Bakery Equipment Buyer’s Guide 2021

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Our informative buyer's guide will help you decide on the best bakery equipment you need to open or operate a successful commercial bakery.

Whether you’re setting up a new bakery from scratch, buying an established bakery, or upgrading your existing bakery, there are some important things you need to consider before rushing out and spending up on commercial bakery equipment.

We have compiled this thorough guide to help steer you through the wide world of commercial bakery equipment. Whether you’re looking to purchase new or used commercial bakery equipment, this buyer’s guide will help you find the best bakery equipment for your needs.

But setting up your new or existing bakery for success is not just about purchasing the right bakery equipment. This guide explains the main things you need to consider when opening a commercial bakery, including writing a business plan, creating a brand, designing your retail space and equipping your kitchen.

We’ll also reveal the top 10 must-have pieces of commercial equipment for your bakery, and set out the difference between convection, deck, combi and wood-fire ovens.

And we’ll take you through some of our favourite commercial bakery equipment brands to get your new or existing bakery operating like a well-oiled machine.

 

Commercial Bakery

 

What are the main things to consider when opening a commercial bakery?

Create a clear business plan

Successful businesses don’t happen by accident. Your business plan is a key first step in getting your bakery off the ground. Start by doing some market research to understand how your bakery will fit into the competitive landscape. This is called a market analysis.

For example, is your bakery location close to a major supermarket? If so, you probably don’t want to compete on low-end goods. They’ll have the upper hand when it comes to volume, so you may want to focus on higher-end baked goods such as artisan bread or good quality pastries.

On the other hand, if your bakery is next to a popular cafe, you’ll want to understand what they sell and how you can compliment their menu — not compete with it. That might mean selling the perfect chocolate croissant that will be an irresistible accompaniment to their take-away coffee.

You’ll also need to think about your management plan. If you will be working as head baker, what other skills sets and expertise will you need to bring in to support you? Remember that there is also a retail element to your business, along with general business management aspects to think about like payroll, ordering and staff rostering.

Finally, you need to think about financing. That is, where is the money coming from to set up your bakery? Are you going to bank roll your store fit out yourself? Will you be bringing in private partners? Do you need a bank loan?

This is where an equipment financing partner like SilverChef can help you. Rather than putting all your cash into purchasing the commercial bakery equipment you need to get up and running, we can connect you with bakery equipment finance options such as Rent-Try-Buy® and Lease-to-Keep™.

 

Build your brand

Brands are not just for big businesses. Even the smallest bakery can use a carefully composed brand to communicate their value proposition to the market. In other words, your brand should tell your customers what they can expect from you.

Are you a trendy inner-city bakery that serves up Instagram-worthy fare? Are you a reliable suburban bakery that offers consistent quality at good prices? Or are you an old-school bakery that makes traditional favourites just like grandma baked?

From your logo and your store fitout to where and how you choose to advertise, your brand is like a short-hand language that connects with the demographic that will become your best and most loyal customers.

Your brand also determines the direction of your advertising and marketing strategy. That is, the reliable suburban bakery may be best off advertising in the local primary school’s newsletter. But the trendy inner-city venue will get more value from a strong social media presence.

 

Choose the right location

Shopfront

The location of your bakery can make or break your business. When searching for a shopfront, take a good look around the local area. Ideally, you want to be in a highly visible location with as much passing foot traffic as possible. You also want to make sure your customers have easy access to your shop with good nearby parking.

Your location may also direct your brand niche. That is, if you’re close to a train station, for example, selling croissants and breakfast pastries to morning commuters could be lucrative. However, if you’re close to a primary school, think about appealing to parents on the morning and afternoon school run.

You’ll also want to assess the other nearby businesses. Investigate any competing bakeries and be clear about how you’ll differentiate your brand and product offering to build a competitive advantage. Also remember that some nearby businesses may be complimentary. For example, a neighbouring cafe that doesn’t sell baked goods might be interested in a partnership with you, or a hair salon may consider bringing in your pastries for their customers.

And don’t be scared to think outside of the box. For example, an online bakery with a delivery service could be an option. Or perhaps a bakery-based food truck appeals to you.

 

Design your retail space

Now that you have a strong brand vision, you can think about designing your retail space. This should reflect your brand values in both appearance and function.

Do you want to create a cool eat-in vibe? Or do you want to go for a more practical store layout that gets customers in and out as quickly as possible? What are the star items that are going to draw people in and how are you going to display them? Will there be a self-service element to your bakery? Will it be counter service only, or will you provide table service too?

You also need to think about how your counter staff will access displayed goods and interact with kitchen staff if necessary. Making sure your team has space to move and ensuring good flow will help to maximise their efficiency and cut down customer wait times.

And the same goes for your customers. Where will they enter and exit to ensure the easy flow of foot traffic? Will they stand around your counter waiting to order? Will there be a designated queue? Or will they take a number and wait for service? Your answers to questions like these should help direct how you design your retail space.

 

Set your pricing strategy

How you price your goods is another critical factor that will contribute to the financial performance of your bakery. It’s a delicate balance between ensuring you cover your costs and build in enough profiting, and keeping your prices competitive and attractive to your customers.

Some market research in your area will help you here. Look at what both low-end, mid-range and high-end bakeries charge for certain products in surrounding areas, and determine where your product offering and quality sits on that spectrum.

Some businesses also build a loss leader into their pricing strategy. This is a popular product you sell at or below cost price to draw customers into your store. Once in your store to purchase your loss leader, the theory goes that they’ll impulse buy other items with a larger profit margin. But be careful here. You’ll need to monitor this strategy closely to ensure you’re not losing money.

 

Equip your bakery kitchen

So you have a clear business plan, you’ve created a brand, and you’ve designed your retail space. Now you need to consider the equipment you need to start producing. Like all the other aspects of your bakery, the commercial bakery equipment you choose should be built into your business strategy. That is, bakery equipment should not be an impulse buy. Each piece of machinery you purchase should be part of a carefully crafted plan that aims to provide the production capacity you need to deliver on your business goals.

