Putting together your first commercial kitchen is an exciting time in your life as a restaurateur. Who doesn’t want to pick out combi ovens, cool rooms and food displays anyway? But there’s also the reality that restaurant equipment is a huge expense, which is why it’s crucial to make sure that you invest in the right pieces or you could end up wasting money on something that will not get the job done for you.
Then comes the question: “Should I buy new or used kitchen equipment?” Here, we’ll tackle the pros and cons of both new and used equipment, so you can make the right decision for your business.
New Restaurant Equipment
Of course, every restaurateur dreams of working in a commercial kitchen fitted with shiny new equipment. Buying brand-new means that you’re using these appliances firsthand, so you can expect them to have the latest features and in the best condition possible. Brand-new kitchen equipment also requires less maintenance, and they come with a warranty, especially if you buy from a reputable supplier like HE2020. Here’s the catch though: buying brand-new means you’re also spending more. This is where you need to shop small by choosing the right supplier and investing in multipurpose equipment. Also make sure that you’re buying appliances with Energy Star rating because that will help you offset the cost of your utility bills in the future. Do some comparison shopping first so you know where you can get the best prices. It’s also best to buy all your kitchen equipment from one supplier to get some discounts and only deal with a single transaction rather than hopping from one store to the other.
- Latest Technology - This will help you save on labor costs since these appliances don’t require a lot of manual handling.
- Less Maintenance - You don’t need to worry about defects, dents and maintenance issues since you’re the first one to use the equipment.
- Energy Rebates - You should check if your area offers energy rebates on new equipment, so you can get back some of the money you spent on these appliances.
- Warranty - The best part about investing in new kitchen equipment is that you have warranty for repairs and replacements to save you from added costs later on.
- High Upfront Costs - Of course, buying brand-new means paying more upfront. But if you have the budget, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment in the long run.
- Depreciation - While you may not think of selling your equipment when buying it, you need to remember that these products depreciate fast because of how much they’re used.
Used Restaurant Equipment
Of course, there’s also the option to buy used restaurant equipment, especially if you don’t have a huge budget to work with. By choosing second-hand appliances, you get to save a lot on upfront costs because these products are way cheaper than brand-new. But saving money also has some risks and disadvantages. Since second-hand equipment have already been used, you can expect some wear and tear, dents and even different issues that may need repairs for them to work properly again.
This is why it pays to do your due diligence before buying second-hand equipment to make sure that you’re taking advantage of huge discounts without sacrificing the quality of the products that you’re buying.
- Savings - The biggest benefit of buying used restaurant equipment is definitely upfront cost savings. This works best if you need to replace old unit, and you don’t have the money for a brand-new equipment yet. But you can also outfit your new kitchen with second-hand appliances, so you can cut costs where necessary.
- Character - A lot of cooks and chefs would say that some kitchen appliances work better when they’re already used. For instance, an old-style brick pizza oven is said to produce better tasting pizza than a brand-new one. So, if you’re looking for appliances with character, you’ll definitely benefit from buying second-hand kitchen equipment.
- Maintenance and Repairs - You can expect used restaurant equipment to not be in full working condition even if it was used and maintained properly by its previous owners. So, if you’re investing in one, you should set aside some budget for maintenance and repairs, so a breakdown wouldn’t affect your entire operations.
- Limited Availability - Unlike brand-new kitchen equipment, you won’t have as many options with second-hand appliances. But if you’re flexible with your choices, you won’t have any problems at all.
- No Warranty - Perhaps this is the biggest disadvantage of buying second-hand kitchen equipment because you will need to spend for repairs, parts and maintenance since their warranty is already expired.
A Third Option
Now, if you think that you only have brand new or used equipment as your options, you can also search for scratch and dent equipment or outlet restaurant equipment. These appliances are technically brand-new, but they can’t be sold on a regular price since they have scratches, dents and other superficial imperfections from bad handling and shipping. This is why they’re being sold at a discounted price, but they’re still as good as brand-new, dent-free equipment that you can find on a regular market.
The trick to buying the best dent and scratch equipment is to scour the market for options and check each one of them to see which to see which has the least damage with the best price. This will help you keep costs low while still getting a fully functional kitchen equipment that just doesn’t look as good as the ones sold in the mainstream market. But we’re all about functionality here anyway.
Outfitting your commercial kitchen will take a lot of hard work and good decision. But if it means having a kitchen where your team can do their jobs properly and creating an environment that will help take you to success, all the research will surely be worth it in the end.