Without a doubt, the kitchen is the most important space in any restaurant or food service facility because it’s where all the magic happens. Whether new to the industry or a seasoned pro, the majority of restaurateurs would nod in agreement with this statement. But what they may be unaware of is the incredible amount of thought and planning required when designing a commercial kitchen in order to ensure it provides optimal functionality and efficiency, and minimal maintenance.

Here’s where Pacific Restaurant Supply comes in. Servicing all of British Columbia, Pacific Restaurant Supply is Western Canada’s only locally owned food equipment dealer and custom stainless fabricator. Pacific Restaurant Supply is known for:

1. Supplying and selling full-service food equipment and restaurant supplies from all over the world.

2. Providing end-to-end food service and kitchen design services, from conceptual and mechanical design to installation and construction management.

3. Fabricating and building superior custom kitchens and stainless steel projects, from ventilation to warewashing to refrigeration.

4. Maintaining a best-in-class showroom and test kitchen equipped with the latest trends in equipment and restaurant supplies.

You may not think you’re familiar with Pacific Restaurant Supply’s work — but think again. They have worked with some of the most well-known restaurant brands in Western Canada, including:

– The Hawksworth Group’s latest venture, Nightingale
– Helping UBC improve food service options for the student bodypacific-restaurant-supply-ubc

– They have also worked on numerous design-build projects for Gateway Casinos, along with a multitude of other leading restaurants throughout Vancouver.

We recently interviewed Pacific Restaurant Supply’s president, Jason Gilron, who shares the company’s design process, eight questions restaurateurs should ask before embarking on a restaurant kitchen design, and his thoughts on industry trends.

Pacific Restaurant Supply is known for involving clients in every step of the kitchen and equipment design process. Tell us what clients can expect if they work with you.
Clients immediately start working with our tremendously talented design and project management team, who have years of food service experience wired into their craft. Our team focuses first on listening to the client’s needs, so we can find their pain points and strategize on how to relieve them.

We work to add value during every part of the process, such as assisting the design and construction team, providing hands-on stainless execution, and delivering fast and strong communication.

You offer more than 10,000 global SKUs in your equipment and supplies catalogue, which showcases the lengths you have gone to source the right products for your clients! How does a client filter through your catalogue to find what they need?
We concentrate on finding the right solution for each customer, no matter how big or small they are. Our sales team creates custom packages that are not influenced by a general company template.

To be clear, we also don’t stock 10,000 SKUs all the time! However, we do stock the products that clients need immediately with our dedicated logistics team who look after warehousing, shipping and receiving. We also have a “white glove” delivery service.

We’ve worked with your team before and it’s evident that everyone has extensive hands-on industry experience and knowledge. How do you ensure all team members stay on top of new trends and technologies in the restaurant equipment and supplies space?
We constantly receive product knowledge updates from equipment manufacturers to learn about innovations that we pass on to our clients. Most of our team members are simply passionate about the industry and want to keep up to date on new concepts, food trends and equipment improvements. We often send people to factories for training and education, as well as host live, hands-on demonstrations at our downtown Vancouver location.

What can a customer expect when they visit your world-class equipment showroom for the first time?
The Pacific Restaurant Supply showroom is warm and welcoming. Everyone can expect help whenever they need it. We’ve worked hard to create a hospitable, well-designed showroom that offers the core products every food service operation needs.

We also have a fully functional test kitchen and event space rivaling that of a restaurant, where we host equipment demos and industry events. Our test kitchen has proven to be a great resource for our clients to use for training, menu development and pop-ups.

What questions should clients ask themselves as they are developing their kitchen and equipment concept?
Here are the three most commonly asked questions, along with my advice.

1. What do I really need in my kitchen?
We always tell clients to start with the basics and consider the non-negotiables, like health code requirements, plumbing fixtures and ventilation. After the basics are sorted, then it’s time to itemize specific equipment needs, such as a pizza oven or smoothie blenders.

2. How much will this cost?
Although costs can never be determined with 100% accuracy until the kitchen and equipment package is finalized, we recommend that all clients have a budget in mind. In fact, we are always happy to help our clients find different financing options.

3. When do I need this by?
While we have many essential equipment and kitchen supplies in stock, some pieces may need to be ordered and our custom items take time to design and fabricate. We provide our clients with estimated completion dates based on where the product is coming from, so it is best for clients to have a realistic idea of what their timelines are.

Great tips! If a client is deciding to purchase economy, imported stainless or opt for custom fabricated stainless, what questions should they ask to make the best decision?
The best way to think about this type of decision is similar to shopping at IKEA: do you want a custom piece of furniture or a build-it-yourself IKEA unit?

The IKEA unit may be tempting to purchase because of its lower price, but people usually do not account for the extra time and money it costs to purchase, transport, unpack and build the unit. In general, custom-built pieces are sturdier, offer greater longevity, and can withstand more wear and tear.

Here are four questions that may help a client make their decision:
1. How long do I want this piece of equipment to last?

2. Is withstanding wear and tear important to me?

3. Are efficiency and space saving improvements important?

4. Does a custom unit improve flow for my chef and service staff?

Last question: What are your favourite restaurants in Western Canada?
Kissa Tanto, Savio Volpe, Chambar, Hawksworth and Wolf in the Fog.

Judging by our first-hand experience, Pacific Restaurant Supply stands above all other equipment dealers and custom fabricators because of their strong commitment to results and to their clients. In fact, they are known to frequently visit their clients’ facilities to ensure everything is working properly and see if anything can be improved.

Wondering what Pacific Restaurant Supply’s secret to success is? We’ll let Jason explain it in his own words:

“We unravel each customer’s needs and determine how we can add value by truly understanding their story. We believe the mantra, “how you do anything, is how you do everything”. We try to achieve excellence in everything we do. If we can’t do it well, we won’t do it at all.” – Jason Gilron, President of Pacific Restaurant Supply

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. If you’re interested in learning more about Pacific Restaurant Supply and their supply, design and build services, please visit their website.

Author Trish Hudson

Trish is the owner and principal at Holistic Hospitality Solutions. She aims to help assess her clients operations from top to bottom in order to gain efficiencies, save money, and increase their bottom line.

More posts by Trish Hudson