This is how you ensure good return on investment. Think of it like this. If a small bakery over-spends on high-end equipment that is capable of producing far more than you can sell, then you’ve wasted a big part of your initial investment. It would have made more financial sense to save money by buying lower-capacity machinery or keeping some of the steps in your production line manual.

On the other hand, if a larger bakery under-spends on bakery equipment that can’t keep up with customer demand, then you’re waving goodbye to a slice of your potential profits. In that case, using commercial bakery equipment to automate some of the manual processes, or purchasing higher-capacity machinery would quickly pay for itself with extra profits.

But production capacity isn’t the only thing you need to consider when equipping your bakery with the right equipment. Here are some other critical factors you should assess when selecting commercial bakery equipment:

 

Power supply

Bakery equipment comes in an enormous range of shapes and sizes. From small bench-top units that simply plug into a standard power socket, while large freestanding machines may need to be connected to three-phase power.

So it’s vital to know whether your premises has access to three-phase power. If you’re leasing your store, check with your landlord to confirm whether your kitchen is equipped with three-phase power. Or if you own your shop, a qualified electrician should be able to confirm this with a quick on-site examination.

While it can be expensive to convert from standard single-phase to three-phase power, it can be more energy efficient to run three-phase machinery over time — particularly for larger bakery operations. It’s best to consult with a qualified electrician to discuss what will be the most cost-effective power set up for your needs.

 

Footprint 

Just as you should design your retail space for good customer traffic flow, you should ensure your kitchen staff have ample working space. Large commercial bakery equipment can take up significant floor space and inhibit free movement around your kitchen.

But it’s not just space you need to think about. The logical placement of your bakery equipment is also important to maximise productivity. That is, most commercial bakery equipment is designed to automate a particular stage of the baking process. So you want to create a step-by-step production line that places machinery and manual workstations in a logical order.

For example, it makes sense to group your dough preparation equipment together, and place a dough proofer closer to your ovens so your kitchen staff don’t have to unnecessarily transport dough and ingredients across your kitchen floor.

 

Ventilation

Most larger commercial bakery equipment requires good ventilation. This also needs to be considered in your kitchen design and your equipment selection. You’ll usually need to allow some open space around any machinery vents. This enables the machine to expel hot air and take in cooler air.

If you place vents against walls or against other machines or equipment, you may restrict the airflow and cause the machine to overheat. This will likely reduce to the lifespan of your equipment, increase breakdowns, and even cause irreparable damage to your expensive commercial bakery equipment.

Fortunately, bakery equipment manufacturers understand that it can be difficult to ensure there is enough open space around your machinery when you’re trying to design a commercial kitchen layout in a limited space. That’s why many manufacturers offer various machine designs and configurations with vents placed in different positions to accommodate a range of placements.

 

Installation and training

While some smaller bench-top bakery equipment may not require professional installation, larger freestanding machines likely will. Talk to your equipment supplier about whether they provide professional installation, and whether that is built into the price of the machine or attracts an additional fee.

The same goes for training. The more complex commercial machinery can be difficult to master and takes some skill to operate. So don’t assume that your kitchen team will automatically know how to use it. Some equipment suppliers will provide on-site training, so take that into account when you’re pricing commercial bakery equipment.

 

Cleaning

Thorough daily cleaning is part of the standard bakery workload, and you’ll want to consider this when you’re selecting equipment. Ask the supplier to demonstrate the daily cleaning protocols for the machines you’re considering.

Look for ease of access, and take marks off if you need to remove panels or otherwise disassemble the machine for regular cleaning. This will take your team more time to get through their cleaning tasks — and that means more money out of your pocket.

Also ask about any particular cleaning chemicals or other consumables that may be required for particular machines. Any specific cleaning chemicals or consumables you need should be readily available and reasonably priced.

 

Maintenance and servicing

In addition to daily cleaning, your commercial bakery equipment will require regular maintenance and servicing.

There will likely be some maintenance you can do yourself, so talk to your supplier about this. For example, you may need to change air filters or other components at scheduled intervals. Again, make sure any DIY maintenance doesn’t require any significant disassemblement and that consumable parts such as air filters are easy to order, reasonably priced and possible to store on your premises.

More complex bakery equipment will also likely require professional servicing. Not all machine manufacturers or suppliers have their own in-house technicians, so make sure there is a network of service technicians available in your area. Also consider the cost and frequency of schedule servicing when you’re assessing the likely return on investment.

Equipment breakdowns can also be disastrous for your bakery. Ask the supplier about their repairs policy, how quickly service technicians will be sent, and what the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty covers.

 

Licenses and permits

If you’re opening a new bakery, you may require certain licenses and permits to comply with food service regulations in your state. Talk to your local council about any food business licences that are required in your area. And keep in mind that there may be fees involved.

All bakeries operating in Australia must also satisfy the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSANZ). These include:

  • General food standards that set guidelines around food labelling, food additives, microbiological limits, and the use of genetically modified ingredients.
  • Food product standards that set out how you need to label particular foods.
  • Food safety standards that govern all aspects of food handling to ensure food is safe and suitable for human consumption.
  • Primary production and processing standards that apply to the processing of eggs and dairy products, along with meat, seafood, poultry, seed sprouts and wine.

And last but not least, you must also provide proper food safety and food handling training to your staff.

 

Recruit the right staff

It’s important to realise that you can’t do it alone. You’ll need to bring in some employees to help you run your bakery. But this will also require careful thought.

The rule of thumb is to bring in people who compliment your particular expertise and fill your skills gap. That is, if you’re going to work as a hands-on head baker, you might consider hiring a store manager to look after front-of-house issues, roster staff and handle payroll. Or if you’re planning to take on a more managerial role, you might need to hire extra help in the kitchen.

How you’ve equipped your kitchen and designed your production flow should also help inform your recruitment. That is, if you’ve used commercial bakery equipment like dough sheeters and moulders to automate steps in your production line, you’ll likely need fewer kitchen employees to reach the production capacity you’re shooting for. On the other hand, if you’ve limited your bakery equipment to the bare minimum, you’ll probably need to have more people working your manual stations to pick up the slack.

