Restaurants typically come in four main types and it is out of those four that you’ll have to pick before you open up your doors and start selling your food to the public.

Keep in mind, there are more types of restaurants out there that are a little more out-there and creative, but for the sake of starting off with something simple, we’re going to break down the four biggest ones that have shown the most success in the past.

1. Fast Food:

This one is easy to visualize because we’ve all been to one at least once in our lives. The fast food restaurant operates in a way that there are no hosts to bring you to your table, or a server to come and fill your water and take your order. The menu is clear for all to see above the counter and you pay for your food before you eat it. Most will have a drive-thru for people who are on the go and want a quick meal.

People that come to fast food restaurants generally are not looking for the highest quality of food, but rather an inexpensive meal that they can quickly eat before they have to head back to work or run another errand.

With how fast-paced these restaurants are and the demand for food, a lot of the food will already be premade for convenience and for firing out food as fast as they can. Other fast food restaurants have set themselves apart and refuse to use frozen patties which can give them an edge over consumers who are looking for a healthier alternative.

2. Takeout and Delivery:

If you have a very small space, a takeout and delivery restaurant is perfect for you. The front of the store is almost non-existent and if they have any seating at the front at all, it will typically be one small table, or a couple of chairs at the counter.

Takeout and delivery restaurants are a step above fast food places, typically with higher quality food, though they produce it at a quick pace as those who come to a takeout and delivery restaurant are typically taking their food elsewhere.

3. Food Trucks

Food trucks are a huge craze nowadays with thousands flocking to food truck festivals across the country. But what makes these mobile kitchens so attractive to the masses?

Well, food trucks provide affordable food that is quick to prepare and perfect for people on the go. Much like fast food restaurants, food is typically prepared ahead of time and then all that needs to be done is for the item to be customized by the customer.

But perhaps what makes food trucks so appealing is their selection and the uniqueness of their food. Sure, there are food trucks that sell burgers, but the burgers you find a food truck are far beyond what you would expect to get at a normal burger joints. With unique flavour combinations and interesting takes on classic foods, citizens young and old want to be the first to hop on a new craze.

4. Table Service 

Ah, yes, the classic restaurant. This type is the one that would come to your head whenever you hear restaurant. A host will take you to your table, hand you a menu, and your server will come by and take care of the rest. All fancier and higher end restaurants will be in this category, but some bistros, comfort food joints, and family restaurants fall into this category as well.

Expect higher quality food that takes time to prepare when you visit one of these restaurants. Customers will not mind waiting longer than they would at a food truck if it means that they will be served something spectacular. Therefore, these kinds of restaurants are best suited for entrepreneurs who are expecting to have a higher standard of food, rather than something that is quick and easy to prepare.

When choosing a restaurant, it’s important to know what kind of food you will be serving so you can choose the proper sort of restaurant. For example, if you’re wanting to serve fancy desserts and intricate dishes, a food truck or a fast food restaurant may not be the best choice for you. Similarily, if your menu is going to consist American-Chinese food, you might be better off having a Takeout-Delivery kind of restaurant.

All four have been shown to be extremely successful, given that the proper research is done into each. Think of the type of restaurant that you want to run and the choice will make itself clear.

And don’t forget! Once you need kitchen equipment, choose Babak Food Equipment for all of your restaurants needs.

So you’ve finally got the funds together and are ready to open your restaurant. The first thing that you’re going to have to figure out is your location which will play a big role in how successful your business will be. However, there are lots of things to consider. Buying into a more expensive location may mean that you have to cut costs elsewhere, whereas choosing an inexpensive location in what may be considered a rougher part of town may detract future customers. Should you buy your restaurant or should you lease it? Luckily, we have the answers.

Buying a Restaurant vs Leasing a Restaurant

Most business owners may think that buying their space vs leasing their space is the ideal choice as it’s already paid for, but studies have proven that buying your space really only pays off if your business stays in that same location for over 7 years. As a new business owner, you have no idea how business is going to go; if you’re going to have to close up shop or move somewhere else because the location is undesirable. Therefore, leasing a restaurant space as a start-up business owner is recommended because you can make the change if necessary and lose little to no profit in doing so.

Alternatives to Buying or Leasing Restaurant Space

There are other options to consider if neither leasing or buying a restaurant space seems like a good option for you. 

