You are about to open a bistro and want to be absolutely certain that you have everything you need in place. On the flip side, restaurant supplies are costly and you don’t want to stock up on items that are not needed.
Your restaurant equipment supplier can be a great source of information as you seek to appropriate everything that will be needed for opening day. The items that will have to be purchased include:
Furniture should be very simple. The tables and chairs should have a European look, and a visible bar is not necessary. If there is outdoor space available, make every attempt to add more patio tables outside.
European accents and art would be a nice touch. Anything to do with wine, especially French wine, would also be appropriate. An operational or decorative wine dispensing system would be a great fit in this type of venue.
You will want your servers to be casual so supplying them with a long bistro style apron may be an option. Supply them with restaurant equipment such as serving trays, bus tubs, pitchers, coffee equipment, iced tea machines, and carts for more efficient and expedient service.
Dishes, Glassware, and Flatware
Dishes should be very basic. An ivory stoneware would be perfect. The emphasis should be on the food and garnish, and what it is served on should be secondary. Heavy flatware with a very simple pattern would be appropriate. One sturdy glass style that can be used for tea, lemonade, and water would also help keep your inventories and costs down.
The foods supplied at this type of establishment are usually simple and fresh. Sandwiches are a staple as are salads and casseroles. A broiler will be a must, as are coolers, ovens, ice machines, and grills. You may or may not need a fryer, depending on your menu. Other small wares are too numerous to mention but would include cutting boards, pots and pans, utensils, baking supplies, and storage containers.
Wine or Bar Supplies
Bistros are famous for their wines. They are also wonderful locations to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with a friend or associate. It is not necessary to have hard liquor and beer in stock. A stemmed crystal wine glass that can be used for all types of wine would be a nice touch for loyal customers and would keep costs down. A large inventory of wine glasses would not be necessary.
As with other businesses, cleaning supplies are a necessity. Mop buckets, brooms, trash cans, and an assortment of cleaning chemicals will keep your bistro fresh and ready for the day. A dishwashing unit with all of the accompanying racks and chemicals will also be necessary.
The requirements for opening such a business are many, but the pride and satisfaction received from owning or operating such an interesting venue will make it all well worth the expense and energy put forth.