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ENEE, MENEE, MEINEE, MO: SELECTING YOUR FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT
by Lee Simon

After several months of planning for your new restaurant concept, you find yourself in a meeting with your kitchen designer. It is time to select the equipment for your restaurant. Suddenly you find yourself buried under 47 catalogs and a list of options that, if stretched out completely, would circle the globe two and half times. This process can be a daunting task, unless you know how to proceed. This month, we will look at some of the important issues to consider when selecting the foodservice equipment for your facility.

Predict Your Own Future

Before you begin the process of selecting equipment for the current concept, consider what the future will hold for your operation. First, consider flexibility. Do you anticipate that the concept will change over time? If so, you should plan for the equipment to be easily modified or replaced over time. If the concept will succeed or fail with the current concept, then planning for flexibility is not as critical. Second, consider whether this investment is a long-term or short-term investment. If you plan to own and operate the facility for an extended period of time, it is in your best interest to invest in reliable, quality equipment. If, on the other hand, you intend to sell the restaurant or significantly modify the concept within the first few years of operation, it may be wise to invest in medium grade equipment that will suit your needs for the specified amount of time.

Review the Menu

Before you can begin the equipment selection process, you should have your menu established. It is possible to select the equipment without a menu, but doing so will result in a facility that is not specifically tailored to your operation. Too often, the end result from such an effort is a configuration that is less than ideal. For the following example, let's assume that your menu is available.

The selection of equipment for a facility should be methodical. The best way to approach this task is to review each menu item and list the individual pieces of equipment that will be required for preparation. The quantity of the product(s) requiring preparation will also influence the equipment selection process. Consider each ingredient and follow it through the facility from the time it enters the receiving area to the time it is returned to the kitchen after service. Take something as simple as a baked potato, and follow it through the facility. One mentor of mine appropriatelyor ough thekandomine appropriatelyor ough thekan youcalricke Menuipmentn youcillreparationexcluacymabulkproduyerationd am or repcditi

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