DISCLAIMER: This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting, tax, HR, or other professional advice. You are responsible for your own compliance with laws and regulations. You should contact your attorney or other relevant advisor for advice specific to your circumstances.
Thinking of opening a pizza shop? Serving up a specialty item like pizza means that your equipment will probably look a little different from most other types of restaurants. You’ll need supplies for prepping dough (like proofing cabinets and dough sheeters, cooking pies (so many different types of ovens!), and delivering pizzas (like warming bags.) All of this equipment is pretty unique to the pizzeria concept.
As part of your pizzeria’s business plan, it’s important to consider what equipment is essential for your operations and to budget for the costs of the equipment you need. The number of items for your pizza shop can seem a bit overwhelming. But, have no fear - we're here with the pizzeria equipment guide you need to build and budget your new pizzeria’s equipment list, successfully.
Do you have the essential restaurant kitchen equipment and supplies you need? Check off this list to make sure your restaurant kitchen is all set.
What equipment do you need in a pizzeria
There’s a whole host of necessary equipment that you need to run a pizzeria. To make building your shopping list a little easier, here's a list of basic items you may need to get your pizzeria started.
Ranges, Grills, and Ventilation:
Freezers and refrigerators
Food prep surfaces
Food prep equipment:
Pots and pans
Storage containers and shelving
First Aid Kit
Food grade chemical supplies
Chemical Safety Data Sheets
Hand washing sink
Restaurant point of sale system
Kitchen Display System (KDS)
Table service essentials:
Pizza boxes, paper boats, plates, or clamshells
Napkins or Linens
How much does equipment for a pizzeria cost?
Like any other restaurant, the cost of setting up a pizza shop can vary widely — starting from around $95,000 to a whopping $2,000,000 or more. This means building the pizza shop of your dreams comes down to your business plan and, most specifically, your budget.
Whether you’re opening a new restaurant, expanding your concept, or renovating within your existing four-walls, you’re going to need capital to make it all happen.
Things to consider before buying pizzeria equipment
Investing in the right equipment for your pizzeria is crucial for the success of the business. When budgeting for equipment, you need to think critically about the equipment you need to prioritize, such as pizza ovens and mixers, and the equipment you are able to compromise on in your budget.
Here are 7 things to keep in mind when planning your pizza equipment list.
The quality of certain pieces of equipment can make or break your recipes. Be sure to research larger purchases of things like pizza ovens or mixers before making any major decisions. Start to think about the lifetime of this equipment - what do I need to repair this equipment? Who will be maintaining it? These questions are very important to answer before you invest in any expensive piece of equipment. Once you do decide to make a purchase, always double-check that the equipment you’re buying is high-quality and durable.
Even if you have the luxury of a large pizzeria space, you still need to buy equipment that adequately suits your floor plan.
The best place to start is where your larger pieces of equipment will live (e.a. pizza oven and industrial-sized mixers.) From there, begin to fill in the spaces of where you will need equipment. The equipment should not only efficiently fit in your new pizzeria, but also be organized and accessible for your staff. And, don’t forget that you’ll also need ample space for prep too. Think about how big your pizzas will be and how many you will be prepping at a time. From there, you can assess exactly what size prep tables you need and how much space to reserve for them.
3. Planning Your Kitchen
A chef or line cook is only as efficient as the kitchen or line they are working on. Therefore, planning the layout of your pizza kitchen with your chef will help set your pizzeria up for success.
It is also never a bad idea to consult a kitchen planner on how to set up your kitchen. Their expert advice can ensure that you create a desirable experience for your employees and guests.
4. Use and Cleaning
Some pizza and kitchen equipment will last a lifetime when maintained properly. Sounds pretty ideal, right? To find equipment that’s long-lasting, ask your supplier about the required maintenance for each product you’re considering. This will educate you on how difficult it is to maintain the equipment. It’s always best to choose equipment that isn’t a headache to fix. You should also buy equipment that has the NSF symbol. This ensures that it meets food safety certification standards.
Once you’ve selected your equipment, make sure you are well-versed in all of its parts and how to maintain it. Then, you can train your staff on how to clean it properly so that it stays in tip-top shape.
Your relationship with your equipment supplier matters. Quality equipment is essential to the success of your pizzeria. So, it's a good idea to build a rapport with your equipment supplier.
Many towns and cities have local restaurant supply stores that, for a membership fee, offer a range of premium commercial equipment at near-wholesale prices. The best suppliers will be honest about the technology and safety of the products they sell, providing everything you need from installation to maintenance to even repairs.
Sourcing Restaurant Equipment
Sourcing equipment is half the battle. Once you have a comprehensive list and a vision of your fully-equipped pizzeria, it’s time to start shopping around. You can buy the equipment upfront or or rent equipment until you can afford to invest. Local restaurant wholesalers often have good deals. Or, you might consider leasing from a reputable online retailer until you can afford to invest in equipment.
