My Cart

One Stop Kitchen Solutions

One-Stop Kitchen Equipment List for Fast Food Restaurant

Post on 03/07/2023

Are you interested in starting a fast-food restaurant? Chefmax shares a one-stop kitchen equipment list with a complete equipment description and selection tips, including refrigeration equipment, food preparation equipment, cooking equipment, and other stainless steel equipment. If you are planning to open your fast food restaurant, don’t miss this guide.

Table of Contents

What are the advantages of starting a fast food business?

Before everything starts, you need to know some basics and advantages of the fast food business, which can help you build a complete picture of fast food restaurants and the fast food industry in your mind.

Low costs and high profits

In the restaurant industry, the average profit margin of fast food restaurants is slightly higher than other types of restaurants. It has a profit margin of about 6 – 9%, and although pricing in the fast food industry is generally not high, the lower cost of ingredients and labor determines its high-profit margin.

The menu of fast food restaurants is relatively simple, offering mostly fried food and a single cooking method. Staff only need to follow the prescribed food cooking and assembly process, so you don’t need to spend more money on staff training or invest in a senior chef.

People often choose to eat quickly or take away food, which means the restaurant does not need to be large and only needs to provide a small number of tables and chairs. This can reduce a significant portion of rent for fast food restaurants, especially in busy central areas.

Growing market size

Even with the unprecedented global impact of the new crown epidemic, the global fast food market size is expected to grow from $972.74 billion in 2021 to $146.74 billion in 2028, showing a continuous growth trend, according to forecasts. This is due to the continuous increase in demand for convenience foods, snacks, and ready-to-eat foods.

The expansion of the global working population is also contributing to the size of the fast food industry. Even though people today are increasingly focused on a healthy and balanced diet, the demand for fast food will never decrease.

This is not only because we need to eat fast food for family meals or for lunch or dinner at work, but also because the fast food industry is making changes to healthier eating habits, such as adding low-cal foods. This has allowed fast food to adapt to new and changing trends in the industry.

Common fast food

The model is easy to replicate

Standardization and simplicity determine the success of the fast-food restaurant model can be easily copied. Standardization refers to the operation method of a standard process, and the whole operation process is highly standardized. Simplicity means that fast food restaurants focus on a few key products, thus reducing the complexity of ingredient sourcing, inventory management, and food preparation.

This means a high success rate when joining a successful fast food chain and means that after you have successfully operated your own branded fast food restaurant, you can easily open a branch and replicate it everywhere.

A higher degree of freedom

In a non-franchised operation, the owner can be quite flexible and creative with the practices of his store.

With a franchise (often referred to as franchising), all the ingredients and menu items in your store have to be consistent with the main store rules, and you cannot change, add or subtract ingredients at will.

But with your fast food restaurant, you can improve and flavor your burgers, chicken sandwiches, and fries based on market research, adding innovative ingredients to the mix. Or introduce new products according to the season to attract different people.

Advantages of Franchising

Franchising is when a business (franchisor) grants another individual or organization (franchisee) the right to use its brand, business model, and operating system to open an independently owned branch or store.

The great thing about it is that there is no need to explore it on your own. If you choose to franchise, you will get the perfect business model provided by the business. They will provide the decoration style, menu, cooking methods, detailed operation of each process, and other business assistance for your store, such as easier loans.

You have full direct access to their visibility and the customers they already have, who will completely trust and love the brand and come to your store to spend money. This is why franchising has lower costs and risks.

Common fast food restaurants

What equipment do you need for a fast food restaurant kitchen?

After understanding the advantages of choosing a fast food restaurant, have you started building your fast food restaurant blueprint in your mind? The next thing you’ll be considering is funding, site selection, kitchen construction, and a host of other issues. Chefmax will share a list of one-stop kitchen equipment and some selection tips to make it easy for you to include them in your considerations and shopping list.

Refrigerators and Freezers

Refrigerators are food storage and refrigeration equipment that every commercial kitchen has. They keep all types of vegetables, fruits, and meats fresh, extend their shelf life, and provide hygienic food safety in commercial kitchens. In a fast food restaurant, you may need them to refrigerate vegetables for salads, frozen fried chicken, chicken nuggets, and French fries.

Should I choose a solid door or a glass door?

Glass doors provide better visibility, which helps your staff to reach items more efficiently. Glass doors work well for refrigerated equipment, but they do not work well for frozen equipment where the temperature is below 0 degrees. Glass doors can mist up very easily and thermal protection can be compromised. This can increase energy waste and even have an impact on the quality of stored food.

Does the location of the compressor unit have any influence?

For applications in fast food restaurants, we recommend that you use a refrigerator with an under-mounted compressor.

The air at the bottom is usually cooler. With more fryers, the hot air is concentrated at the top and affects the heat dissipation of the refrigerator with the compressor unit at the top. With less dust and flour in the bottom air of a fast food kitchen than in a bakery, there is less chance of the refrigeration system getting clogged.

