Running a Restaurant/Equipment Type/Cost


I am currently in the process of conducting the due diligence phase of opening a restaurant in the Dallas, Texas area. The cuisine will be modern American, with a gastropub like atmosphere. Food will have classic burgers and fries, local fish like freshwater cat and bass, and locally raised grass raised beef , pork, chicken, and lamb.  I have research may market, conducted a landscape assessment of local and mid-local competitors that will affect my business. Now I am currently in the pricing stage researching equipment and dining needs. I am trying to keep my cost down and finding the most expensive area is kitchen equipment (of course).  I have noticed some options in equipment from standard to countertop, gas to electric. I would like some help in defining what a kitchen in this establishment would need and could some of the non-traditional choices be right for me. I donít want to hurt output or service times. I would appreciate some help and guidance in this process.

Good luck on your new venture.

Over the years my philosophy on equipment has changed dramatically. In my first restaurants I was very budget oriented and kept my equipment costs as low as possible. I viewed equipment as a necessity, but not as an essential tool to grow and contribute to our overall expansion opportunities. Soon I realized that when your volume grows, your equipment must be able to handle the additional output or you are buying or replacing equipment that could have been purchased at inception for less money.

Today I realize that each piece of equipment must be selected with care. For instance, I would assume you will have a charbroiler for burgers and other meat proteins. When choosing a size you must ask yourself things like how many center of the plate items can it cook at a time? Will it reach the temperatures I want to properly cook the meats I choose? The same thought process must go into selecting a range. Questions like how many burners will I need? Or how many ovens will I need? Do I want a stovetop, oven and grill combo?

Today there are various cooking methods being slowly integrated into restaurants. Induction cooking, quick convection radiant cooking and even high temp water baths. None of these methods have totally met all the needs of main stream foodservice, but have found some areas of influence into specialty uses.

I can't tell you what to buy without full knowledge of your menu, volume and location. However, I can suggest you don't skimp on your purchases to the point your cooking equipment will not support your growth. Cooking equipment has a relatively long life and you should view it as a great long term investment in your customer's satisfaction.

Running a Restaurant

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Larry Edger


Multi concept restaurant owner. Just finished fourth restaurant. Can answer questions on all aspects of running, owning and starting a restaurant, cafe or hospitality operation. Enjoy helping other restaurant owners. Most "consultants" have no idea what a restaurant operator needs to be successful. Let me know if I can assist you finding answers to your operating and marketing questions. Accomplished chef and menu development a particular talent for upscale casual restaurants.


Owner and operator of several multi-concept restaurants. Successful entrepreneur, started businesses from scratch on many occasions. Know the problems with planning and running a restaurant. Always independent operations and not the product of chain restaurants.

As an author of The Restaurant Ebook, A Guide to Keeping Your Dream Off the Chopping Block, I have helped hundreds of restaurateurs to market and run a better restaurant.For more information visit or

Attended Ohio State University and have gone through many extended classes relating to marketing and management. Written many courses and training manuals.
Currently building fourth restaurant and created a blog to keep track of daily activities. Readers can see the various steps from leasing to opening. Visit

©2016 All rights reserved.