New vs. Used Equipment
New equipment might always seem like the best choice, but some expensive (and essential) pieces of equipment might be better to purchase used. Look into items like ovens or deep freezers that have been well-maintained over the years. If you’re willing to keep up the maintenance, you’ll save up front and over the course of your pizza venture on these kinds of expensive equipment.
Are you building an order-by-the slice NY-style pizza joint or an upscale sit-down pizzeria? Your business model matters when deciding which equipment to prioritize. You may want to splurge on the brick pizza oven that fits your brand aesthetic. Or, maybe, you prefer a conveyor oven since you’re focused on volume. This all depends on your own business model.
No matter what you’re looking for, you need to also think wisely about purchasing new or old equipment. Keep in mind that buying used equipment might save you some money upfront, but cost you more in maintenance and repairs later.
7. Financing or Leasing
Financing or leasing equipment can be a good option for getting your business started with a little less risk. Pro tip: Lease payments can be tax-deductible just like regular equipment purchases. That means you can have more financial liquidity as you open your pizzeria!
Ultimate pizzeria equipment checklist
1. Pizza Ovens
The best pizza oven for you depends on 3 things: budget, available space, and the style of pizza you’re planning to make. Brick ovens, conveyor ovens, and deck ovens are all popular choices as each can churn out pizzas pretty quickly.
Out of all three, brick wood-fired pizza ovens are the most traditional and most popular choice. They produce pizzas with the authentic flavor people love and can keep up with high volume production.
For a more extensive list of pizza ovens, as well as the pros and cons of each, check out this Webstaurant Store article.
2. Dough Mixer
You cannot have a great pizza without great dough. And, your pizza dough all starts with a top-quality mixer (apart from your top-quality ingredients, of course!)
When looking for a mixer to best fit your needs, think about the volume of your production. Ask yourself: Will I be needing a 10 qt, a 20 qt, or more? These details are very important to think about as you shop for a mixer. To help determine these details, you need to keep in mind absorption ratios. These ratios help determine what size mixer is right for your pizza dough, as well as other items you may offer on the menu.
Absorption ratio = water weight / flour weight
A higher absorption ratio means a stickier, wetter dough, while lower absorption is tougher and might need more power to mix. Many commercial mixer brands will illustrate their capabilities with both size and absorption ratio included.
Beyond pizza dough, a great dough mixer can be used for making many other different items – like cookie dough for your dessert menu and pie crusts for the holidays. It’s important to consider these additional items when assessing your production volume.
While many artisanal pizza shops hand-roll their pizza dough, many fast casual pizzerias tend to use dough sheeters, a tool that rolls out pizza dough until it's perfectly flat in record time. Some dough sheeters work as fast as 600 pieces of dough an hour, according to Proluxe. In other words, if you've got the space for it, and plan on extremely high order volume, a dough sheeter could be a worthy investment.
3. Ranges, Grills, and Ventilation
Induction burners are a versatile, cost-effective, and space-saving option, especially if your pizzeria menu doesn’t require the sautéing or simmering to warrant multiple burners. Induction is a very sustainable heating method that relies on electromagnetic currents to produce heat. But, what makes induction burners really neat is that their burners always stay cool, since these electromagnetic waves heat the cookware, rather than the burner surface. This makes induction a safe heating option for your pizzeria.
Operating any kind of kitchen requires enough ventilation to ensure that the space doesn’t fill with the heat and smoke from ovens or ranges. Prioritizing your ventilation system will guarantee a safe environment for your staff and customers. It is vital that you consider the size and space of your kitchen to ensure that your ventilation system has enough power to keep smoke and hot air out of your pizzeria.
Great for reheating or steaming food, microwaves are powerful kitchen tools that pizzerias often rely on to quickly heat appetizers or desserts. But, the commercial microwaves out there are nothing like you have at home. There are powerful combination convection microwaves that are perfect for keeping bread crusty or pastry crisp while reheating. Although these microwaves aren’t very pricey, you should still consider if your pizzeria needs this appliance. If it does, make sure you budget for it accordingly.
5. Freezers and refrigerators
Along with refrigeration in your prep table for toppings, you’ll also need a larger refrigeration unit for the rest of your inventory.
Depending on your space and order volume, a walk-in might be a good option for you. A walk-in refrigerator offers plenty of space to store all the ingredients and prep materials you may need.
If you have a smaller operation, like a food truck, large reach-in refrigerators can do the job just fine.You may need to consider other refrigeration needs too, like a display fridge to hold drinks or desserts or bar refrigerators if you serve alcohol.
When it comes to maintenance, refrigerators, like all equipment, will last a long time when well-taken care of. One way to maintain your pizzeria’s refrigerator unit is to clean its vents. With all the flour in the air at a pizzeria, these vents can get clogged very easily and damage the unit if not cleaned regularly.
6. Food prep surfaces
A great pizza prep table will have ample space for every size of pizza you make, plus a section for toppings and other ingredients. When deciding on the size of each table, keep in mind how many toppings you want to offer, your order volume, and how much space you have in your kitchen.
