Creating a pop-up restaurant gives chefs a great opportunity to test out menus and restaurant concepts. These dining experiences sometimes occur in blank spaces with no installed kitchen, so it's important to consider the restaurant equipment you will need to execute your dishes and create an exciting menu for your guests. Here are just some of the types of equipment options you may want to consider when building a temporary kitchen for your pop-up restaurant.
Portable Steam Tables
Portable steam tables provide a space for keeping pre-cooked items, such as sides and soups, ready for service. Having steam tables allows you to have some items ready to go before service so you can focus on cooking proteins to order as diners come in. Look for tables with multiple sections for different dishes. Durable rolling casters make it easy to set up your kitchen space in the hours before guests are expected to arrive.
Purchasing freestanding electric burners can provide a smart alternative to traditional stoves. These portable cooktops can be placed virtually anywhere on the line in your kitchen, and they are easy to pack up when your pop-up restaurant service is over. Consider a mix of double and single burners to create separate cook stations throughout your temporary kitchen space. Induction burners offer great heat distribution and can help you create delicious dishes quickly. Remember to invest in cookware that is compatible with the burners you choose, as traditional pots and pans are not always compatible with induction burners.
With a temporary kitchen space, you won't have the luxury of a traditional walk-in fridge and freezer. Consider smaller rolling units that can be set up throughout your food prep area. Fridges with glass doors offer a great option, as you can see ingredients before you open the door. This means fewer chefs opening and closing the doors during service, which can help fresh ingredients stay at their ideal temperatures. Be sure to invest in a reach-in freezer with rolling casters for flexible food storage space. Another rolling refrigeration option to keep in mind is a portable ice maker. The ice can be used when preparing beverages and to keep cold dishes, such as ceviches and tartares, properly staged before serving.
Small Stainless Steel Tables
Of course, you'll also need to build the cooking line for your pop-up restaurant kitchen. While you might be used to long stainless steel tables for this part of the kitchen, big pieces of equipment might not be the best option. Smaller square-shaped and rectangular stainless steel tables can be easily arranged to suit your available space. If you tend to open a lot of pop-ups, these smaller pieces provide you some flexibility when selecting a venue. You'll already have the equipment to fit the temporary kitchen area and won't have to worry about fitting a long cooking table in the space. Be sure to choose stainless steel pieces for easy cleaning and sanitizing before, during, and after meal service.