Opening a new restaurant requires a lot of overhead: incorporation, insurance, menus, staff, utilities, marketing – a lot. But by far one of the biggest and most expensive investments will be in the commercial kitchen supplies needed to run the business.

A restaurant with superb food starts with the chef and supplies in the kitchen.

Keep in mind that restaurants will always need new chef supplies, and this list is in no way extensive. You'll need to add items as your restaurant grows, new dishes are added, or demand increases for a particular dish.

Cooking and Serving Utensils

Cooking and serving utensils are going to make up a lot of the items you’ll need in a chef’s kitchen. Chef cooking supplies should involve the chef extensively in the purchasing process when possible.


The chef knows better than anyone what he or she needs to be able to cook items on the menu.


Cutlery will be used extensively, and it’s one of the cooking supplies that you’ll want to splurge on. These items will include:

Knives will need to be sharpened so a knife sharpener will be required. There will also be a need for knife blocks or cases, guards or knife holders.

All knives will need to be stored properly to ensure that blades do not dull.

You may need multiple sets of knives, and you’ll also need different blade lengths to meet the diverse needs of various dishes.

Serving Utensils

Serving utensils great for both front- and back-of-the-house applications. Which items will need to be in every chef supply?

Of course, the size of the kitchen and the menu will dictate what serving utensils are required. You'll need to incorporate more seafood serving tools, pie server tools, ladles and so on depending on the dishes that you offer.

Basic Utensils

Of course, you’ll also need your basic utensils that will make up the foundation of every kitchen. These tools often come in sets for cost-effective purchases, and they will include:

These are just the essential items, and they’ll make up a majority of the utensils that you have in the kitchen.


Cookware is a very in-depth, personal preference for a chef. There will be a lot of commercial chef supplies to pick from, and you may need different size cookware, depending on what you’re cooking.

It's better to have more cookware than to miss out on a piece of cookware that your chef needs to complete a dish.

A few of the many professional chef supplies you’ll need are:

Various size options are available, and this means that you may need a 12-inch fry pan, a 10-inch iron skillet as well as a 10-inch dry pan, etc.

Lids will also be required for all of your pots and pans.

If you need to leave a dish simmering or need to heat water faster in a stock pot, a lid or cover may be required. You'll want to add to your list of cookware over time.

Prep Supplies

A lot of food prep supplies and tools exist, too.  These tools can lead to better overall food, faster serving, and happier patrons.

Often left off of a list of restaurant supplies, these are supplies needed for a restaurant that is trying to be more efficient.

These tools may include:

But kitchen supplies will also include all of your measuring supplies, too. These kitchen supplies may consist of:

Prep supplies may also include simple items, such as cutting boards and mats. These items will be required to help you start prepping meals, and they will be expanded on as your kitchen needs grow.

Salt and pepper shakers will be another addition to your supplies list.

Kitchen Appliances

Appliances are going to be more of equipment needs rather than supplies, but this list may include:

Food Storage and Organization Supplies

Chefs will need to have storage and organization supplies at their disposal. These items will make food prep faster, and they can also help preserve food for longer. If food items need to be pre-prepped, these storage and organization supplies will also help.

The list of items that you’ll need to start with are:

Chefs will also need to have a labeling solution that allows for fast and easy labeling. The goal is to ensure that everyone in the kitchen can easily identify items. This is essential when working in a kitchen because the wrong labeling may lead to food allergies, penalties, and fines.

Keeping food separate from other foods and storing them properly will ensure that food is as fresh as possible for all patrons – a key part of a restaurant's success.

Chef kitchen supplies won’t include the items that you need for a bar or for patrons. You'll need to consider your glassware and other items that will be used by guests. But the items above will allow you to get started on stocking up on all of your chef’s supplies.