It’s important to note that different kinds of prep tables have unique cooling mechanisms for the rail holding toppings. Liquid cooling, forced-air cooling, and cold-wall cooling are all reliable options. What you choose will all depend on your pizzeria’s workflow along with the type of toppings you offer.
7. Food prep equipment
Success is in the details. That means that the small appliances and kitchen tools that you’ll need for your pizzeria are a big consideration.
Knives are a central part of cooking culture. High-quality knives and solid knife skills are necessary to run a safe and efficient kitchen. Investing in a set of well-made knives will be of amazing value to you. Just make sure you keep them sharp. With that said, you’ll also want to purchase a sharpening stone to keep your knife investment in good condition.
Quality cutting boards make a noticeable difference in the prep experience Search for boards with lips around the edge, as these keep liquid on the board, or boards with handles for easy handling. Both of these options are restaurant equipment favorites.
You'll want to be sure to invest in pizza peels to help your cooks shuttle the pizzas in and out of the oven with ease. There are wood paddles and metal paddles to choose from, both being very reliable options.
Pots and pans
The kinds of pots and pans you use can be based on personal preference and necessity. But it’s a much better investment to purchase quality pieces. Pots and pans are valuable, long-term assets to your pizzeria’s kitchen that will last a long time when maintained properly.
Mixing bowls come in a variety of materials – plastic, stainless, ceramic, or glass. Each have benefits and setbacks. Take time to research and decide which combination works best for your pizzeria’s equipment list.
Food processors are great for liquefying soups and sauces or getting an even chop or mince - all the reasons that this appliance is a worthwhile investment.
Storage containers and shelving
Storage is always a must, for safety and organization, and the cost can add up quickly. Dry ingredients like flour, sugar, and spices have specific storage needs.
One key tip is to store ingredients for dishes near the spaces where they’ll be prepared for customers. This will help keep things organized so that your staff can work efficiently. This goes for your equipment, too. The small appliances and accessories all need a place to live in your pizzeria.
This is probably the most important category – the rest. This is the measuring cups, rolling pins, spoons, shakers, and anything else you’ll need to outfit your pizzeria for operation. The little things add up. So, it’s crucial to plan and budget for them. And, when thinking about tiny items that are easily lost or misplaced, remember to always buy backups for them
9. Safety equipment
All restaurants are held to food safety standards and must have certain equipment on hand to keep staff safe and pass health inspections, such as:
First Aid Kit
Food grade chemical supplies
Chemical Safety Data Sheets
Sinks are necessary for prep, cleaning, and disposal. You need to think wisely about where you’ll need sinks and how many you’ll need.
Three compartment sinks are a common way to meet food safety standards for washing and sanitizing cutlery, service ware, and kitchen equipment. You’ll need a sink dedicated to each step - washing, rinsing, and sanitizing.
Disposal sinks, also often called bar sinks, are conveniently located to catch any liquid you need to throw out from washing or discarded drinks.
Hand washing sink
Hand washing sinks must be available for employees in a kitchen space so that they can maintain safe food handling standards. These are also dedicated sinks and should not be used for any other purpose besides hand washing.
Restaurant point of sale (POS) systems provides a technological answer to the many complexities that come with operating any kind of restaurant business. They provide a way to integrate both front-of-house and back-of-house needs. Reliable POS systems offer inventory management, budgets, and sales reports while also streamlining communication between the FOH and BOH. Finally, POS systems keep everything running smoothly with cutting edge interfaces that simplify the customer service process.
Kitchen display systems will let your cooks know what customers are ordering in real time. Your KDS can send orders to bartenders from servers or from any FOH staff member to the kitchen. These systems can be integrated into your pizzeria’s POS system so that everything stays in order, ensuring a smooth and efficient service.
13. Service ware
Serving pizza, salads, and other menu items to customers requires glassware, cutlery, and dishes. Your first priority is to choose pieces that are durable and can endure constant use by employees and customers. When shopping for these items, look for pieces that capture the aesthetic vibe and convey the ambiance of your pizzeria.
Pizza boxes, paper boats, plates, or clamshells
Necessary for grab-and-go or take-out services, single-use service wear is an expensive cost of operating a restaurant or pizzeria. It is important to think wisely about your budget on single use paper and plastics, considering whether or not you’d like to invest in a more eco-friendly disposable service wear option.
Single use and permanent utensils are surprisingly expensive for restaurants and pizzerias. Plastic cutlery adds up pretty quickly, while permanent utensils are prone to being lost (or accidentally trashed) by customers and employees.
Napkins or Linen
Cheesy slices and saucy appetizers are inevitably messy. Be sure to provide and budget for a way that your customers can always have access to napkins or linens while enjoying their pizza.
We hope that this comprehensive guide to pizza equipment becomes a tool for you as you pursue your pizzeria dreams!