 

Top 10 must-have pieces of bakery equipment

Oven

Commercial bakery equipment essentially aims to automate certain steps in your kitchen process to reduce manual labour and boost your production capacity.

While the largest commercial bakeries may aim to automate every step in their production line with a full suite of machinery, smaller bakeries can combine machinery with manual workstations. This will automate some steps in the baking processes, while keeping other steps hands-on.

The key is to determine how much of your process you need to automate, and which steps make the most sense to call in some mechanical assistance. To answer that question, you’ll need to carefully consider how each piece of machinery will impact your production capacity, and how much production capacity you’ll need to meet customer demand.

This is the sweet spot. That is, it’s probably not a good idea to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building an incredible production capacity if you don’t have the same level of customer demand. Rather, it may be a better idea to start small, and add bakery equipment to expand your production capacity as your customer demand grows.

Here’s a run down of the top 10 must-have pieces of bakery equipment to get you started:

 

1. Commercial bread oven

Your commercial bread oven will likely be the centrepiece of your bakery kitchen. It must be a reliable workhorse that can handle heavy daily use, while ensuring even and consistent heat distribution.

There are many types of commercial bread oven for sale, and it’s important not to rush into a purchase. Your commercial oven will have an impact on the quality of your baked products. They are also relatively large pieces of equipment and will occupy valuable kitchen space. And a commercial bread oven can even influence the flavour, texture and appearance of your end product.

For those reasons, it’s critical to understand which type of commercial oven best suits your needs. Here are some popular options you should consider:

 

Commercial convection oven

A commercial convection oven will be the reliable all-rounder in your bakery kitchen. Depending on the brand you choose, they tend to be the most affordable type of bakery oven, and are great for baking a range of products including bread, biscuits, cakes and even pies.

Convection ovens use internal fans to circulate hot air evenly through the oven interior. This helps to ensure consistent heat distribution, which means your baked goods should brown evenly in a convection oven. It’s a great choice when you need to turn out a high volume of baked goods with easily repeatable results over time. Convection ovens also tend to have a shorter cooking time, which is great news for busy, volume-based bakery businesses.

On the flip side, oven spring may not be as good in a convection oven — however, some higher-end models come with a steam injection function to fix that issue. You also don’t want to over-crowd a convection oven or you’ll risk compromising its performance.

 

Commercial deck oven

Deck Oven

Gas or electric commercial deck ovens are perhaps the most popular alternative to convection ovens. A commercial bakery deck oven tends to give you more control over the baking process than a convection oven. That’s because they use stone or ceramic baking soles in each deck of the oven that can be operated independently to create a more precise baking environment.

Deck ovens tend to produce a better bread crust than convection ovens. So you might consider investing in a commercial bakery deck oven as your principal bread oven, and use a separate convection oven for baking pastries. Some deck ovens are also available with with stone base for traditional baking.

However, deck ovens tend to be larger, heavier and more expensive than convection ovens. They may be more suited to larger bakery operations that have more floor space, or bakeries that focus more heavily on artisan breads.

 

Commercial combi oven

Commercial combi ovens — also known as combination ovens — are designed as an all-in-one solution. Most combi ovens can be used on convection or steam settings, or a combination of both.

Combi ovens tend to deliver superior oven spring, and are particularly useful for baking pastries. While convection ovens are great for even heat distribution, they tend to produce a dry heat that limits oven spring. By introducing steam into the baking environment, combi ovens inject more moisture which produces a better oven spring.

Many combi ovens also have adjustable moisture settings. This gives bakers precise control not only over the temperature of the bake — as in convection ovens — but also over the level of moisture used in the cooking. This also helps to achieve and consistently reproduce the exact level of oven spring you’re looking for.

Combi ovens also tend to be a little smaller than convection ovens, which makes them a great option for smaller kitchen spaces. However, commercial combi ovens tend to be more expensive than convection ovens, and require more regular cleaning.

 

Commercial wood fire bread oven

Woodfire Oven

Think carefully before you buy a commercial wood fire bread oven. There’s little argument that the flavour and crust produced by a wood fire oven is beyond compare. However, wood fire ovens require a lot of work to prepare, and mastery to achieve consistent results.

If you’re considering opening a true artisan bakery that will put your superior bread craftsmanship at the front and centre of your offering, then a wood fire bread oven can certainly take your game to the next level.

Wood fire ovens are generally able to create and maintain more heat that other commercial bakery ovens, and creates superior oven spring and a crust that’s difficult — if not impossible — to recreate in a convection, deck or combi oven.

However, you need to work hard for these results. It takes much longer to prepare and heat the oven. And the nature of a commercial wood fire bread oven means it’s much more difficult to hit a precise temperature than simply setting a dial on a convection, deck or combi oven.

 

Commercial rotating rack oven

Rotating rack ovens are perhaps the largest and most versatile option for a commercial bakery kitchen.

They are usually convection-style ovens, although some brands may have a steam feature that essentially turns it into a combi oven. Dough is placed on a large rack that rotates to ensure even baking. This tends to eliminate the ‘hot spots’ in other ovens that can cause batches to bake unevenly.

Some rotating rack ovens feature compatible proofers. That means you can load your rack up with dough and roll it into the proofer. Then, when it’s ready, you can roll the rack directly from the proofer and into the rack oven. This speeds up the process and removes a manual step as you don’t have to individually load dough trays between the proofer and oven.

However, keep in mind that these are large, big-ticket items. They’ll take up a lot of space in your kitchen and can cost you well over $30,000, so you’ll want to ensure you have the customer demand and production capacity to keep your oven full and giving you good returns on your investment.

 

2. Commercial dough sheeter

Dough Roller

When you’re running a bakery, time is money. The more you can produce each day, the more you are able to sell, and the more money goes into your pocket at the end of the day. So it makes sense to automate as many time-consuming manual processes as you can.

That’s where a commercial dough sheeter — also known as a commercial dough roller — comes in. It takes all the time and effort out of manual dough rolling. While operation may very slightly between brands, dough sheeters generally use a series of automatic rollers to flatten the dough. This forces the gas out of the dough, which helps to develop the gluten to create a more hardy dough with improved crispiness.