Ice machines

An ice machine is a type of refrigeration equipment capable of making large quantities of different types of ice in a short period. It is mainly used in fast food kitchens to chill various types of beverages such as black tea, cola, orange juice, etc.

Should I choose a water-cooled or air-cooled type?

Chefmax recommends the water-cooled type of ice maker for restaurants with a permanent storefront. Water cooling provides more continuous ice production and lower failure rates. Water connections are easier to obtain in fast food restaurants with permanent locations, while air-cooled types of ice machines are mainly available for restaurant types that need to work outdoors.

How to choose between under-counter, integrated, and split ice machines?

The capacity of these types of ice machines ranges from small to large. The under-counter type has the lowest capacity, while the split type has a separate ice storage bin, so the capacity is higher, depending on the size of your fast food restaurant. When choosing specifications based on production capacity, you should not choose based on the daily production required, but on the demand for ice during peak customer flow periods.

Pizza, sandwich and salad Workstations

Pizza, sandwiches, and salads are often served in your fast food restaurant. The workbench dedicated to storing and assembling them consists of a storage cabinet, a work surface, and multiple food trays. You can put different ingredients in the trays and assemble the pizzas or sandwiches on the work surface.

The difference between the pizza workbench and the sandwich and salad workbench is that it has a larger work surface to allow the operator to place larger pizzas on it.

Choose air-cooled or direct-cooled type?

We recommend the air-cooled type of salad and sandwich workbench. 

When storing fragile leafy vegetables, the uneven cooling provided by the direct-cooled models has the potential to freeze these ingredients with high water content (they have low temperatures near the inner walls). 

Air-cooled types, on the other hand, can store all types of fresh vegetables perfectly. However, please do not expose them directly to the storage cabinet; the circulating air flow may cause leafy vegetables to lose moisture.

Both types of refrigeration are suitable for pizza worktops. Because pizza ingredients are mainly carrots, onions, meats, cheeses, dough, etc., leafy vegetables are rarely used. The pizza ingredients are not very demanding for the refrigeration type, as long as the temperature is kept within the range of 0-5℃ it can be safely preserved.

Food processor

Food processors can handle everything from cake batter and carrots to minced meat. They can mix, chop, grind, slice, and make purees. They are commonly used in fast food restaurants to chop vegetables and grind and mix sauces such as carrots, cabbage, and cucumbers.

Should I choose batch bowls or combination processors?

For reasons of kitchen space and functionality, fast food restaurants are better off with combination processors. They have a wider range of applications and higher throughput.

Batch bowls are more suitable for liquid food, such as mixing some sauces, and they have a smaller capacity, while Combination processors are more suitable for solid food and can switch between multiple blades for shredding, chopping, slicing, etc. Fast food restaurants in the production of salads, chips, pizza ingredients, etc. use it.

potato cutter machine VC65 MS

Meat cutters

Commercial meat cutters can help you cut all the necessary meats and cheeses. In fast food restaurants, it is usually slices of cheese, meat rolls, meat chops, or slices of ham and meat. This equipment can adjust the thickness of the slices from the thinnest to about 15 mm.

How does the type of meat affect the choice of meat cutter?

There are three types of cutters to choose from: frozen meat cutters, fresh meat cutters, and deli-type cutters. They do not mix, and you cannot use a fresh meat cutter to cut frozen meat, which can cause damage to the blades or the motor. Deli cutters should also only be used for cutting cooked food and they should be separated from raw meat cutters as this can lead to the growth of some bacteria and cross-infection.

Everything is determined by the menu you expect to serve in your fast-food restaurant. If you use more semi-finished products that are already cut, you can also reduce the consideration for meat cutters.


If you need to make artisan bread, sandwiches, pizza, and burger dough in your kitchen, then investing in a commercial mixer is a good choice. It is capable of making batters and doughs in batches, using even and fast mixing to improve preparation efficiency.

Which is better, a belt drive or a gear drive?

The advantages of a belt drive are quietness and low failure rates. The gear drive gives more mixing power, making it possible to mix more dough more quickly. The disadvantages of gear drives are higher maintenance costs and additional noise.


The deep fryer is the soul of your fast-food kitchen. More than half of your menu will be prepared in the oven, including the popular fried chicken nuggets, chicken cutlets, fries, and nachos. Fryers come in countertop types and floor types, with the floor type providing more capacity.

Do I need to consider an oil filtration truck?

Other restaurant types are less likely to use a fryer where they only need to manually filter the oil at the end of the business. However, in franchised fast food restaurants, their kitchens usually have a frying area with one to several fryers. Fast food restaurant owners often choose to provide an oil filter cart for these fryers to quickly filter the oil, improving kitchen efficiency and reducing operating costs.

Can a regular fryer support a whole chicken?

If you need to serve a whole, larger chicken to your customers, we recommend using a pressure fryer. It is very difficult to fry a whole chicken in a short period in a pressure fryer, many times they will burn the outside of the chicken but the inside is still raw.