  • Food Trucks: For restaurants that don’t need fancy equipment or large spaces, a food truck is a great option and a far less expensive one at that. For this option, it’s better to buy the truck itself rather than renting or leasing one.
  • Building a New Restaurant: For those with extra cash to spare, you can build your own restaurant. That way, it’s made exactly to your specifications and wherever you choose.
  • Your Existing Space: Perhaps you already have a space that you’ve been using for something else. Rather than searching for somewhere new, consider converting your existing commercial space into your dream restaurant.
  • Commissary Kitchens: Especially for those just starting out, renting out a commissary kitchen can be an inexpensive way to dip your toes into the restaurant business to see how things progress. 

Leasing a Restaurant

If you decide to lease your restaurant, you’ll have to put in some time to research the different types of lease agreements that are available to you. There are two main ones that are used in these situations: gross and net leases.

Gross Lease

A gross lease operates something like an apartment rental. It is a flat monthly fee that covers everything from maintenance to operational costs. This type of lease is good for someone who is on a strict budget as this prevents any unforeseen costs from showing up at the end of the month.

Net Lease

Net leases are typically less expensive than gross leases, but for a reason, and that is because the lessee is responsible for some of the other costs such as utilities, insurance, property taxes, etc. These leases will vary in what they cover so be sure to go over the exact costs outlined in the contract before signing on and getting slammed with unexpected expenses.

3 Types of Net Leases

Within the group of net leases, comes three main types:

  • Single: The lessee pays rent and any property taxes associated with it.
  • Double: The lessee pays rent, property taxes, and covers the insurance.
  • Triple: The lessee pays rent, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance.

And there you have it: all the information you need in order to decide whether buying or leasing is better for you. Once you have these things in order, it’s time for the fun stuff that comes with setting up your restaurant. Good luck, and don’t forget to contact Babak Food Equipment for everything and anything your restaurant needs.

As a restaurant owner, one of your top priorities is making sure that your employees are safe and well cared for, especially in the kitchen where there are numerous hazards. Tight spaces, knives, flames, and hot cooktops all pose a threat to the wellbeing of your employees if they are not careful or are not given the proper safety equipment to keep them safe. Therefore, here are 4 ways you can keep your kitchen an accident-free zone.

1. Safety Procedures: Once an employee has been hired, it is up to management to see that they are properly trained in all areas of the kitchen to avoid any mishaps that might arise. After all, the kitchen may be stocked with veterans who know the safety protocols like the back of their hand, but all the training in the world will not matter if the rookie is not properly trained as one slip-up could jeopardize even the most experienced cook. Invest time and money in training your employees will not only guarantee a safer kitchen, but a much more productive one as well.

2. Restaurant Equipment Handling: Part of the training of your employees is making sure that they know how to properly use each piece of equipment and tool that you have in your kitchen. Failure to comply by the manufacturer’s instructions could lead to nasty injuries and a potential lawsuit on your hands. Therefore, even if an employee states that they know how to use a piece of equipment, show them how to use it anyways, even if it might be common sense on how to operate it. Follow general safety guidelines as well and keep electrical appliances away from water sources, and frequently have your equipment inspected by a professional to have them either repaired or replaced before an accident occurs.

3. Fire Safety: Besides the operating of sharp tools, the most common hazard in the kitchen is the risk of a fire. Although you can’t completely prevent fires from happening in a kitchen environment, you can make sure that your employees know the correct steps to take in the event of one. For instance, install fire extinguishers (not just in the kitchen) and make sure each employee knows how to handle one, keep flammable objects away from open flames and ensure that your employees are wearing fitted clothing and have their hair tied up, know how to put out a grease fire, have an evacuation plan, and know where the power source is to shut off any gas that may escalate the situation.

4. Safety Equipment: It’s not enough to just equip your employees with the knowledge of what to do to keep safe, you also need to give them the physical items that will ensure that they don’t have any accidents. Items such as safety glasses and dishwashing gloves are very inexpensive and can go a long way. Should an accident occur, a well stocked first-aid kit is vital to have in all areas of the restaurant.

While these tips and tricks can be useful in guiding your kitchen team to be the safest that they can be, accidents still occur from time to time. But be rest assured that when they do happen, your team will be well-equipped to deal with them and get back to being an organized and functional kitchen.

Refrigerators, freezers, and coolers are a main staple that every restaurant should have in their kitchen. But is it wise to buy the first one that you come across? Of course not! In fact, there are a lot of things to take into consideration such as size and door type. Taking these things into account will ensure that you end up with the right one for your business and it doesn’t lead to complications down the road.

