use a mixture of warm colors when designing its interior. Doing so will not only satisfy your customers who snap photos, but it will also catch the eyes of their followers. If your restaurant looks appealing enough in the pictures people see on Instagram, they’ll certainly want to check it out in person.


    Bespoke Lighting


    bespoke restaurant lighting


    The technology of 2019 makes it easier than ever to customize your lighting. Thanks to remote control apps, brightness and color can be adjusted with just the touch of a finger. Bespoke lighting allows you to have lights installed just where you want them. With this level of customization, it won’t matter what day time of day it is or how the weather outside is acting. Simply use a remote to tweak your lighting until it’s perfect for the circumstance. And since many of the newer lighting systems enable you to control each individual light bulb, it’s possible to accommodate multiple diners who prefer different kinds of ambiances.




    restaurant design plants


    Going green isn’t just about outfitting your kitchen with an Energy Star-qualified convection oven. It can also mean integrating plants into the design of your restaurant. If you’re looking for cheap restaurant design ideas, plants are perfect. Not only do plants look pretty, but they are also proven to increase happiness. Of course, taking care of your plants will be an extra task on the to-do list.

    While farm-to-table restaurants have gained popularity, there has also been an increase in restaurants that grow their own produce. Displaying the gardens where your food originates is a great strategy for restaurants that have large outdoor eating areas. If you want to feature plants indoors but don’t have much room, spice up your restaurant wall décor by hanging a vertical garden.


    Nobody ever said designing restaurants is easy. So if it’s not your forte, there’s no shame in collaborating with an expert. But now that you know what’s in style and are well-aware of the old decorating trends to avoid, designing should be a bit easier. Just be sure to stay up to date on new trends in restaurant décor so you can continue to evolve with the changing times.

    How to Clean Stainless Steel Restaurant Equipment

    Written by: J. Vigotsky


    It’s no mystery why so much restaurant equipment is made out of stainless steel. Long hailed for its durability, stainless steel sets the standard by which all other materials are measured. That said, even stainless steel can wear down if not properly cared for. This post will provide several tips for how to properly clean stainless steel restaurant equipment.


    Use the Right Brush


    use the right brush


    Always use softer materials like microfiber cloths, sponges, and plastic scouring pads when cleaning stainless steel appliances. While steel wool and wire brushes might be great for removing stubborn debris, they also have potential to leave unsightly scratches on stainless steel surfaces. Even worse, steel brushes can leave little particles in your stainless steel equipment, and those particles can eventually lead to rusting.  


    Clean Frequently and Go With the Grain


    go with the grain


    The best way to avoid the build-up of stubborn debris is by cleaning your equipment regularly. Create a schedule and make sure your staff sticks to it. The more build-up that forms on your equipment, the more difficult it will be to clean off later.

    If you look closely at stainless steel, you might be able to see little lines pointing in the same direction. When scrubbing stainless steel equipment, it’s best to scrub with the lines and never against them. In other words, scrub parallel to the lines/grain.


    Use the Right Cleaner

    To keep stainless steel looking great, it’s best to use an alkaline or alkaline chlorinated cleaner.

    While bleach might seem like a good idea, the reality is that stainless steel does not mix well with chloride or chloride-based cleaning products. So never use these or hydrochloric acid when cleaning stainless steel.

    In addition to helping your stainless steel equipment look like new, the right cleaner will reinforce the equipment’s protective coating. This provides an extra layer of protection and increases durability of your stainless steel freezer or fryer.


    Removing Oil and Grease


    removing oil and grease


    If there’s a pesky oil or grease mark that you want gone from your equipment, there are a couple of different cleaners you can use. Isopropyl alcohol, acetone, and methylated spirit are all great options. The grease mark on your stainless steel might not be gone after the first washing. So if that’s the case, simply keep applying the solvent until you achieve your desired results.


    Rinse Thoroughly


    use clean water


    Especially if someone uses non-chloride cleaner (which should never happen!), it’s imperative to thoroughly rinse the stainless steel cleaner off your equipment. After that, lingering water should be wiped off, and the unit should be dried as soon as possible.


    Use Clean Water


    rinse thoroughly


    Despite its name, stainless steel can in fact be stained. Hard water is notorious for leaving spots and staining. So if you have an issue with hard water, try to soften it by installing water filters. This will help reduce corrosive elements that threaten the integrity of stainless steel. It also doesn’t hurt to enlist the help of a trained professional. Treatment specialists can help ensure your water treatment is satisfactory.


    Knowing how to properly clean stainless steel is one thing, but consistently putting that knowledge to action is something completely different. Diligence is key when it comes to cleaning stainless steel. The only way to ensure your restaurant equipment remains in peak condition is by rolling up your sleeves and putting the work in.

    The World’s First Commercial Sabbath Refrigerator

    Written by: J. Vigotsky


    Sabbath Mode equipment make it easier than ever to comply with Jewish law. And while Sabbath-friendly appliances like ovens, lamps, and refrigerators have long-been available for at-home use, restaurants have recently gotten in on the market. Today, kosher commercial kitchens are often outfitted with ranges, ovens, and warming drawers that are equipped with a Sabbath Mode feature. And thanks to our recent collaboration with Traulsen, kosher kitchens will now for the first time ever have access to commercial Sabbath refrigerators and freezers. If you want to learn about what makes this Shabbos friendly equipment so perfect for kosher kitchens, then just keep reading.


    Internal Timed Clocks


    internal clock


    These Sabbath Mode freezers and refrigerators keep track of time so you don’t have to. At exactly 2pm on Friday, the units enter Sabbath Mode. This lasts until 10pm on Saturday, when your refrigeration units will exit Sabbath Mode and resume normal functioning.


    Sabbath Mode


    dark refrigerator


    So what happens to your refrigeration equipment when it enters Sabbath mode? The first thing is its electronic display will turn off to comply with Jewish law. Next, the unit’s internal lighting system will disengage. This means that if you open your refrigerator’s door to get some food, the unit’s internal lights will still remain off.


    Combats Power Outages


    power outage


    If a Shabbat-friendly freezer or refrigerator loses power during the Sabbath, it will remain in Sabbath Mode when powering up again. The internal timed clock will not be reset, and the unit will still adhere to Jewish law.


    Manual Activation/Deactivation


    manual activation


    Since the units clock initiates Sabbath Mode at 2pm on Friday and ends Sabbath at 10pm on Saturday, there’s a chance you might need to override the system. After all, depending on what time of year it is, these times can be much different from the actual sunset. To ensure easy use, this unit enables you to manually activate and deactivate Sabbath Mode so that it conforms to your specific needs.


    Developing these Sabbos friendly refrigerators and freezers was not an overnight process. In fact, it took several months. From concept to completion, we collaborated with Traulsen to ensure everything was perfect. When all was said and done, Rabbi Tavi Ortner, the CRC, and the Orthodox Union unanimously approved of the Sabbath mode freezers and refrigerators.  

    These commercial Sabbath Mode refrigeration units are currently available exclusively through Culinary Depot. Any Traulsen G-Series freezer or refrigerator can be made Sabbath-friendly at no extra cost. If you have any questions about these units, please call or email us.