Ranges are important kitchen equipment for running a restaurant or conducting any such commercial foodservice operation. Commercial ranges are well-known for their versatility and simplicity. And they are used for multiple cooking processes like sauteing, braising, broiling, pan-frying, and simmering.
Commercial ranges are available in various types and sizes. Their configuration and styles also vary considerably from one another. The kind of commercial range you need to buy depends on your specific kitchen requirements, and it is a matter of your preference.
A commercial range is like the Swiss army knife of your restaurant kitchen. If you are looking to open a new restaurant, the commercial range is essential kitchen equipment, and here are the top four things that you should know before buying a commercial range:
- Range type
Technically, there are three types of ranges:
- Heavy-duty commercial range
- Restaurant range
- Specialty range
Commercial range: These are rugged and durable kitchen equipment that can withstand all-day use. This equipment generates a huge amount of heat power to prepare high volumes of food for your customers all day long. The configuration of a commercial range is highly customizable, with options like open burners, French tops, and grills. Costs of a commercial range are higher than that of a restaurant range, including that of a blast chiller, and hence the
commercial range is preferred only when one has to serve a large number of customers.
Restaurant range: Typically, a restaurant range can serve up to 150 diners at a time. It is suitable for small kitchen space and is very affordable with less upfront and less maintenance cost. In addition, restaurant ranges are smaller and lighter than heavy-duty commercial ranges.
Specialty range: Commercial ranges can be specialty ranges such as stock pot range, wok range, etc. A wok range is suitable for high-heat stir-frying, whereas a stock pot range is apt for preparing a high volume of soups, broths, and stocks.
- Size of the range
The commercial range is available in different sizes to suit the individual requirements of a restaurant kitchen. Common range sizes are widths of 24”, 36”, 48”, and 72”. Larger the width of the range, you can prepare more food you can prepare from it.
You need to know how much food you may want to prepare using the range, including when there is a large volume of rushes in your restaurant. You can narrow down the capacity and size of the range you wish to buy based on this. For example, 36” is the most common range size for a restaurant business.
When it comes to size, it is wise to go for a large-sized range instead of going for many smaller-sized ranges as it would save upfront costs and energy consumption costs. Choose heat lamps and cheese melters aligned with your kitchen space as well as needs.
- Hood space
Another important factor that you should keep in mind when buying a restaurant series range is hood space. There are standard guidelines as to how much hood space you require in your commercial range. Typically, hoods should extend beyond the range at least by 6”. For example, if you own a 60” hood, the maximum range width you can place under it is 48”.
Space is an important parameter to consider, and you have various options other than open burners. For example, for restaurants that wish to specialize in breakfast foods, griddle tops are highly desirable. Therefore, you can configure your range unit by wisely deciding on the griddle space and the number of burners in your range.
Griddle options are available in the market in 12” increments. Also, there are “space saver” commercial ranges to suit the layout of your restaurant kitchen.
- Type of food your range can cook
When buying a commercial range for your restaurant’s kitchen, the type of food you wish to prepare from your range is an important factor of consideration. For example, if your menu focuses on breakfast items, you may need an open burner. Several burners could serve a greater number of customers. If you need Asian cooking done commercially, a wok burner would be apt for regular usage.
Few other factors that need attention when buying a commercial range include the type of energy source (gas or electricity), amount of energy consumption, range top configuration (Charbroiler, Griddle, Plancha), range bases (standard oven bases, convection oven bases, storage base, refrigerator base, broiler base), and features like automatic ignition, etc.