First up: size and location. The floor-plan of your kitchen will give you a good indication on what will work and what won’t. Bulky freezers and refrigerators will interrupt the flow of the kitchen traffic and potentially cause accidents, but smaller units may not be able to hold all of what you need. Let’s go through the different types of freezers and refrigerators to see which one fits you the best.

Single Door, Reach-In: These units are best placed at the very end of the production line to be easily accessed by all as they should be used to store portions that you plan to use that day, refilling from the larger freezers and refrigerators as needed.. They also provide a great garnish storage to keep the items fresh and ready to use.

Two/Three Door Reach-In: Larger cooling units such as these should be placed in the prep area where they are just as easy to access, but far enough away from the action that they don’t have to work overtime in order to keep themselves cold in such a hot environment. Items that are placed in two or three door refrigerators are typically those that may or may not be used during the day, depending on the flow of the restaurant on that particular day. These cooling units generally serve as a middle man between the walk-in freezer and the single door reach-ins so if the single-door refrigerator runs out of items, they can be taken from the two/three door units to avoid having to travel all the way to the walk-in. Sometimes these two/three dor units can be on their own without the smaller one door, permitting your restaurant has the space and ideal location.

Roll-In Refrigerators/Freezers: Like with the double and three doored cooling units, the roll-in refrigerators and freezers belong in the prep area. These handy pieces of equipment are perfect for storing prepped food in advance and are easily accessible by all kitchen staff.

Walk-In Freezer: Last, but not least are the walk-in freezers which are typically located outside of the kitchen near the delivery area as they are able to contain a large variety of food items in bulk that you won’t need right away. Since they’re located away from the kitchen, they don’t have to work hard to keep cool as well.

For further questions and inquiries into which one would work best for your restaurant, contact Babak Food Equipment by calling 604) 566-9747.

As much as restaurant owners all love getting a shiny new piece of equipment, there are certain things that maybe aren’t quite worth the investment. After all, not everyone has the funds to buy everything new, especially if you’re just starting out. Luckily, there are options: leasing and renting. Which one is best for you? Let’s find out.

Lease Equipment That Frequently Needs Updating

The one thing to consider about leasing is that you’re really only going to be able to have that option for big ticket items. Small things like microwaves likely won’t be covered due to their inexpensive nature.

However, items like ice makers make a great option for leasing as you can always upgrade them once your lease has come to an end–usually around 36 months or so.

Another factor to consider when leasing is how often you’re going to be using the product. Heavily used items like refrigerators and ovens are great leasing options as well, but the only downside to leasing is the money that you have to put in up front, as well as the monthly payments on top of that. Therefore, if it’s an item that won’t need frequent updating, it’s a better choice to buy the item instead.

Buy Equipment You Want to Invest In

As mentioned above, items that don’t need frequent updating are a safe choice to buy. But with buying comes its own dilemma: do you buy it brand new or find it used?

You can find just about any piece of restaurant equipment out there used and usually in good working condition. Big ticket items are wonderful items to buy used as a simple range can cost around $1500, but a saavy shopper can find one for around $800 in the used market. The thing with used items is that you really have to trust your instinct and the quality of the item. Is there a reason that it’s being sold for so cheap? Are there repairs that need to be done to it that would make it a better option to buy a new one? How long as it been used? These are the questions you need to ask the seller before sealing the deal.

However, there are definitely items that need to be bought new. Knives especially you don’t want to buy used. Not only are they not as sharp as new knives, but knives are also susceptible to damage and can have pre-existing scratches and grooves that could impact the food.

In conclusion, if it’s a big ticket item that you’ll get use out of every day, it’ll eventually pay for itself in the long run. If you do choose to buy new, choose energy efficient appliances to save on energy costs.

Rent Equipment You Only Need For a Short Time

At some point in a restaurant’s journey, they’ll want to branch out and try new things. Whether or not these new things take off or not is always uncertain which is where renting comes in!

Renting has no set length in which you have to have the item for, so if you give your new dish a trail run of a couple months and it doesn’t pan out, you’re not stuck with this new piece of equipment for another 34 months like you would be if you leased it.

Renting is also a great option for special restaurant functions such as parties, grand openings, and other events. You may not use that popcorn or cotton candy machine all year round, but for a day, it’s great to know you have the option of renting.

If you haven’t bought a griddle for your commercial kitchen yet, it’s definitely something that you should consider. With its versatility and ability to perform during every meal service whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a griddle is a useful tool. There are three different kinds of griddles that you can choose from: steel, chrome and composite. All of them have their own unique features and disadvantages, as well as a specific cleaning process. Today, we’ll go through the differences to ensure that your griddle continues to perform at its best and has a long lifespan. 

