Before going on a debate with your chef and your cooks about the best way to prepare barbecue, there are a lot of factors to consider when starting a barbecue restaurant in Singapore. First, you need to complete all the necessary paperwork; second, you will have to think of ways to stand out among your competition by finding the right location and getting the necessary commercial kitchen equipment that will last for years from the best kitchen equipment supplier.
Permits and Licensing
When starting a food and beverage business in Singapore, other than finding a Singapore Alps creative you will need permits and licenses to operate if your barbecue restaurant will need or provide the following amenities and services:
1. Renovation of the premises
2. Outdoor dining area
3. Alcoholic drinks and tobacco
4. Imported ingredients and/or equipment
5. Entertainment for customers
6. Use of hazardous substances in your recipe
7. If the business is a central kitchen, food factory, hawker stall, café, restaurant, food wagon, food processing, etc.
There are also laws and regulations for the following that you need to follow when starting a food business:
1. Import and/or export of food products
2. Hiring employees, including foreigners
3. Planning permission
4. Selection of the business location
5. Halal certification
6. Environment health regulations in Singapore
7. Taxes and record keeping
8. Registration and license to operate the food factory
Finding a Location
The location of your barbecue restaurant will determine the size of the kitchen and the dining area. Work with your kitchen designer and kitchen equipment supplier when deciding the size and design of your kitchen. It does not have to be just functional, but it should also be clean, well-ventilated and spacious. Most importantly, the commercial kitchen equipment should be placed in strategic positions to maximize preparation time.
If you’re planning to set up an outdoor dining area, observe the traffic outside. Make sure it’s not crowded or too narrow for the tables and chairs, and there are enough pedestrians who will be able to see your restaurant.
Durability, function, and pricing are not the only factors to consider when choosing your commercial kitchen equipment. As a restaurateur, you should be well-versed about the ingredients your business will use and how to store them; such as their shelf-life, health and sanitary standards, spoilage, food preparation, food presentation, pest control, etc. All these should be considered when choosing the size, number, and type of your commercial kitchen equipment.
Consult your kitchen equipment supplier about the different options and don’t rush into deciding what you think your restaurant needs. You should also ask the opinion of your experienced staff about preparation and cooking habits so that your kitchen designer can work with the kitchen equipment supplier in coming up with an efficient and work-friendly kitchen space.
For a barbecue restaurant, you will need the following commercial kitchen equipment:
1. Refrigerator and freezer (could be reach-in, undercounter or walk-in depending on the size of the restaurant)
2. Commercial dishwasher and compartment sink
3. Commercial smokers (could be countertop or full-size)
4. Smokers accessories
5. Commercial outdoor grill (electric, wood or charcoal, or gas)
6. Grill attachments
7. Exhaust hoods
8. Commercial range (electric or gas)
9. Commercial Wok range
10. Ventless range
11. Commercial steamers or pressure steamer
12. Commercial oven
13. Commercial deep fryer
14. Commercial griddles (electric or gas)
15. Commercial charbroilers (electric or gas)
16. Portable outdoor grills and smokehouses (for outdoor barbecue preparation)
17. Outdoor gas stoves and burners (for outdoor food preparation)
18. Outdoor steamers or fryers (for outdoor food preparation)
19. Salamanders and broilers
20. Stock pot stove
22. Convection or combi ovens
23. Rotisserie oven
24. Microwave oven
25. Countertop or floor model braising pan
26. Food rethermalizer
27. Stationary kettles or kettle plus mixer
28. Cheesemelters (if you’re serving a lot of dishes with cheese)
29. Specialty grills such as hotdog grills, waffle baker, and panini grills (if you’re planning to serve hotdog, waffle or panini)
30. Pasta cookers (if you’re serving pasta)
31. Commercial blender
32. Ice machines (for drinks and others)
Before opening your restaurant, check out your competition in the area because you want to blend in, but at the same time to make your own mark as a restaurateur. Observe the businesses in the vicinity, the potential clientele, and the range of prices of their goods and services regardless of the type of business. You can choose to tailor your menu to complement the specialty dishes that the other restaurants serve, or work on an opposite theme to the barbecue restaurant from across the street. Your unique theme will make your customers remember you more easily.
Working on Your Menu
The great thing about starting a barbecue restaurant is that you can use your own special recipes, as well as take ideas from the long tradition of this type of cuisine. There is no single way to prepare and cook barbecue, so make sure that you will leave a good impression on your customers so that they will keep looking for that unique flavor. For example, you can highlight your unique homemade sauces or use a different technique to cook the barbecue with a different type of wood or use steam instead. Take your time to research about the different recipes and techniques, test your recipe, and learn about the preparation of the ingredients.
Consider including recipes that are okay for customers who cannot eat meat or are allergic to specific ingredients. That way you can attract a diverse clientele and market your signature recipes at the same time.