You can also use a commercial dough sheeter to create layered doughs such as those used to make puff pastry. Some dough sheeters can also be used to process fondant, which is very helpful if you’re in the cake-making business.

As well as saving significant time and labour, a commercial dough sheeter will also help you to achieve consistent dough size and thickness without all the elbow grease. This, in turn, will help you to standardise your baking process and ensure all your goods bake evenly and come out at the same size and shape.

However, keep in mind that dough sheeters tend to be quite large pieces of equipment, so you’ll need to have the space in your kitchen to accommodate one. You’ll also want to make sure it makes financial sense. Larger bakeries that operate at higher volume will easily achieve a good resting on their investment in a commercial dough sheeter.

Smaller bakeries, on the other other, will need to assess whether they can handle the boost in production efficiency. That is, using a commercial dough sheeter to send your dough production into super speed is of little use if you don’t have the oven capacity, display space, or demand to keep up with your increased production capability.

 

3. Commercial bread proofer

A good commercial bread proofing cabinet is a vital addition to any and every bakery set up. We don’t need to tell you that the proofing stage is critical to produce great baked goods, but ensuring the right conditions for proper proofing can be tough.

Bread proofing cabinets solve this problem. They are designed to maintain the perfect warm and humid environment dough needs to rise most effectively.

Most commercial bread proofers feature different temperature settings to suit a range of dough types — from bread to croissants — and are available in a variety of sizes including under-counter and full height configurations.

You also want to pay attention to the interior configuration to ensure your proofing pans or baskets will fit snuggly inside, and keep in mind that some cabinets are designed specifically for sheet pans.

It’s also important to think about the door type and configuration. Cabinets with solid doors tend to be more energy efficient, however glass doors provide good visibility so you can check on the progress of the rise. Full doors provide easier access to the entire cabinet interior, however half or split doors may be a better bet if you want to retain heat when removing selected items.

 

4. Commercial spiral mixer

A commercial spiral mixer is another great time saver in a bakery kitchen. It is a must-have for larger bakeries and will help to develop proper gluten structure in your dough while saving you time and effort.

Most spiral mixers feature a rotating spiral hook paired with a rotating bowl that replicates hand kneading and rolling methods. Spiral mixers are specifically designed to mix dough, and tend to use a gentler motion than less specialised mixers. That means spiral mixes don’t overwork your dough like some other mixers can.

Spiral mixers are particularly useful if you’re working with high-hydration doughs, such as sourdough. Although most spiral mixers are designed to handle all dough types so are quite versatile and can be used across your bakery kitchen.

Keep in mind that most spiral mixers tend not to come with interchangeable attachments for other functions. They are excellent dough mixes, but are not intended for other purposes.

Like most good commercial bakery equipment, a spiral mixer will help to increase your production capacity. But it’s important to ensure the rest of your kitchen set up is geared to handle the boost in volume.

 

5. Commercial planetary mixer

These all-purpose mixers can be a great addition to your bakery kitchen. Unlike spiral mixers, they are designed for a range of purposes — including whipping, mixing and beating.

Most planetary mixers feature a range of speed settings, so you can use them for mixing cake batter, beating eggs, and blending and creaming.

A commercial planetary mixer features a fixed, non-rotating bowl and can accommodate a range of attachments for versatile use. However, keep in mind that while many planetary mixers can knead dough, they probably won’t achieve the results a specialised spiral mixer can.

So while a commercial planetary mixer is not a like-for-like alternative to a spiral mixer, it can be an effective companion piece to a spiral mixer in larger bakeries, or fulfill the role of an all-in-one mixer in smaller bakeries.

 

6. Commercial automatic bread slicer

If you’re planning on selling a high volume of sliced bread loaves in your bakery, then a commercial automatic bread slicer is a must.

These workhorses can slice their way through a huge volume of standard-sized bread loaves, and some come with automatic baggers that make your sliced loaves shelf-ready with little time or effort required.

Bench-top and freestanding models are available, so think about the floor space you have available and the volume of sliced bread you require. It’s also worth noting that some bread slicers cut bread at a single fixed thickness, while others feature adjustable thickness settings.

If you’re running a smaller bakery, you may be better off saving money on a manual bread slicer. They usually feature a side lever that you need to pull to activate the cutting blades, and tend to be cheaper to buy and less expensive to run and maintain than an automatic alternative.

Keep in the mind that automatic and manual bread slicers tend to work best with standard-sized loaves. So if you focus more on non-standard artisan breads such as sourdoughs and baguettes, you may not get the same value out of a bread slicer. In that case, selling unsliced loaves might be a better fit for you.

 

7. Commercial bakery bun divider

Also known as dough dividers, these machines not only save time and effort, they can also boost your bottom line. A commercial bakery bun divider essentially produces uniform dough balls you can use to make a wide range of baked products from bread loaves to various roll shapes and sizes.

When dividing dough to make rolls, for example, it can be difficult and time consuming to achieve the same size and weight by hand. And selling rolls at different sizes and shapes is not only displeasing for your customers, but could also mean you’re getting fewer rolls out of each dough batch.

However, not all bakery bun dividers are created equal. Some dough types can withstand more handling than others, so to get the best bang for your buck, you’ll want to find a divider with adjustable compression. That will ensure your divider can handle a range of dough types.

Commercial bakery bun dividers can run you well over $10,000. So you’ll want to make sure you’re producing at an appropriate volume to make it worth the spend.

 

8. Commercial dough moulder

Not to be confused with a commercial dough sheeter, a dough moulder or rounder is the next step in the process. Dough is fed into a sheeter that uses rollers to apply force to the dough to create a piece of flattened dough. This flattened dough — or dough sheet — can then be fed into a commercial dough moulder.

The moulder takes the flat dough sheet and forms it into the required shape and structure. Most dough moulders are capable of forming dough sheets into a variety of shapes, so can be a quite versatile time-saving in a large commercial bakery kitchen.

