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Tips for Choosing Mexican Restaurant Supplies

Mexican restaurants rely on unique equipment to produce amazing cuisine in the U.S.

Mexican restaurants rely on unique equipment to produce amazing cuisine in the U.S.

Thinking about opening a Mexican Restaurant business? Shopping for Mexican restaurant supplies?

You’re not alone. This amazing cuisine has developed a loyal following in America, including a weekly excuse to eat tacos and an annual holiday that’s celebrated more here than south of the border.

Mexican food is the second-most popular menu selection in the United States, representing approximately nine percent of the nation's restaurants, according to an April 2017 report by CHD Expert, which analyzes foodservice and hospitality data.

That's an awful lot of tacos and tamales... enchiladas and churros... guacamole and grilled corn! (More than 59,000 Mexican restaurants, to be exact).

Take that, burgers and pizza!

Another interesting fact: In an industry where today's popular eatery can quickly become tomorrow's closed restaurant, Mexican food has endured: More than 60 percent of Mexican restaurants in the U.S. have been in operation for more than five years.

And, a large majority of Mexican restaurants - more than 95 percent - have maintained their "independent status" (foodservice operations with nine or fewer units).

Is your soon-to-open Mexican restaurant the next quick service or fast casual operation in your town?

We want to help. Our restaurant equipment specialists at ACityDiscount have identified a checklist of equipment commonly found in Mexican restaurants. These Mexican restaurant supplies will save you and your staff time and money - because efficiency in a commercial kitchen is just as important as taste.

Check out our list below and let us know what you think about our Mexican restaurant supplies.

Carter-Hoffmann CW4E 40-Gallon Nacho Chip Warmer

Sell This: Freshly-fried taco shells, Taco Salad bowls, tortilla chips

Buy This: Deep fryers, fryer baskets, chip warmers

These fried items are staples Mexican restaurants from Texas to New York, making commercial deep fryers vital to any commercial kitchen. In addition to a fryer, specific baskets are needed to shape and form taco shells and taco salad bowls to increase efficiency. Meanwhile, a chip warmer keeps large volumes of fried chips warm for extended periods of time.

Sell This: Ground beef, sautéed pepper and onion blends, sauces (Mole, queso dip)

Buy This: Ranges, Griddles

Mexican restaurants often require a range top to cook sauces such as mole or queso dip. However, it’s a good idea to consider a range with a griddle top. Many Mexican restaurateurs use a griddle to cook large quantities of ground beef or sauté pepper and onion blends, but do not need to have their griddle constantly running. That's why a range with a griddle would be a great way to save on initial costs and space.

Sell This: Frozen Margaritas

Buy This: Margarita Machines

Mexican restaurants sell enormous amounts of frozen beverages, and blending drink after drink gets time consuming. If your bar can’t keep up, you’re losing money... Installing a Margarita Machine behind the bar save bartenders time without sacrificing quality passed on to customers. See our line of Frozen Drink & Margarita Machines.

Toastmaster TMLC36 Countertop 36

Sell This: A variety of proteins

Buy This: Charbroiler

Most of the proteins prepared in a Mexican restaurant (aside from ground meats) will be cooked on a Charbroiler. Figure out expected volume of cooking, and whether or not customers' proteins will be cooked in advance.

Sell This: Heated soft tortillas

Buy This: Tortilla steamer

They are the most popular way to heat soft tortillas in a commercial environment. A Flash Steamer heats tortillas in seconds, making them more malleable without excessively heating or drying out the shell.

Sell This: Salsa, pico de gaillo, hot sauce, vegetables

Buy This: Vegetable Prep

Every Mexican restaurant should own a Slicer/Dicer, a Lettuce Cutter, a Food Processor, and even possibly a Citrus Wedger (for lime garnishes or margaritas) to speed up prep work... which equates to faster service and therefore, an increase in revenue during busy periods.

Also Buy This: Buffet Wells / Salsa Bar

A mainstay in most Mexican restaurants with a dining area, a Salsa Bar gives customers a fresh array of salsa and sauce options. These buffets vary in shape and size depending on how business owners stock them. Drop-in hot/cold wells (separate or combination wells), as well as round wells for hot dips like queso, serviceware, and countertop dispensing equipment for items like plastic ramekins are essential for salsa bars.

What is Mexican Food?

Mexican food is a blend of Indigenous peoples of Mexico and other influences, including Spanish, Caribbean, South American and other regions of the world.

Mexican restaurants rely on unique equipment to produce amazing cuisine in the U.S.

Native Mexicans, which included the Aztecs, the Maya and the Zapotec, relied on a diet of corn, beans, peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and herbs. Other items you might find in a market included pineapple, avocado, squash, pumpkin, papaya, vanilla and chocolate, considered an item for the rich. Market places also sold salsa.

The Spanish introduced lime and other citrus fruits to Mexico, influencing Mexico's coastal cuisine with items like ceviche, which is not believed to be native to Mexico. The Spanish also introduced new livestock, such as pigs and sheep. So the cheese, pork, beef and lettuce in most of today's tacos are traced back to Spanish rule in Mexico.

Tex-Mex is very popular in the United States – perhaps more popular than authentic Mexican food.

How do you know if you’re eating Tex-Mex? If the ingredients include beef, wheat flour, yellow cheese, black beans or cumin, the recipe originated in the Southwestern United States... yes, nachos, chili con carne, canned vegetables and fajitas too.

Traditional cooking supplies ranged from the metate and molinillo (de chocolate) to molcajete or comal. Nowadays, Mexican restaurant supplies allow foodservice operators to produce tasty cuisine in minutes.

What is Cinco De Mayo, and what impact does it have on Mexican restaurants?

In Spanish, it translates to "Fifth of May." Not to be confused with Mexican Independence Day (Sept. 15), Cinco de Mayo marks the defeat of the French army in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla. Every May 5, an estimated 81 million avocados are consumed, according to the the California Avocado Commission. Did You Know? As of April 2017, Taco Bell comprised 41 percent of all Limited Service Restaurant chain restaurants offering Mexican cuisine, followed by Chipotle Mexican Grill (15 percent), Qdoba Mexican Grill (four percent), Moe's Southwest Grill (four percent) and Del Taco (four percent). The highest price point for checks at Mexican restaurants is $10-15 (37 percent). The top three states in terms of Mexican cuisine popularity (based on number of units) are Texas (18 percent), New Mexico (14 percent) and California (13 percent).

More questions about Mexican restaurant supplies? Give ACityDiscount a call at 404-752-6715 or stop by our showroom in the Atlanta suburb of Norcross at 6286 Dawson Blvd, NE.

Gary Estwick writes about the foodservice industry and the equipment that keeps it running smooth – from deep fryers to pizza ovens. He’s a fan of chargrilled oysters, Nashville-style hot chicken, cool jazz, paintball and the TV show Quantum Leap (1989-93) – in that order... He’s written for the Miami Herald, New Orleans Advocate, Austin American-Stateman, Men’s Fitness and other publications. Gary is a native of New Orleans, and lives in Atlanta. Check out his ACityDiscount articles and videos. E-mail story ideas to gestwick@acitydiscount.com. And click here to join ACityDiscount's mailing list for more food stories, tips, tricks and foodservice equipment specials!

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