Starting a food business is one of the best ways to use your passion for profit. If you love cooking or baking, why not turn your hobby into something lucrative and share your talent with the world at the same time?
Just like any other business, you would need a plan, a set of goals, and a strategy. You would also need to apply for permits and licenses before you can start selling your goods from home. But perhaps the most concerning of all is the tools and equipment you need for a fully functional home-based food business.
Depending on where you live, you may have to ensure that your business kitchen is separate from your personal kitchen. You may also have to rent a professional kitchen entirely. Either way, you need the right set of tools and equipment that can help your business gain traction.
Regular kitchen knives won’t cut it if you want to run a professional food business from home. You need a set of knives that will allow you to cut perfectly with the least amount of work, and chef’s knives are the best option for that purpose. If you don’t want to confuse your business knives with personal knives, you can opt for engraved kitchen knives to set a clear distinction between them.
If you are planning on starting a baking business, an industrial oven is an excellent investment. A regular oven can only bake two or three trays per batch, which means it’s not going to be efficient once the orders start to roll in.
When choosing an industrial oven for your business, here are some important factors that you need to consider:
If you have limited space, you would need to analyze your floor plan in order to choose the right size oven. Consider how many products you need to prepare per batch and how long will each product take to cook. Doing so can give you a good idea of how big your oven needs to be.
There are several types of commercial ovens, namely deck ovens, conveyor ovens, convection ovens, steam ovens, cook-and-hold ovens, and high-speed ovens. The type of oven that you need will depend on what you plan to bake. For example, if you will be offering pizza or casseroles on your menu, a deck oven is the best choice.
An oven can be powered by either electricity or gas. Gas ovens are more expensive to install but come with lower operating costs. Electric ovens, on the other hand, are inexpensive to install but are generally more expensive than gas. Aside from the costs, there is also a big difference with their temperature control. Gas ovens are trickier to control and thus may result in undercooked items, while electric ovens provide more consistent heat which leads to evenly cooked products.
Food holding and warming equipment
Customers want to receive their food warm. In a home-based business, keeping food warm may be hard to achieve without proper food holding and warming equipment, such as:
- Holding cabinets
- Countertop warmers
- Heat lamps
- Tray dispensers
- Strip warmers
- Steam tables
These pieces of equipment can help keep food at the perfect serving temperature before you pack and deliver them to your customers, so they are considered must-haves for any commercial kitchen.
You probably already have all of the cooking utensils that you need for your business, but keep in mind that you may have to keep your business and personal kitchens separate, which also means you cannot share utensils between kitchens. In this case, you will have to invest in new cooking tools and utensils, including but not limited to:
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Baking dishes
- Forks, spoons, knives
- Can opener
- Tongs, spatulas, ladles
- Kitchen scissors
- Chopping boards
- Mixers, whisks
If you need specialized tools for your business, you would also need to have separate duplicates for those as well. To save money on these needs, maximize bulk order discounts in supply stores or look for great deals online.
Industrial refrigerator and freezer
Invest in an industrial-sized refrigerator and chest freezer to have enough storage for all of your perishables. Compared to domestic units, commercial refrigerators and freezers have a more utilitarian design which can allow for easier stacking and storing of food items.
These are not the only things you need for a home-based business, but these are some of the most important and costly. That said, consider these items first when establishing the budget for your home-based food business, as well as start looking for an affordable supplier ahead of time to maximize your cost savings.