A dough moulder automates the dough shaping step in the baking process. But, like most other commercial bakery equipment featured here, can be a large and expensive piece of machinery. While larger commercial bakeries will certainly make their money back and then some, smaller bakeries should carefully assess whether the time saved is worth the investment.

 

9. Commercial bakery tables and racks

Racks

While baker’s tables and racks may not be as glamorous as the other commercial bakery equipment featured in this guide, they are essential for the operation of all bakeries — small and large.

Stainless steel baker’s tables provide a santiatory surface for dough preparation, and are easy to clean. Look for heavy-duty construction that will stand up to daily use, and tables with lockable castor wheels can be a great option if you want to keep some flexibility in the layout of your bakery kitchen.

Oven racks made of stainless steel or aluminum with durable castor wheels are ideal for transporting full- or half-sized sheet pans between your preparation space, oven and other commercial bakery equipment.

 

10. Commercial display fridge

In addition to cold storage in your bakery kitchen, you’ll likely need a commercial display fridge for your retail area. Look for a display fridge that is both functional and creates a strong visual impact.

For example, bench-top display fridges are great to show off impulse items at point of sale, while larger free-standing glass cabinets can act as a functional counter in your retail space.

A dedicated drink fridge is another must, and all your display fridges should feature good interior lighting and easy access for your staff or customer self-service.

 

Used commercial bakery equipment or new?

Setting up a commercial bakery from scratch can be an expensive project. Fortunately, there is often second hand bakery equipment for sale, which can help save you some money upfront. Whether you need something as simple as a used commercial bread slicer or more complex second hand bakery equipment, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find the used commercial bakery equipment you need to get started.

However, there are a few important things to be aware of when buying second hand bakery equipment. Online marketplaces like eBay and Gumtree tend to operate on a policy of buyer beware. It can be difficult to assess whether the used commercial bakery equipment you’re considering has been damaged by misuse or insufficient maintenance and serving. Manufacturers warranties may no longer be valid, and the seller will likely not include professional installation and training. Also, the size and weight of larger bakery machinery will drive the shipping cost up, and you’ll risk damage to the machine if it is not professionally packed and handled.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t save money on second hand bakery equipment. SilverChef offers a range of Certified Used commercial bakery equipment. All our equipment is less than 18 months old, fully refurbished, and comes with a warranty for your peace of mind. Shop the range here.

 

How much is commercial bakery equipment?

The cost of commercial bakery equipment depends on the type and brand of equipment you’re considering. For example, you can pick up an entry-level bench top commercial spiral mixer for around $1,000, while a large high-end commercial combi oven can run you upwards of $30,000.

Fortunately, you don’t have to find all that cash upfront. Financing options are available that enable you to rent or pay off expensive commercial bakery equipment over time.

For example, SilverChef offers flexible finance options including Rent-Try-Buy®. Simply choose your bakery equipment, rent it for the first year, and get flexible options during and at the end of 12 months. This includes being able to upgrade to a bigger and better model if your business grows; or purchase the machine if you know you want to keep it. At the end of 12 months you also have the option to return the equipment to us, if it no longer suits you.

 

Best bakery equipment brands

Mecnosud

Premium Italian brand Mecnosud has been crafting superior bakery equipment for more than 40 years. From small commercial spiral mixers to large commercial dough sheeters, Mecnosud is your one-stop shop for high quality, durable commercial bakery equipment that will stand the test of time.

Mecnosud automatic spiral mixers

The range of entry-level Mecnosud SP01 automatic spiral mixers feature strong stainless steel spiral shafts and steel bowl constructions for reliable day-in, day-out use, and a robust chain drive systems reduces the unit’s operating noise. Or check out the high-end SPE series that features a coated steel structure for heavy duty use, and dual belt drive for powerful operation.

Mecnosud planetary mixers

The Mecnosud MX planetary mixers have been purpose-designed for small and medium bakeries, and are available in 12- to 80-litre capacities. Choose from fixed bowl or lever-lifted bowl designs, and three adjustable speeds make it ideal for versatile use.

Mecnosud dough sheeters

The Mecnosud Series SB manual sheeters are perfect for smaller spaces with fold-away surfaces, freestanding or bench-top options, and manual operation. Or consider the Series SF sheeters for medium-scale pastry and bread making.

Mecnosud dough dividers

The Mecnosud Series DV dough dividers will be the workhorse of your bakery. They are manufactured from quality components with corrosion-inhibiting finishing, and the machine has been designed to enable easy internal clearing. The series also features a teflon-coated head cover, adjustable pressure knob, and stainless steel plate for dough transfer.

Mecnosud bread slicers

With a small footprint and no lateral mechanisms, the Mecnosud Smart Series bread slicers are excellent for smaller spaces. The crumb collection tray is easy to empty, and the six-level cutting pressure adjustment makes this commercial automatic bread slicer capable of handling a range of loaf types.

 

Somerset

Somerset has been designing and manufacturing professional grade commercial bakery equipment since 1946. Somerset bakery equipment is designed to withstand heavy use, require little maintenance and last for years.

Somerset Dough Sheeter

The Somerset CDR-500 is capable of sheeting 500 to 600 pieces per hour, which makes it ideal for high-volume applications. Its heavy-day stainless steel construction is built to last, and the drive mechanism is isolated from the roller area to reduce maintenance. Convenient side operation is great for limited spaces, and it features safety sensors for automatic shutoff. The CDR-500F is custom designed for fondant sheeting, so is perfect for professional cake makers.

Somerset Dough Divider

The Somerset SDD-450 is capable of processing more than 2,000 pieces per hour and is programmable up to four different weights and quantities in a single run. Yet despite its impressive volume capacity, its compact design makes it small enough to fit into most kitchen spaces It also features a digital display and controls and features a 34kg hopper.

Somerset Dough Moulder

The heavy-duty Somerset CDR-170 is a compact table-top bread moulder that can shape an impressive 30 loaves per minute. It can create a huge range of shapes including traditional bread loaves, hot dog buns, bread sticks, dinner rolls, baguettes and even pretzels. It features simple handle adjustment and the unit’s spring-loaded scrapers are easy to remove for cleaning.

