Used Restaurant Smallwares to Shop For When Opening a New Restaurant

When starting a new restaurant, you want to make sure everything is just right. One moment you’ll be laser-focused on updating the decor to your ideal aesthetic, and the next you’ll be honing in on the food and tweaking the spice level of your favorite recipe. Another thing you need to think about? Ordering used restaurant smallwares for your restaurant. 

Without the most basic of smallwares, your business more or less ceases to function. Your customers would have no utensils to eat with, and your kitchen staff wouldn’t have the tools to prepare food with. Although often seen as a tedious task, new restaurateurs shouldn’t overlook the impact that quality smallwares can have on both the customer experience and on back-of-the-house efficiency.

So which smallwares do you need to have when you open the doors to your new restaurant?

Check out our list of used restaurant smallwares to get for your new restaurant, and remember you’ll probably need several other smallwares not mentioned here.

Napkin Dispensers

Without them, every dining room would be covered by loose napkins. Dispensers neatly contain napkins, and also help limit customers from taking more napkins than they need and draining your bottom line over time.

Bar Supplies

Outfit your bar with all of the standard barware you need to concoct cocktails and to serve wine and beer. Buy multiple corkscrews, bottle openers, strainers, shakers, stirrers, pour spouts and jiggers. The list of bar supplies you need is expansive, so be prepared. 


If you serve alcohol, you’ll need to purchase glassware for wine, champagne, martinis, cognac, and so on and so on. You’ll need regular cups for non-alcoholic beverages and water, although pint glasses can pull double duty here. If you serve coffee, don’t forget the mugs.


Spend a little extra time choosing dinnerware, as customers will notice cheap and poor quality plates, bowls, and dishes. If you are going for any type of elevated cuisine, skimping on dinnerware isn’t going to do you any favors. 


The same applies for forks, knives, spoons, and other eating utensils. Your guests will appreciate being provided high-quality silverware, and the quality of the utensils should align with the price of the food and quality of the cuisine. 


Every chef’s most important tool is his chef knife. Having durable and sharp cutlery is essential for any commercial kitchen, so be sure to equip yourself with a variety of knives to pull off any culinary technique. Always choose stainless steel blades and don’t forget to purchase the requisite sharpening equipment.

Cutting Boards

Of course, you can’t use knives if you don’t have a surface to cut on. You’ll need a variety of cutting boards for your restaurant, including separate cutting boards for meat, seafood, vegetables, and any allergy-free foods. Color coding is the best way to identify cutting boards. 


The selection of bakeware pieces is exhaustive, but unless you are operating a bakery or sweets shop, you can probably get by with just a few essential pieces. Sheet pans are universally used for cooking just about anything in the oven. The need for other pieces depends on your menu. If you plan to make in-house desserts, think about what items you might need for them.

Frying Pans and Skillets

You won’t be getting much cooking done without these used restaurant smallwares. Be cautious with non-stick coated pans as they can quickly become scratched and unusable when used with the wrong utensils. Copper, stainless steel, and cast iron cookware will last years and years without the fear of damage using metal utensils.

Mixing Bowls

Small, medium, and large — you’ll need mixing bowls of all sizes. Honestly, you can’t have too many of these, especially since they are easily stackable.


Why do you need graters? Because big blocks of cheese are cheaper than their pre-shredded counterparts. Blocks of cheese also stay fresher longer. Plus, graters are great for other ingredients like ginger or carrots.

Steam Table

Nothing gives service a zing like a perfectly set up steam table. Steam tables keep food warm so it is ready to put on a plate. Tabletop steam tables are a great option for small kitchens and can make your operation more efficient.

Dry Ingredient Bins

Like mixing bowls, having a big supply of ingredient bins is a must for any restaurant. These stackable plastic bins make food prep and storage a snap. 

Food Pans

Food pans are another versatile kitchen tool that you can’t have enough of. These deep, stainless steel pans hold all manners of food and can be used in expo stations or steam tables or kept inside of walk-in coolers. You’ll need a variety of sizes and shapes — and don’t forget the lids!


Ladles are made for serving soups and sauces, and you’ll need a variety of sizes. Large ladles are great for filling bowls of soup, while small ladles are best suited for slinging sauces. 


Your kitchen staff may need to prepare vegetables like potatoes or carrots with a peeler. It is a lot safer and much more time-efficient than using a paring knife.


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