When faced with the opening of your restaurant it can be
difficult to decide just how much equipment to purchase. Too much, and you have
wasted your money. Not enough, and you will constantly run short at the worst
possible times. Buying equipment for restaurants takes a plan; if you don’t
have one in place, talk to your supplier, or consider the following tips from
Set Up a Budget So You Don’t Forget any Area
Tabletops are often the last thing new owners think about
when budgeting costs. Money is set aside for food, kitchen equipment and
decorating, but plates, glasses and flatware get forgotten in the excitement.
Ask your restaurant supplier to provide you with a comprehensive list of
everything you will need to open your doors successfully. The last thing you
want is to realize you don’t have tableware a week before opening day.
Not quite as bad as finding yourself empty handed is being
short on essentials. Determine how many pieces you will need if the house is
full during a meal, factor in a break factor and then order a bit more than
that. Ordering extra items at the last minute can blow your budget completely.
Shipping by air costs a fortune—potentially several times more than the pieces
themselves. You are better off spending a bit more up front so you don’t have
to rush an order.
The second part of keeping ahead of shortages is to keep
track of breakage. It is inevitable that some pieces will get broken.
Consistently managing your inventory will allow you to plan ahead and avoid
rush charges. Many operators suggest checking inventory weekly or biweekly.
When your order comes in, only unpack those items you need immediately to make
up missing items. Continue to add your new stock as needed.
Maintain the Same Style
Your dining room tables need to be on the same scale as your
tabletop pieces. Large plates on a small table will crowd diners and keep you
from putting several dishes on the table at a time. Drinks will be restricted
and the whole experience will feel small and cramped. To avoid this situation,
take advantage of samples. Try out several sizes to see what plates fit
properly with your serving sizes and still fit on the table in a comfortable
Branding and Customization
It can be tempting to get many of your tabletop items
branded, but it isn’t necessary. Stick to a few special items; the glass you
use to serve the house martini, a dessert plate for your special
cheesecake. If customizing a particular
item is necessary to your theme, try to figure out multiple uses for it. If you
can’t, you should probably try to make do with a stock item instead.
Whatever your choices are regarding your tabletop, this
equipment for restaurants is a key part of your presentation. Budget for it,
keep up with inventory and let it help your food shine at every meal.