 

UNOX

UNOX was founded in 1990, and is a world-renowned manufacturer of super-premium professional ovens. UNOX is the oven of choice for high-end restaurants and commercial bakeries around the world. The company’s range of BAKERTOP and BAKERLUX ovens have been specifically designed for commercial bakeries.

BAKERTOP MIND.Maps BIG 

This is an intelligent combi oven that is ideal for baking the perfect alveolar structure and crunchy puff pastry. It is capable of baking 192 croissants in just 18 minutes, with even colour and structure distributed throughout each and every batch. That’s down to the linear heating elements and heat exchangers that guarantee even heat distribution across every tray.

BAKERLUX SHOP.Pro

This is a high-tech convection oven for the 21st-century kitchen. The MULTI.Time function enables you to bake up to 10 different items at the same time, and artificial intelligence monitors the entire baking process to ensure perfect, repeatable results every time. A range of sizes are available, including three-, four-, six-, and 10-tray options.

BAKELUX & LINEMISS

Old-school simplicity meets new-school performance with these high-capacity ovens with a footprint less than one square metre. Digital control panels make way for robust mechanical knobs, and UNOX AIR.Plus technology ensures even air and heat distribution through the baking chamber. STEAM.Plus technology makes the oven a great option for combi oven devotees

UNOX Proofer

This impressive unit achieves precisely controlled proofing with accurate temperature and humidity control. The proofer is designed without an internal fan to ensure the delicate surface of your dough remains moist. Onboard sensors continuously control the temperature and humidity inside the unit, with up to 256 repeatable programs.

 

Rotel

Rotel commercial bakery ovens are the big boys of the baking world. They are specifically designed for heavy-duty retail use, and the VTL Advantage series of high-end deck ovens all feature touch screen control and are designed to use up to 20 per cent less energy than conventional baking ovens.

Rotel VTL Advantage R3M3D3S

This is the baby of Rotel’s commercial deck oven range, but still serves up a generous capacity of 60 x 680g loaves across 12 trays. Variable temperature loading makes it an energy efficient unit, and all decks can be independently controlled for split baking. There is also a live inbuilt steaming system fitted to all chambers.

Rotel VTL Advantage R33D3S

This is the largest commercial deck oven in the Rotel range. It has a total capacity of 120 x 680g loaves across 24 trays, and can store up to 99 baking programs with programmable time, temperature, steam and top/bottom heat balance. It also features automatic pre-heating of all decks, stainless steel internal baking chambers, a bottom-mounted turntable drive system, and castors fitted as standard.

 

Anvil

Anvil was founded in South Africa in 1966 and distributes commercial kitchen equipment to more than 30 countries around the world. The company’s 10,000sqm manufacturing facility is fitted out with state-of-the-art machinery and technology. In-house engineers develop all Anvil products for purpose-designed commercial use. All Anvil equipment comes with a two-year warranty on components and defective workmanship.

Anvil deck ovens

Anvil makes entry-level gas and electric deck ovens in a range of configurations from single-deck two-tray ovens right up to triple-deck six-tray ovens. All feature robust construction with side, top and rear panels in painted steel and front faces in stainless steel. Each deck also features a glass viewing window and all top and bottom elements are independently controlled.

Anvil proofing cabinet

This is another good entry-level piece of equipment ideal for smaller bakeries. It accommodates nine 600mm x 400mm trays and features six heat settings for versatile proofing. It is sturdy enough to place a small oven on top to save space, and the manually filled water tray does not need to be plumbed in.

Anvil spiral dough mixer

Anvil offers a range of 20L, 30L, 40L and 50L spiral dough mixers. All mixers feature a fixed head and mixing bowl with a stainless steel protection grid, and are fitted with a two-speed motor and electronic timer. They are simple, functional mixers that won’t blow out your budget.

Anvil refrigerated display units

Anvil offers a wide range of floor standing refrigerated display units in 900mm, 1200mm and 1500mm versions. Selves are illuminated with LED lights, and double-glazed glass prevents unsightly condensation. All units can be fitted with castor wheels and feature two adjustable shelves.

Cake display fridges

Ideal for counter-top cake display, Anvil cake display fridges feature four fully adjustable shelves and adjustable levelling feet. Construction is from stainless steel and aluminium, and double heated tempered glass prevents condensation. Interior lighting is ideal for product display, and the unit features a digital temperature control unit.

 

Turbofan

Turbofan makes commercial convection and combi ovens that are ideal for use in a commerical bakery. The Turbofan range is renowned for its superior performance and durability.

Turbofan Half Size Tray

With a small footprint and half-size tray capacity, this is an excellent all-purpose convection oven for tight spaces. It features a company 610mm width and 85mm tray spacing, and serves up 2.8kW of heating power. The digital time and temperature display and control are easy to read and use, and the safe-touch vented drop down door prevents burns.

Turbofan Full Size Tray

This digital gas convection oven measures in at 735mm wide and features four full size tray capacities with 110mm spacing. The infrared burner system with bi-directional fan ensures even heat distribution. It also features a thermostatic range from 50 to 260C, and a timer range from 180 minutes in countdown mode.

Turbofan Combi

Available in a wide range of sizes from five- to 10-tray capacity, Turbofan Combi ovens feature an electric direct steam system with 14kW of heating power. A hand shower with fittings and connections are included, and choose from electro-mechanical time and temperature controls or an electronic touch control panel with a high-visibility LED display.

 

Paramount

Paramount is part of the Moffat Group that designs, develops and manufactures a wide range of commercial cooking equipment. The company's Melbourne head office overseas a large network of sales and service offices located around Australia, New Zealand, the UK and US.

Paramount Hydraulic Dough Divider

Measuring in at a relatively compact 680mm wide, this divider has a 16kg dough capacity and uses stainless steel knives to divide dough in 20 equally weighted pieces between 200 and 800 grams. It features a square dividing chamber and rectangular bowl, and is supplied on wheels.

Paramount Auto Floor Slicer with Bagger

This floorstanding commercial automatic bread slicer can get through around 300 loaves per hour with 12mm slice thickness. It is fitted with a side-mounted bag blower for easy bagging, and features an easy-to-empty crumb bin and rear safety cover for operator safety.

