Choosing the right equipment and supplies for my bakery business

Ensuring your new bakery has the right commercial baking equipment and supplies is nearly as important as your recipes.

Before we get into the types of equipment you should consider purchasing, let's go over some factors to consider when making your equipment choices.

Commercial Bakery Equipment Buying Guide

Production volume - How much product do you plan on making daily and at once? Choose equipment that can handle that amount of work.

Space and layout - How big is your kitchen? Commercial bakery equipment can be large and eat up valuable kitchen space quickly. Keep a floor plan of your kitchen handy and mark up different layouts of equipment to make sure everything fits and that the area remains usable for you and your employees.

Budget - How much can you spend on equipment? Set a budget for equipment and make sure your choices have the features you need while staying within your budget. For the best value, look at Restaurant Equipper's exclusive brands like Patriot, Berg, Sentinel, Sauber, and Sureshelf.

Ease of use - Make sure the equipment you pick is easy to use, clean, and maintain. Regular cleaning and maintenance will make your equipment last longer and run more efficiently.

Versatility - Consider equipment that can be used for multiple things — the fewer specialty items and unitaskers you have in the kitchen, the better.

Brand reputation and reliability - Researching brands will help you choose equipment with a reputation for reliability and value. Check with other professional bakers to see what equipment they prefer and their experience with the brands you're considering.

Balance all these factors when making choices, giving more weight to factors that are more important to you.

What Types of Equipment do Bakeries Commonly Have?

Bakery equipment can be divided into three categories: dough preparation, baking, and display.

We'll start with the first part of the baking process: making the dough.

  • Work tables - Most bakeries use stainless steel work tables, but some smaller artisanal shops may prefer wood-topped tables.
  • Commercial mixers - Bakery mixers cover a wide range of sizes, everything from countertop models that wouldn't look out of place in a home kitchen to huge floor models that take up as much room as a refrigerator. Depending on how much product your bakery makes and sells, you might need more than one floor model. Spiral or dough mixers use two motors to rotate both the bowl and agitators to create less heat in the mixing process and a more consistent mixture. They're great for bakeries and pizzerias. Dough mixers are less versatile than planetary mixers, which use an offset shaft that rotates in the bowl while the shaft spins the attachment in the mixture. They're also used to make bread dough but can be used for cookies, frosting, sauces, chopping vegetables, and other applications.
  • Dough dividers and sheeters - These are highly specialized pieces of equipment usually only used in large high-volume commercial bakeries. Dough dividers portion dough into equally sized balls. Dough sheeters roll and stretch dough balls to a specified size and thickness. Both pieces of equipment ensure you're baked goods consistent and save you labor, but they're also large and expensive.
  • Proofers and Holders - Dough rises best in humid and warm environments. Instead of turning your bakery into a tropical jungle, use a proofing cabinet to precisely control the temperature and humidity at which your dough best rises. A combination proofing and holding cabinet can also keep baked goods warm before they're served to customers. Both styles of cabinets come in various sizes and door types and roll-in models that allow you to roll a sheet pan cart into them.

Once you're ready to bake your creations, there are several types of ovens from which to choose. We'll discuss the two most commonly used in bakeries. The types of baked goods you create will determine which oven is best for you. You'll almost always need a ventilation hood, no matter type of oven you choose.

  • Convection ovens - If you walk into most bakeries or commercial kitchens, you'll find at least one convection oven. These versatile pieces of equipment quickly and evenly bake everything from cakes and pies to loaves of bread. Convection ovens come in half and full-size. Two full-sized units can also be stacked to create double-deck convection ovens.
  • Deck ovens - Often used by bakers who make specific types of bread or work in an artisanal style, deck ovens are also prevalent in pizzerias. While their simple design makes them easy to use and maintain, they are considerably larger than convection ovens. Like convection ovens, they come in single and multi-deck configurations.
Close up of baker is taking off from oven the french baguette bread with wood peel at commercial bakery.Close up of baker is taking off from oven the french baguette bread with wood peel at commercial bakery.

Once your baked goods are out of the oven, you need to display them attractively for your customers. Bakery display cases come in many shapes and sizes to show off your creations and keep them fresh. Countertop display cases are great places to keep popular items that can safely be kept at room temperature. Larger bakery display cases can be refrigerated or dry, meaning they are not temperature controlled.

You'll need more than big equipment to get your bakery off the ground fully. There's other non-specialized bakery equipment and commonly used bakery small wares. We've compiled a list of some popular equipment below:

A baker in an apron is preparing dough for home baking. Rustic style photo. Wooden table, wheat ears and flour.A baker in an apron is preparing dough for home baking. Rustic style photo. Wooden table, wheat ears and flour.

A bakery can require a lot of specialized equipment that other commercial kitchens don't need or don't need at the same scale. Making sure you have quality equipment that fits your budget will make running your bakery easier and allow you to focus on your customers and baked goods.