UNiversities and Colleges

catering for students, staff and visitors have become increasingly popular in recent years, placing increased demand on commercial catering equipment. 

Essential Equipment – The Must Have’s:

Most university or college kitchens have experienced good investment in recent years, recognising the importance of the provision of healthy, nutritious and exciting meals for learners and students. Varied and comprehensive menus require kitchens to be equally equipped with simple to use, safe and reliable equipment. 

  • Fryer - chips, crumbed and battered products continue to be a staple part of the refectory menus.  
  • Oven Range / boiling top or hotplates - all kitchens need the versatility of some kind of hob - main query is what type (open top, solid top, hotplate or induction). The integrated oven further contributes to the kitchen output performance. 
  • Combination Oven - offers great support to kitchens and operators, it is flexible and can perform multiple functions in a small footprint. Will save the operation time.
  • Salamander grills - very useful equipment allowing user to flash a food item quickly, grill it from the top, browning and reheating. 


The combination of products, and the quantity and type of appliance will vary significantly with factors such as number of students and staff, size of kitchen/s, size and style of menus, service times etc all being important considerations when selecting equipment. 

Traditionally known as refectory kitchens, those equipment featured mostly gas appliances, but new builds have seen a distinctive turn towards electrical equipment, with energy efficient products such as induction hobs and combi ovens becoming integral parts of many new university or college campus / refectory kitchens. 

Consideration Points 

  • Usable kitchen/s space
  • Kitchen layout and design
  • Energy source and capacity available for the equipment
  • Menu offering
  • Kitchen staffing, i.e. skills set, formally trained / qualified
  • Amount of kitchen staff vs amount of pupils having to cater for
  • Additional catering requirements; such as principal’s dinners, events or production / supply kitchen and training kitchen.
  • Collective equipment budget


Other Equipment – The Nice to Have’s

These products are generally not an absolute necessity for most university and college kitchens but can be worth considering depending on the factors mentioned previously:

  • Bratt pan
  • Solid top gas oven range
  • Secondary fryer (or allergen fryer)
  • High Speed Oven
  • Boiling Kettles
  • Induction oven ranges opposed to gas


Which is best for my specific set up?

From colleges to universities, refectory kitchens, have distinctive differences in equipment requirements for each of these operations. Main reason would be the sheer volume of learners and students, in addition reflecting the difference in food provision expectations of the students and staff.

Although the emphasis is now firmly on producing healthy foods and steering away from anything deep fried, both scenarios have essentially different style food offerings.
Therefore, the equipment required will also vary, not just in type, but also in the amount installed per kitchen.

College kitchens will often also cater for nurseries. Portion sizes are smaller and the selection, although a balanced menu, will typically not be as vast and complicated as most universities. 

Typical Kitchen Equipment Set-up

Equipment type College Refectory College Training + University Production +
Oven range / boiling top 4 4 - 6  4 - 6
Fryer 2 2 - 3 4
Salamander 1 1 2
Combi Oven 2 2 2 - 3
Bratt Pan 1 1 2
Chargrills 0 - 1  1 1 - 2
High Speed Oven 2 2 2 - 4
Boiling Pan / Kettle 1 1 2



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