Steel Griddle Plate

Both the most common and the most economical choice for starting restaurants, the steel griddle plate is a sturdy and popular choice. However, it emits quite a bit of heat, making the kitchen an uncomfortable place to be sometimes, and it’s appearance becomes less and less attractive over time. The steel griddle plate is also the hardest to clean and can sometimes require special and heavy duty detergent to get back to its original state.

HOW TO CLEAN A STEEL GRIDDLE PLATE:

  1. Let the griddle cool down to 300°F-350°F, then run under room temperature water.
  2. Use a scraper to remove food particles and other debris.
  3. Apply griddle specific detergent to the griddle and scrub with a griddle brick. 
  4. Rinse thoroughly with room temperature water.

Chrome Griddle Plate

The chrome griddle plate is much more aesthetically pleasing compared to the steel griddle plate, making it ideal for restaurants with open kitchens where diners can see the cooking line. Chrome griddle plates also emit the least amount of heat out of all the options, while still being durable and able to withstand high temperatures. However, it is the most expensive option, but depending on your type of restuarant, it may be well worth the splurge.

In terms of cleaning, the chrome griddle plate is fairly simple.

HOW TO CLEAN A CHROME GRIDDLE PLATE:

  1. Let the griddle cool to 300°F-350°F 
  2. Scrape food particles and other debris off the griddle using the specified scraper.
  3. Rinse with room temperature water and scrub with a Palmetto brush to remove any remaining particles.
  4. Add a food safe polish to the griddle one clean and wipe away with a clean, damp cloth to remove any polish.

Composite Griddle Plate

For a griddle that’s a little more eco-friendly, try the composite plate. It’s more expensive than the steel option, but definitely more affordable than the chrome griddle, making it a nice in-between choice. Those who have the composite griddle in their restaurant noted that they had more consistent cook times, saved more on energy costs, and had an easier time with the cleaning of the griddle compared to the previous two options.

HOW TO CLEAN A COMPOSITE GRIDDLE PLATE:

  1. Let the griddle cool down to 300°F-350°F.
  2. Scrape the griddle to remove all food particles and debris.
  3. Use a mild detergent and room temperature water to coat the griddle.
  4. Use a non-abrasive scrubber to gently clean the surface.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with room temperature water.

Always follow the instructions for your specific griddle plate and use the products that the company recommends. Not only will you have an easier time when it comes to cleaning at the end of the day, but it will ensure a long life for your griddle.

Allergies: a restaurant’s worst nightmare. The last thing you want to happen at your restaurant is to accidentally serve a guest with a food that has either been contaminated with an allergen, or the ingredient has not been removed by the chefs. To prevent this, here are some ways that a commercial kitchen can prevent the spread of allergens and potentially save a life.

Identify Common Allergens

The first thing you’ll want to do is to go over your menu and identify the foods that contain common allergens. It is crucial that all team members who are present in the kitchen at all times are aware of these allergens so they can pay close attention to them and make sure they aren’t meant to be in any of the foods that they’re not supposed to be in. Some common allergies that you will find in most kitchens are:

  • Dairy Products
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Fish (especially shellfish like mussels and clams)

Avoid Cross Contamination

This is in FoodSafe 101. Never use the same surface when preparing different types of food. Not only is it unhealthy and unsanitary, but there is the risk of allergens crossing over into foods if the chefs are not careful. Cleanse and sanitize every workstation, cutting board, utensil, and any other used equipment before using it again for a different dish. This should be done anyways, regardless if the tool has come into contact with a common allergen as it practices safe food handling and drastically reduces, if not eliminates, the chance of harmful bacteria getting into the food.

Educate Staff

As mentioned above, it is imperative that every staff member who is present in the kitchen and employed by the restaurant is made aware of these safety concerns. Team meetings, helpful posters around the kitchen, colour-coded items, and many more techniques can be used to ensure a safe workspace and preventing an allergy emergency in the future. Those who work at the front of the house should also be aware of allergens so they are able to inform their guests of foods which may not be suitable for them.

Whatever method you happen to use to keep your restaurant safe, Babak Food Equipment is here to provide you with the tools that you need for a healthy kitchen. All of our products are of the highest quality and, when taken care of properly, will help drive your restaurant to success.

So, you want to open a restaurant? That’s great! With a solid business plan in place, you’re sure to succeed, but before opening up your doors to the public, it’s important to make sure that you have everything your kitchen needs in order for things to run as smoothly as possible. After all, your kitchen is the center of your business and missing a crucial piece of equipment could prove to be disastrous. Here’s a quick list of everything you need in order to run a successful restaurant.

