Fine dining restaurants do not just cater to upscale clientele, but some diners also choose these specialty restaurants to celebrate intimate and special occasions. So, what does fine dining really mean and what do you need to start one of your own?
What is Fine Dining?
What makes fine dining different from casual dining? Do the price of the ingredients and the accomplishments of the chef matter?
Since the 1950s, the popularity of the assembly line made it possible to produce more food at low costs, resulting in a chain of restaurants that serve the same food and market a specific theme. But even with the rise of fast-food chain popularity, there are still restaurants that serve home-cooked meals and specialties. Fine dining belongs to this group, but it is also a specialty restaurant that require commercial kitchen equipment from Singapore because it offers menu and services that target a specific group of clients who are willing to pay more for food. Casual restaurants also serve good food, but at more competitive prices.
Fine dining restaurants, also called white tablecloth sit-down restaurants, must have a formal atmosphere and specially-trained staff that will help serve food, beverage, and services that an upscale clientele will need; such as wine lists and exotic menu with smaller portions than casual restaurants. The menu must contain a selection that is not offered in most restaurants, and you could change the menu on a weekly or daily basis (called prix fixe menu). However, you must remember that there is not one definition of fine dining. Some of the highest-rated restaurants in the world have simple and sleek interior designs, while others specialize in specific regional or national cuisine.
What Does a Fine Dining Restaurant Need?
Starting a fine dining restaurant in Singapore can be a challenge, because you will be competing with the best chefs in the world. However, all first-rate restaurants follow these same basic steps.
• Come up with a business plan and financing scheme that will allow you to operate for the first several months
• Pick an ideal location near your target customers and market your specialty
• Review all the permits, licenses, and taxes required to open a food business in Singapore
• Hire specially-trained staff; don’t forget to check labor laws related to hiring foreign workers
• Consult a kitchen designer and a kitchen equipment supplier in Singapore
• Pick high-quality and first-rate commercial kitchen equipment and other supplies
• Set up a reservation system for customers and build connections with local farms, businesses, and suppliers
• Build on a good reputation through quality food, beverage, and services
What is the Best Kitchen Layout?
You will need to work closely with the architects, restaurant consultants, kitchen designers, and kitchen equipment supplier not only when designing the kitchen, but also to express your unique menu, first-rate service, and quality décor and food.
The best way to begin that is by knowing all the processes involved in cooking, consulting your menu, and learning about the functions of the common commercial kitchen equipment. You cannot just buy your equipment and instruct your workers to place them just about everywhere. Quality service starts not with quality equipment, but with a smart kitchen design that will maximize the potential of all kitchen tools and make the tasks easier for your kitchen staff.
One of the trends in fine dining restaurant kitchens is the use of multifunctioning commercial equipment to save space. This means that some of the appliances will be designed to perform several functions, but still allow for freedom of control when it comes to cooking. Keep this in mind if you want an even distribution of labor for an efficient service.
Another trend in fine dining is a setting up a bar for your beverages. It’s not fine dining without alcoholic drinks after all. Setting up a full-service bar might be a great option for you if you want to showcase some of the best cocktail drinks in your business.
What Types of Equipment Will I Need?
Like any food business, you will need basic preparation and cooking equipment, but to maximize the space and to save money, you should pick only the items that a startup fine dining restaurant will need. Later you can expand and buy more commercial kitchen equipment once your restaurant income is stable.
Your bar should have all the necessary supplies to serve different types of customers. The following commercial kitchen equipment are needed:
• Ice maker, cube ice machine, and ice dispenser
• Bar blenders
• Underbar equipment and accessories
• Bottle coolers, wine cooler, keg storage, beer tap, and glycol system
• Glass racks or speed rails
• Coffee equipment
• Hot beverage dispenser or coffee dispenser
• Cold or frozen beverage dispenser
• Commercial water dispenser
The storage area should be near the kitchen so that it’s accessible to your staff. The commercial kitchen equipment needed in this area are the following:
• Commercial refrigerators
• Freezers and coolers
• Commercial shelving and tables
• Ingredient bins
The kitchen can be divided into special areas such as preparation, hot food, cold kitchen, bakery/confectionery, and wash up.
The preparation area is where all the ingredients are prepared for cooking. Hot food is the area for creating soup, roasted food, vegetable or seafood dishes, sauce, and grilled or fried food. Bakery and confectionery area is where all the baking preparations are done. Finally, the wash up area is for the pot wash and plate sections.
Your kitchen should contain the following commercial kitchen equipment:
• Commercial ranges
• Commercial ovens
• Commercial deep fryer
• Commercial grill or griddles
• Specialty cooking equipment
• Steamers, steam kettles, and combi ovens
• Commercial stations and work tables
• Commercial sinks
• Microwave oven
• Slicers, mixers, and food processors
• Holding carts and cabinets
• Food wells and steam tables
• Commercial dishwashers
• Dish tables and cabinets