Stocking a Restaurant

Stocking your restaurant is possibly the biggest expense you will face when opening a new eatery. Fully stocking a restaurant without going over your budget takes some careful planning, but it can be done. These four steps to stocking a restaurant can help you reach your Grand Opening with everything you need, at a price you can afford.

Step 1:   Make a list of all needed supplies

  1. Kitchen:
    • Appliances – range, oven, grill, deep-fryer, food processor, dishwasher, ice maker
    • Refrigeration -reach-in cooler or walk-in cooler, freezer, prep table
    • Pots and Pans – sauté pans, stock/soup pots, sauce pans, baking sheets and pans
    • Utensils – tongs, spatulas, ladles, Chef’s knives, tasting spoons, whisks, etc.
    • Mixing bowls
    • Rubber floor mats
    • Fire Extinguishers
    • Hand soap/sanitizer dispenser
  2. Front of the House:
    • Furniture – tables, chairs, booths, high chairs
    • Dishes – plates, bowls, coffee cups, saucers
    • Glassware
    • Utensils
    • Linens – tablecloths, napkins, kitchen towels
    • Menus – covers and inserts
    • Condiment holders, salt and pepper shakers
  3. Bar:
    • Refrigeration: reach in cooler, wine cooler, keg storage, beer taps, soda system
    • Bartending utensils
    • Stools

Step 2:   Comparison shop for equipment  

There are several ways you can save money while stocking your restaurant:

  1. Scratch and Dent – New equipment available at a discount because it has incurred some cosmetic damage.
  2. Used – The high failure rate of new restaurants means you can find pre-owned equipment that was only used for a year or so. You can often haggle with dealers and even get them to throw in extras at no cost.
  3. LeasedLeased equipment requires only low monthly payments rather than a large up front outlay; you may even be able to get some leased equipment free of cost from vendors whose product you purchase (e.g. coffeemakers). Repairs are not your responsibility if the equipment breaks, and when your lease is up, you can replace your equipment with the newest model.

Step 3:   Fit your furniture to your restaurant

  1. Physical dimensions Leave enough room for diners to move comfortably around the room.
  2. Business model Determine whether customers linger for long meals or dine quickly for fast table turnovers according to the comfort level of your furniture
  3. Your budget Prices vary widely for restaurant furniture. It makes sense to forego the “perfect” chairs that are too expensive in favor of “good” ones that do not break your budget. Used furniture can save your budget, but be sure to check for wear and sturdiness.
  4. Go commercial Commercial furniture is more expensive than non-commercial furniture for a good reason: it is sturdier, easier to clean, and far more durable, leading to lower lifetime costs.

Step 4:   Keep future expense in mind

  1. Dishes and glassware Balance elegance and durability. Lighter china dishes and elegant stemware may set a sophisticated look, but they require much more care and time to clean and generate ongoing breakage expenses.
  2. Linens Tablecloths dress up a dining room and are an inexpensive way to cover unattractive tabletops, but require a lot more upkeep and need to be replaced. In the long run, it may be less expensive to invest in nicer tabletops.
  3. Point of Sale System Choose a POS system that processes credit and debit cards so you do not have to purchase additional equipment, tracks payroll expenses and sales, and helps you manage your inventory costs.

Pinnacle Hospitality Systems’ POSitouch POS has all the features restaurants need to keep operating expenses low, with integrated credit and debit card processing that eliminates the need for third party terminals and additional phone lines. The time and attendance module of Pinnacle’s restaurant POS gives restaurants greater control of labor management and total cost of doing business. With the Inventory Management and Reporting modules of Pinnacle’s POSitouch restaurant software, restaurant owners are able to track and control expenses. Contact Pinnacle today at 800.771.7100 to discover all the ways Pinnacle’s point of sale systems can lower your restaurant costs!