If you are new to the Italian restaurant business, what type of restaurant equipment supplies will you buy? It's a given you'll need the basics such as a refrigerator and pizza oven. Less obvious (yet equally important) supplies you'll need may include pizza and pasta preparation equipment, as well as meat grinders, sandwich grills and tomato slicers. Here are five essentials to look for as you venture into the Italian restaurant business:
1. Commercial Dough Mixer
For preparing fresh homemade pasta dishes, you'll need a commercial dough mixer. For a high volume restaurant, consider a freestanding floor model. Look for heat-treated alloy steel gears and shafts, as well as thermal overload protection to keep the dough from overcooking. A safety cut-off switch is an important feature as well, to prevent gears from turning if you forget to shut off the motor.
Speaking of the motor, a powerful one is a must if you have a high volume business. A heavy, variable speed motor should provide the thorough kneading you'll require. Look for an option that allows the user to change the speed while the mixer is in operation, as this will save you time in the restaurant kitchen. A timer will be handy, enabling you to avoid over-kneading.
2. Pizza Dough Press
For making either personal size pan pizzas or traditional style pizza, you may save time and effort with a commercial pizza dough press. This device will flatten the dough balls, without the need for manual labor or roller equipment. Look for a pizza press with a timer and temperature setting, as well as a thickness selection control.
A pizza dough press will include both an upper and lower plate. The upper plate will typically be heated to flatten the dough efficiently. The lower plate is what holds the pizza crust, and this plate typically swings out for convenience. A digital readout makes it easy to set the temperature control that heats the dough to be flattened. Look for a model that requires no flour, as this will make it easier to clean.
3. Electric Meat Grinder
Italian restaurants often use freshly ground meat for sausage and meatballs. A commercial meat grinder is another essential to be considered. For your high volume restaurant, you'll want good processing power to handle several pounds of meat per hour. For quiet operation, look for a machine constructed with steel gears.
Most commercial meat grinders will include accessories such as gaskets, pushers, grinding plates and meat trays. For versatility, the grinding plates should include one coarse and one medium size. In addition, you might want to use the machine for stuffing sausage, so look for one that includes a few sausage stuffing funnels.
4. Panini Grill
Many Italian restaurants serve fresh Panini sandwiches and flat bread options. A Panini is an Italian style grilled sandwich, typically made with ciabatta or another crusty type of bread. A good choice for making these offerings efficiently and professionally would be a Panini grill. You'll want a commercial grade Panini grill for your business, and you may choose from a single or double grill, depending upon the volume of customers you'll serve.
Look for cast iron plates with a non-stick cooking surface. A brushed stainless steel will be durable and easy to clean on the surface. Handles should be heat resistant. A removable dip tray is also a must.
5. Commercial Tomato Slicer
Most Italian restaurants will require the use of sliced tomatoes for Italian submarine sandwiches and salads. Slicing tomatoes by hand is time consuming when working in a restaurant or food environment. This is why you might consider a commercial tomato slicer for your business.
When buying your slicer, look for track materials that are self-lubricating to avoid issues such as improper alignment of blades. Some models also feature scalloped blades or blades with interchangeable widths. This makes it convenient for slicing other ingredients such as mushrooms or peppers for your Italian recipes.