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How to Upgrade Your Professional Kitchen Inexpensively



How to Upgrade Your Professional Kitchen Inexpensively

Professional Kitchen

If you’re in the restaurant business, you might be feeling the heat right now. After all, margins are tighter than ever, and waves of restaurants have been closing as inflation and staffing shortages bite.

Amidst all of this, a commercial kitchen upgrade might be the last thing on your mind. However, upgrading to a more professional kitchen now could make your entire operation leaner and more profitable, well into the future.

What’s more, your kitchen upgrade does not need to cost an arm and a leg. Here are some pro tips for upgrading your professional kitchen on a shoestring.

Invest in Quality

You are probably well aware that kitchen appliances do not come cheap. As such, it might be tempting to cut corners and find the lowest-price models available.

While this might result in some up-front savings, you are almost certain to end up paying more in the long run.

Cheap fridges, ovens, freezers, and heaters will not last as long as their more expensive counterparts. They will often require more maintenance, be harder to clean, and will not perform as expected.

Remember, the cost of kitchen downtime can be crippling for any restaurant, and a single evening of broken appliances can take weeks or even months to recover from. This is all the more pressing when restaurant margins are tighter than they have ever been, and one night of lost business can make or break an establishment.

That’s why it is always smarter to invest more in higher quality, industry-standard appliances. These will perform better and are often more energy efficient, saving you some serious cash over the long run.

Do Not Change the Layout

When it comes to kitchen design, it’s natural to want to go all the way, throwing everything out and starting afresh. With a professional kitchen, this is not the best approach if you are trying to save money.

Changing the layout is the quickest way to watch thousands of dollars disappear in an instant. This will require rewiring the entire space, overhauling the plumbing, and most likely discarding any and all existing fixtures.

It will almost certainly require you to close your kitchen for a much longer time than if you have left the layout alone, costing you even more money over time. On top of this, changing the layout can lead to efficiency bottlenecks, since your kitchen staff will have to re-learn where everything is.

If you have ever worked in a kitchen for an extended period of time, you’ll know that the layout is like muscle memory. Don’t mess with it. Simply improve upon what you have, rather than going all the way back to square one.

Know Your Vendors

When it comes to saving money in this business, having good relationships with your suppliers and vendors is everything. This is equally true when it comes to kitchen appliances and catering equipment.

Consider entering into a long-term agreement with a trustworthy vendor. This may result in cost savings over time, as well as reduced or free maintenance.

In addition, doing some research into vendors will help you find the best quality-to-price ratio on specific types of hardware.

For example, if you’re in need of professional-grade water heating appliances, a company that specializes in those like may be your best bet for getting the most reliable equipment for the lowest price.

By finding out who is best at what, you can choose vendors that become reliable partners in your journey to build a thriving restaurant or catering business.

Go the DIY Route

You’d be surprised at just how much you can do when you roll up your sleeves. Instead of shelling out thousands on contractors, a quick trip to the DIY store can see you upgrading your commercial kitchen for a fraction of the cost.

Here are some easy DIY tasks to upgrade your kitchen:

Countertop Replacement

Even for an industrial-grade kitchen – one that may require heavyweight zinc countertops – you can do it yourself. You can buy countertops that pass the bar online, and even install them over the top of your existing countertops in a single afternoon.


Perhaps your kitchen has been through a lot over the years and is looking a little worse for wear. Even if everything is still in working order, you might feel that your kitchen is in dire need of a refresh.

You can easily rescue your tired old cabinets, doors, and shelves yourself. Simply buy the required items, grab your toolbox, and get to work. This is a lot cheaper than replacing your cabinets or shelving.


Retiling a professional-grade kitchen might seem like an intimidating prospect. However, as long as you measure out your surface areas carefully and find the right pre-cut tiles, you can usually do this over the course of a single weekend, saving a lot of money in the process.

Lighting and Fixture Upgrades

In an industrial kitchen, appropriate lighting is everything. Luckily, this is one thing that requires no professional help whatsoever, no matter how inexperienced you are with DIY.

You can buy instant stick-on lights to illuminate your workstations for just a few bucks online. Simply choose the same push-LED under cabinet lights that are used in restaurant kitchens up and down the country.

On top of this, you can also find easy upgrades to your existing fixtures that you can do yourself with a little bit of smart online shopping. You could buy faucet upgrades, stovetop upgrades, and temperature control upgrades and install them yourself in minutes.

Your Professional Kitchen Deserves to Thrive

Your professional kitchen is the nerve center of your entire operation. It’s where you prepare the food that your customers so eagerly come to try.

It’s where your employees hone their skills and indulge their love of their craft. It’s where your reputation and your investment are staked. That’s why your kitchen deserves the best upgrades that you can afford.

Fortunately, these savvy tips show that you don’t need a Michelin-level budget to bring your kitchen up to scratch.