1. Freezers And Refrigerators

You need somewhere to store all your food as you likely won’t run out of all of it within the first day. Even if you do, food cannot just sit out in the open while you wait for someone to place an order. Refrigerating items preserves the quality and freshness of the food, and keeps it within Food-Safe standards.

2. Food Preparation Counters

Stainless steel is your best option here when it comes to counters and prep tables! The material is sturdy and can withstand a lot of things that your kitchen will go through on a daily basis such as the cleaning materials used in most commercial kitchens.

For your cutting surfaces, choose wooden cutting boards. They may be more expensive and harder to clean than your traditional plastic ones, but can last longer and don’t have the risk of harbouring bacteria in the knife grooves.

3. Slicers

There are two main kinds of slicers and depending on the kind of restaurant you operate and your unique needs, you’ll have to choose between: manual and electric. If your need for slicing is low, choose manual as you won’t have to use it as often. If your restaurant experiences a high volume of customers or involves quite a lot of cutting of meats, cheeses, and other foods which require slicing, an electric slicer may be the best choice for you.

4. Mixers

Just like the slicer, you’ll want to pick a mixer that suits your restaurant’s needs. Restaurants that focus on pizzas, bagels, and other heavy dough objects will want to choose a spiral mixer. These mixers operate at fast speeds and are able to mix 50-600 pounds of dough at a time. This option is also good if your restaurant has a high volume of customers.

For lower mixing speeds and smaller quantities, there’s the planetary mixer. This mixer is the best choice for you if you need something a bit more versatile in your kitchen as it can mix anything from mashed potatoes to whipped cream. These mixers also come in a countertop version for those who need more floor space.

5. Ranges

Nearly all restaurants have one of these in their arsenal and come in a couple of different options as well: electric and gas.

If you need to change the temperature quickly, choose gas. Electric ranges have the same cooking capabilities, albeit not as timely as their gas counterparts, but are easier to clean and maintain.

6. Ovens

If you’ve bought a range for your kitchen, more than likely it came with an oven attached as well, but it’s important to know exactly what kind of oven it is as it may not benefit your business. Bakeries and other restaurants that focus heavily on baked goods may want to consider purchasing a range that has a convection oven setting. This setting circulates hot air around the food and is exceptionally useful for making pies, cookies, as well as toasting and roasting various savory items.

For foods such as cakes and breads, a regular oven will get the job done just fine.

7. Sinks

From being used for washing foods before prepping them or ending the day with washing dishes, a sink is absolutely essential for your restaurant business. Health officials from different places have different requirements on what kind of sink you need, so be sure to check before you make your purchase. Most restaurants will have a triple-sink wash station with a commercial dishwashing unit attached to the side.

Here at Babak Food Equipment, we can proudly say that we’re Vancouver’s #1 choice when it comes to kitchen equipment. If you need it, we have it. Our location in Vancouver has hundreds of products available to you to help your business run as smoothly as possible. Each month, we’ll be highlighting one of our items, giving you a little insight into how each one operates, and how it can benefit you.

This month, we’ll be talking about one of our new products: the MW7500 Aluminum Point of Sale (POS) machine.

For any business who has a location where customers can come in, browse, and potentially walk away with a product, they need a POS machine. For those who are not familiar, a point of sale machine is a business term for a cash register, but it also functions as much more than that. POS machines not only store cash away safely, but they also update the inventory when something is sold, can help process returns and exchanges, and generate sales reports.

The MW7500 Aluminum Point of Sale machine does all of these and more while keeping a sleek and modern design to fit in with society’s evolving tastes. The MW7500 also sports a 10” touch screen, supports Bluetooth, wifi, and multiple languages, and has a stunning resolution of 1366*768. The back of the MW7500 also has an additional screen where customers can view their order as you process it, allowing them to change and/or modify it as needed.

As mentioned above, the MW7500 has multiple functions that don’t always involve a purchasing exchange between business and customer. The MW7500 also has the capabilities of keeping track of staff’s login and logout records, their individual sales records, and keeping a record of previous customer sales history and info.

For food-related businesses, the MW7500 is able to process combo meals, table ordering, over-the-phone ordering, and has take-out and dine-in options.

Additional options are available to you through the software, but these are the most prominant ones. For a complete list of specs and functionalities, contact Babak Food Equipment by dialing 604-566-9747 or by emailing us at info@babakfoodeqipment.com.