A start-up checklist for a restaurant kitchen includes items necessary for receiving supplies and food, dry and cold storage equipment, dish- and hand-washing facilities, equipment for food preparation, and cooking utensils. Stoves, ovens and grills are other key start-up considerations in addition to ice machines, freezers, food prep tables, and transportation racks and carts. State and federal laws also require safety equipment in restaurant kitchens, which typically includes first-aid kits specifically stocked for kitchen-related accidents and fire extinguishers.
To design a start-up checklist, begin with the menu, consider the ingredients in each menu item and what is required to process the ingredients and prepare the final dish. Chefs can also create a mock-up of a high-volume night where every menu item is prepared simultaneously. This is a good way to determine everything required to meet the demands of such occasions.
Basic equipment for a receiving area include a receiving scale, box knife and dunnage racks. Dunnage racks, food boxes and bins are also essential in both dry and cold storage areas, as are drainage trays for storing meat.
Salad preparation areas need colanders, cutting boards, mincing and paring knives, and bowls. For food prep consider buying color-coded cutting boards for meat, fish and poultry; a variety of knives, such as utility knives, boning knives, bread knives and a meat cleaver; and, based on menu items, food processors, blenders and mixers.
Paper towels, towel dispensers, an anti-bacterial soap dispensers, hand and nail brushes, and instant hand sanitizer are standard fare for the employee hand-washing station.