We'll tell you a secret: You don't have to be a chef or a restaurant owner to shop at restaurant supply stores. That's right. There is no quiz about roasting techniques to get in.
There are two main types of supply stores, with some overlap of their products: Restaurant supply stores and food-service supply stores. Both are fun for everyday home cooks to visit.
Restaurant supply stores typically sell kitchen furniture, kitchenware, appliances and gadgets. They carry everything from a squeeze bottle for $1, to a professional gas range priced at five figures.
Food-service supply stores often carry food and drinks in big, Costco-like containers. They also offer takeout containers, wrappers, straws, napkins and many other supplies.
Check them out and maybe you will find some terrific kitchen items at a savings compared to retail stores. Read on to learn about favorite finds.
- Parchment paper. At the beginning of the pandemic, parchment paper made a comeback as more people baked at home. It keeps pans clean and prevents baked and roasted foods from sticking to the pan.
Restaurant supply stores sell parchment paper in large flat sheets and half-sheets, in several sizes, which are easier to use than parchment paper on a roll found in grocery stores.
- Mixing bowls. These stackable, unbreakable and easy to clean bowls are sold inexpensively at restaurant supply stores, and in many sizes—even the ones with nonskid silicone on the bottom.
- Cutting boards. They come in a variety of colors and sizes and they're priced to move.
- Baking sheets. Restaurant and food-service supply stores have industrial-grade baking pans of all shapes and sizes. You'll find one that fits your oven, whether it's large or small.
- Cake and candy decorating supplies. You'll find elegant displays of cake and candy decorating supplies at craft stores and gourmet shops, but investigate restaurant supply stores for a different selection and better deals on items such as pastry bags, piping tips, cake stands, dipping tools and other cake-making supplies. With the savings, consider opening or contributing to a money market account.
- Whisks and other utensils. These heavy-duty utensils are built to last with high-heat resistance. The selection is massive and available in dozens of sizes. Best of all, you don't ever have to worry about one melting to your pan again.
- Knives. Beautiful knife blocks can be on the pricy side. Instead, purchase a great set of knives at a restaurant supplier for a fraction of the cost and choose from an amazing variety.
- Compostable takeout containers. These containers are one of consumers' favorite items. They are more likely found at food-service supply stores but some traditional restaurant supply stores sell them, too. They're great to share leftovers with departing guests to take home, for bringing baked goods to the office, and more.
- Fancy serving trays. Psst! Another secret: Most catering trays look fancy but are made of chrome-plated stainless steel. They will impress your party guests without draining your bank account. Restaurant supply stores are where caterers shop so you may find an entire aisle of silvered, scroll-embossed trays.
- Barware. Setting up a home bar can be pricey. Restaurant supply stores sell everything you'll need, from glassware and cocktail shakers to shot glasses. They may not be fancy, but they're usually durable and inexpensive.
You can drink to that.
While unexpected, these industrial suppliers are a great resource for home cooks. It's quite likely that you'll discover some fantastic tools at unbeatable prices while enjoying yourself browsing the aisles. Shop where the professionals shop!
Resources: MoneyTalksNews, tasteofhome.com, thekitchn.com, America's Test Kitchen
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