Paramount Planetary Mixer

The range of Paramount Planetary Mixers feature heavy-duty construction with belt-driven operation and long-life gear box with three fixed speeds. It also features a 15-minute timer and includes batter beater, dough hook and wire whisk attachments. The range features 10L, 20L, 30L, 50L, 60L and 80L models.

 

Varimixer

Danish brand Varimixer makes a range of high-end commercial mixers that are designed to be your go-to bakery workhorse for many years to come. The company was founded by a young Danish mechanic in 1915, and is known today in professional kitchens around the world for its superior quality. All Varimixer products are hand-built by a team of around 60 craftspeople at the company’s Copenhagen workshop.

Varimixer RN10

Purpose-designed for bakeries, the RN10 is available as a table- or floor-mounted mixer. Choose between four fixed speeds or get it just right with the variable speed adjustment. You can also program and save up to four different work programs, and is made from stainless steel with a sturdy frame and legs. It also simply plugs into a standard power outlet so professional installation is not required.

Varimixer Kodiak

The Varimixer Kodiak won the Kitchen Innovations Award for the most hygienic mixer on the market. Available in 20L or 30L models, it eliminates heavy lifting thanks to the tall bowl trolley that can be easily wheeled under the mixer for beating and kneading operations. It also plugs into a standard power outlet.

 

Rollmatic

Rollmatic was founded in 1985 in Italy and has grown to become an internationally-recognised manufacturer of quality commercial bakery equipment. The company prides itself on blending traditional craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technology.

Rollmatic dough sheeters

Rollmatic makes a range of commercial dough sheeters to fit just about any budget, space and production capacity. From the compact table-top RV50 manual sheeter to the large fully automatic R65AXP sheeter with a built-in cutting system, folding tables and 100 work programs, there’s something here for the smallest bakery right through to the largest commercial operation.

Rollmatic bread slicers

The range of Rollmatic bread slicers also caters for bakeries large and small. The compact counter-top manual G42 bread slicer is small enough for behind-the-counter use in small bakeries. Rollmatic also makes a wide range of large-capacity automatic bread slicers for heavy-duty commercial use.

Rollmatic planetary mixers

Rollmatic planetary mixers feature thick steel frames with a four-stage protective treatment including pickling, sandblasting, primer application and powder coating to ensure long life. Inverters fitted to all models enable customised speed control while protecting the motor from overload, and the bowl can be disassembled without removing the attachment and protection grid for fast and easy cleaning.

 

Top questions to ask before you buy bakery equipment

It’s important to find the right commercial bakery equipment for your needs. After all, the bakery equipment you settle on will be the backbone of your production line. The wrong machinery could negatively impact the efficiency of your kitchen, and under-spending on equipment that’s not up to the job could hurt your ability to meet customer demand.

And when it comes to designing your production line, there are many different options and configurations to choose from. Large commercial bakeries may do well to spend up big on a fully automated production line with several freestanding machines, or smaller bakeries may just need a helping hand here and there while keeping some steps manual.

In this way, the bakery equipment you choose can directly impact your bottom line. Under-spending could leave your shelves empty, while over-spending could overcapitalise your business on unnecessary machinery.

The quality and configuration of bakery equipment brands also differ widely, with a range of functionality differences between machines that may look the same at first glance.

That’s why it’s vital to educate yourself before you start talking with sales reps. Talk to other bakery owners who have real-world experience using commercial bakery equipment for advice, and can give you honest insights into the most useful machines and how different types and brands of bakery equipment perform under the burden of day-to-day use.

Then, once you’ve built some independent knowledge, it’s worth talking with professional bakery equipment dealers and suppliers to understand the technical specifications and support services that each manufacturer offers.

And if you’d like independent advice and guidance from a professional, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at SilverChef. We have dedicated industry experts available to support you.

Here are some things you can ask other bakery owners:

  • What commercial bakery equipment do you use and why?
  • What are your preferred bakery equipment brands?
  • Have you had any issues with certain brands or equipment suppliers?
  • How often does your bakery equipment down or need repairs?
  • Is the provider reliable when you need their help?
  • Do your employees find the equipment easy to use?
  • What was your experience buying commercial bakery equipment?
  • Would you recommend the equipment you have to others?

Here are questions to ask your dealer or supplier:

  • Will this machine suit the needs of my bakery?
  • What warranty is included?
  • How easy is it to get parts from the factory if they are needed?
  • What happens if I need an urgent repair?
  • How much are hourly callout fees? What about on weekends?
  • Do you provide training for my team?
  • Why do you recommend this machine?

 

Commercial bakery equipment FAQs

Setting up your bakery requires a significant investment. The bakery equipment you choose will not only form a large part of your up-front investment, but will also determine how your kitchen operates and the production capacity you’ll be able to achieve. That’s why commercial bakery equipment should never be an impulse purchase. It requires a lot of research and technical knowledge. Here are some critical questions you should be asking and answering before you settle on any bakery equipment.

How does commercial bakery equipment work?

This, of course, depends on the type of bakery equipment you’re talking about. There is a wide range of commercial bakery equipment available, and these are each designed to complete a different task in your kitchen production line.

Generally speaking, the first step in your production line is dough preparation. This is where you commercial spiral mixers and commercial planetary mixers come in. They help your kitchen staff appropriately mix ingredients to create the dough.

Then comes dough processing. Depending on the item you’re making, dough needs to be appropriately kneaded and shaped. A commercial dough sheeter and a commercial dough roller machine are used to automate this process. This will save you time and labour, and also help to achieve more consistent results in dough size, shape and texture.

You can then use a commercial dough proofer to create the perfect proofing conditions before your dough is taken into your commercial bakery oven.

As previously discussed, you might choose a commercial convection oven, a commercial combi oven, a commercial deck oven, or even a commercial wood fire bread oven depending on your needs.

For bread, you might choose to put your baked loaves through a commercial automatic bread slicer, or display other baked goods in a commercial display fridge in your retail space.