Commercial ovens bake food or dry products by sealed heating. Fast food restaurants often use ovens to make pizza, desserts, wings, grilled meats, sandwiches, roasted vegetables, and other foods with very wide applicability. The temperature of electric ovens can generally be adjusted in the range of 50-250°C depending on the different needs of the baked goods.

What kind of oven should I choose?

Baking ovens, pizza ovens, combination ovens, deck ovens …… There are so many types of ovens to choose from. Chefmax recommends using a professional pizza oven for cooking pizza, while for other foods, a combination oven will suffice. 

Combination ovens are capable of steam, bake, and steam roast modes. Fast food restaurants need this multifunctional oven for cooking tasks and it can save maximum space.


The griddle is equipped with a metal plate on top that absorbs the heat from the burner to fry the food and melt the cheese. Some of the foods that need to be cooked on a griddle in a fast-food restaurant are burger patties, steaks, sausages, eggs, and pancakes.

Flat top griddle or grill?

The advantage of a grill is that open-fire grilling is more flavorful and leaves nice charred brown streaks on the steak, which is almost the signature mark of a steak. But in a fast-food restaurant, a flat-top grill is more appropriate and perfect for the more involved task of frying burger patties. It has a wider range of applications, with eggs and vegetables being able to be fried.

Some flat-top grills will make a part of the bumpy striped surface, so if you have a very small amount of steak on the menu, you can choose this type of grill to color the steak without having to purchase a separate grill.

Stainless steel worktops

Stainless steel worktops can hold your tools and support all kinds of preparation on them, and they usually have a divider or a cabinet to hold ingredients and tools. Worktops are equipped with shelves where you can hang or place other things to maximize the space in your kitchen.

Does the material of the table matter?

Yes, the material has a direct impact on the life of the table. Materials that rust or stain easily can cause health and safety problems, so you need to choose carefully among several materials. Stainless steel worktops are mainly available in 430 and 304. 430 is cheaper but may rust easily. 304 is more expensive but is better quality, easier to clean, and less prone to rusting. If your restaurant is located in a wet or near the sea, 304 is the best choice.

Can I customize stainless steel worktops?

The answer is yes, stainless steel worktops are highly customizable and can be fully customized according to your kitchen layout for specifications, cabinets & tables, backsplashes, dividers, built-in sinks, single and double layers, casters, drawers, etc. to provide a user experience with maximum space utilization. Chefmax has a comprehensive customization list and extensive manufacturing experience to effectively reduce customization costs.

Stainless Steel Sliding Door Table


Hoods are included in the list of one-stop kitchen equipment, both for health and safety reasons. In fast food kitchens where frying, pan-frying, and grilling are the most common cooking methods, the presence of a hood is especially important to clean the kitchen environment and reduce the number of soot particles adhering to equipment surfaces.

Choose Type I or Type II ?

Fast food kitchens should choose Type I hoods. The difference between the two types is that Type I hoods are designed for cooking equipment that produces grease and smoke, such as deep fryers, frying pans, and grills. Type II hoods, on the other hand, are ideal for non-grease-producing equipment such as ovens and steamers, absorbing heat, steam, and odors to maintain the kitchen environment.

commercial hoods


Starting a fast food business requires complex consideration and preparation, building a kitchen is only one part of the process. Chefmax wants to help you with all aspects of the kitchen-building process and solve problems. This includes professional one-stop kitchen drawing design, complete equipment selection and supply, door-to-door shipping, and complete after-sales service.

Chefmax’s twenty years of manufacturing and sales experience support all the services of a one-stop fast-food restaurant kitchen. If you need to get more information about one-stop kitchen equipment, please contact Chefmax.

Related Resources
Chefmax and A&W perfect case for fast-food chain kitchen engineering
Chefmax and A&W: The Perfect Example of Kitchen Engineering for Chain Fast-Food
Chefmax visited an A&W fast food restaurant in Indonesia, after having supplied the chain with all the fast food restaurant equipment and helped with the entire kitchen construction process.
Commercial kitchen equipment that all restaurants need
Commercial Kitchen Equipment Every Restaurant Needs
Are you worried about missing or redundant kitchen equipment on your list? Chefmax shares this list of equipment that every commercial kitchen needs with anyone who is ready to start a business.
Choosing the Right Commercial Kitchen Layout
A successful commercial kitchen layout can create an efficient restaurant for you. Chefmax will introduce you to the kitchen areas, common layout types and design principles.
How to run your restaurant successfully
How Successfully Run a Restaurant?
Chefmax shares 5 aspects of building a smooth, efficient and professional restaurant to help you get golden ideas for running a restaurant.
8 ways to make restaurant kitchen run more efficiently
8 Tips for Designing a More Efficient Rastaurant Kitchen
Whether you are planning to start building an efficient restaurant kitchen or optimizing an existing one, Chefmax will help you using experience gained from years of experience in the commercial kitchen sector.
How to Open a Restaurant in Vietnam
How to Open a Restaurant: A Comprehensive Guide
Please read the eight guides to opening a restaurant to help you open a successful restaurant, Chefmax is happy to provide you with professional guidance!

Thank you for your interest in our products