 

How much power does commercial bakery equipment use?

This is entirely dependent on the type of machine and how much you’re using it. The important thing to think about when it comes to power consumption is whether your bakery uses single-phase or three-phase power.

Some commercial three-phase machines are designed to be more energy efficient than single-phase machines. However, your building will need to be connected to three-phase power. This will require the services of a professional electrician, and depending on your building’s existing setup and location, it can be quite expensive.

Carefully weight the energy saving and production capacity you’ll gain with three-phase bakery equipment against the cost of connection. This can be difficult to accurately determine, so it’s best to seek advice from an experienced and qualified commercial electrician.

 

How do I clean commercial bakery equipment?

In addition to cleaning food and ingredient build-up from your bakery equipment, you may also need to think about conducting regular do-it-yourself maintenance. Depending on the machine, you may need to clean and replace air filters that are vital for keeping the motor cool and preventing it from overhead.

Talk to the equipment supplier or manufacturer about this before you purchase the machine. You’ll want to make sure it’s easy to access the air filter without having to disassemble the machine. It’s also helpful to confirm that replacement filters are readily available for order and reasonably priced. You may also need to set aside some space to store cleaning chemicals and replacement parts.

 

Does commercial bakery equipment need professional maintenance?

Most likely. Smaller items such as bench-top mixers that you simply plug into an existing power outlet may not require professional maintenance. However, larger, more complex bakery equipment like a commercial dough sheeter certainly does require regular professional maintenance and servicing.

Again, talk to the equipment supplier or manufacturer about this before you purchase the machine. Most manufacturers will recommend a maintenance schedule for each machine. However, not all equipment suppliers have an in-house team of service technicians. If that’s the case, confirm that there is a network of technicians available in your area and what their call out costs are.

 

How do I install commercial bakery equipment?

Except for simple plug-and-play bakery equipment, it’s always best to opt for professional installation by a qualified technician. Keep in mind that larger machinery will likely need to be wired into your single-phase or three-phase power supply. This is not only incredibly dangerous to do yourself, but is actually illegal in some states and large fines may apply for any electrical work that is not completed by a qualified, licensed technician.

Also keep in mind that not following the manufacturers installation recommendations may void the warranty, damage your expensive machinery, and even put the safety of your staff at risk.

 

Thanks for reading our Commercial Bakery Equipment Buyer’s Guide

This guide has hopefully provided some important insights into how to set up a bakery and the best commercial bakery equipment you need to get your journey started on the right foot.

Remember to always keep the production capacity you need at the front of your mind. Over-spending on an elaborate kitchen set-up you don’t actually need to fulfil your current customer demand is practically throwing money away.

Rather, start with a few pieces of key bakery equipment you need to get started, then add extra equipment to expand your production capacity as your customer demand grows. That will help you to avoid over-capitalising on commercial bakery equipment in the early days of your bakery business.

Also keep in mind how your bakery equipment will help you deliver on your brand. That is, investing in something like a commercial wood fire bread oven may make sense for an artisan bakery selling high-end goods. However, a small suburban bakery trading on affordable daily standards may not get a good return on investment on the same piece of bakery equipment.

If you’d like the advice and guidance from a professional, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at SilverChef. We have dedicated industry experts available to support you.

Prefer to dive straight in and start looking at the commercial bakery equipment available from our Certified Used team? Shop our range of bakery equipment.

Want to know about finance options and what your rental payments could be? Find out more about Rent-Try-Buy® and Lease-to-Keep™.

 

Credit

This Buyer’s Guide was prepared with the help of Keegan Adams from Melba’s Bakehouse & Eatery in Wagga Wagga. Set on Baylis Street in the centre of town, Melba’s was established in 2019 and is a family-run business. The venue was named after his late grandmother, and serves a range of classic fare inspired by his childhood visits to Granny Mel’s house.

 

Commercial bakery equipment terminology

Commercial convection oven: A type of oven that uses internal fans to circulate hot air evenly through the oven interior to ensure consistent heat distribution.

Commercial deck oven: A type of oven with stone or ceramic baking soles in each deck of the oven that can be operated independently to create a more precise baking environment. 

Commercial combi oven: A type of oven that uses steam and convection to create moisture and encourage oven spring. 

Commercial wood fire bread oven: A type of traditional oven that uses wood fire to achieve higher heats and smokey flavour profiles not usually possible in other oven types. 

Commercial dough sheeter: A machine that uses a series of automatic rollers to flatten dough, develop the gluten to create a more hardy dough with improved crispiness. 

Commercial bread proofer: A temperature- and humidity-controlled cabinet that is used to create the ideal environment for proofing bread. 

Commercial spiral mixer: An automatic mixer that uses a rotating spiral hook and a rotating bowl to replicate hand kneading and rolling.

Commercial planetary mixer: A versatile automatic mixer that uses different attachments for a range of applications including whipping, mixing and beating. 

Commercial automatic bread slicer: A machine that automatically slices, and in some cases also bags, loaves of baked bread. 

Commercial bakery bun divider: A machine that produces uniform dough balls used to make a wide range of baked products from bread loaves to various roll shapes and sizes. 

Commercial dough divider: A machine that takes a flat dough sheet and forms it into the required shape and structure.

 

Here’s what our bakery equipment guide covers.

  • Commercial bakery equipment terminology
  • What are the main things to consider when opening a commercial bakery?
  • Top 10 must-have pieces of bakery equipment
    • Commercial bread oven
      • Commercial convection oven
      • Commercial deck oven
      • Commercial combi oven
      • Commercial wood fire bread oven
      • Commercial rotating rack oven
    • Commercial dough sheeter
    • Commercial bread proofer
    • Commercial spiral mixer
    • Commercial planetary mixer
    • Commercial automatic bread slicer
    • Commercial bakery bun divider
    • Commercial dough moulder
    • Commercial bakery tables and racks
    • Commercial display fridge
  • Used commercial bakery equipment or new?
  • How much is commercial bakery equipment?
  • Best bakery equipment brands
  • Top questions to ask before you buy bakery equipment
  • Commercial bakery equipment FAQs