When you’re looking to buy commercial kitchen equipment, it’s important to consider all of your options. If you’re opening a new restaurant or food business, this can be a daunting task. Not only do you need to think about what type of equipment is best for your needs, but also how much it will cost and whether the warranty covers everything that could possibly go wrong with your new purchase. Here are some things to consider before buying commercial kitchen equipment:
Consider the type of commercial kitchen equipment you need
The first thing to consider when shopping for commercial kitchen equipment is: what kind of kitchen space will you need?
- Will you be operating a food truck or a brick-and-mortar restaurant?
- Do you want an open kitchen layout, or a closed one?
- What type of food will be prepared in your establishment?
The answers to these questions can help determine how much space is required, how much floor space should be left open for movement (versus storage), and the best types of equipment to use. For example, if your restaurant serves sandwiches and burgers with no frills, it’s probably not necessary to include a fryer in your kitchen setup—but if you want to offer deep-fried appetizers like mozzarella sticks and chicken wings along with other items on your menu as well, then perhaps having one available would make sense.
As the owner of a business, it is not likely you are going to use the restaurant kitchen equipment directly, so it is important to talk with kitchen employees to get more information on what they think about the products. Whether you are a new buyer of restaurant equipment, or have equipped multiple commercial kitchens, it is important to do your due diligence before investing.
If you need help to get started deciding what equipment you’ll need, you can read our restaurant equipment checklist.
Consider the size of your kitchen space
Once you’ve got an idea on what pieces of equipment you’ll need, start drafting a layout.
Your kitchen should be able to accommodate all of the equipment you need in order for everything to work together seamlessly. If there’s too much extra space between one piece of equipment and another (or if they’re too far apart), then there could be safety hazards like tripping hazards or fire hazards—and nobody wants that!
Do not forget to check the dimensions of each piece of equipment to make sure that it can all fit through a doorway and into your kitchen.
Buy from a reputable brand
You can’t go wrong with a reputable brand. It’s not just the cost of the equipment that matters, but how well it performs and how long it lasts. Reputable brands have a reputation for good customer service and warranties, along with offering good value for money. They’re also built to last—a key factor when you’re thinking about what equipment you need to buy in today’s commercial kitchen landscape.
Can you purchase used commercial kitchen equipment to save on upfront costs?
If you’re looking to save on upfront costs, consider buying used commercial kitchen equipment. Before you purchase, check the following:
- How old is the equipment? If it’s more than five years old and has had heavy use, it’s probably not worth purchasing.
- Is it safe to use? If there are signs of rust or corrosion on a piece of equipment, don’t purchase it unless you can replace these parts before using the equipment again.
- Does the warranty still apply? If not, how much will it cost to repair or replace damaged parts down the road?
- Is it in good working order? Do all of its parts work as intended and do they all come together as easily as they should when assembled together.
Compare retailer prices and warranties
The dependability is a very important factor to take into consideration when buying restaurant equipment. You will also want to consider ongoing maintenance and repair costs, so look at warranties before purchasing your kitchen equipment. Always consider the cost of maintenance when buying your kitchen appliances.
If you find two different retailers offering the same product at different prices, it may be worth looking into why one is cheaper than the other. A lower price doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get less of a warranty—it could just mean that they don’t offer as much coverage as their competitor does (or vice versa).
Maintenance on the appliances comes at some expense, like new filter costs and time for staff. Commercial restaurant equipment must be maintained on a regular basis in order to keep up with spills, temperature fluctuations, and the continuous use of a busy kitchen. You might also want to think about procedures required for cleaning equipment in order to keep your kitchens sanitation standards.
You’ve probably heard the expression “buyer beware,” but with commercial kitchen equipment, you need to take that advice to heart. In order to invest wisely, you should do your research first. Here’s how:
- Research what equipment is available. Know what different types of restaurant kitchen equipment are and how they can help your business succeed—and be sure to take into consideration any factors that might impact what kind of options are available (i.e., the size of your restaurant or bakery).
- Research how easy the equipment is to use. Does it require special training or certification for employees who will be using it regularly, such as a gas range or deep fryer? What are the pros and cons?
- Research the best price for that equipment. Prices vary widely across different brands and models; being able to compare prices will help ensure that you’re getting a good deal for whatever product(s) you choose.
- Research the best warranty for that equipment. Make sure any warranties cover all aspects of a purchase so there aren’t any surprises down the road when something breaks down unexpectedly (or even accordingly).
- Research the best service for that equipment after purchase–because no one wants unexpected expenses!
Setting up a commercial kitchen is a major investment, and choosing the right equipment early on can ensure effective operations, higher production, and, ultimately, success for your business. With the right equipment, your kitchen will operate without problems, and you will produce higher-quality products, compared to if you decided to skimp out and buy anything that is cheaper, not considering the factors mentioned above. Equipment in your commercial kitchen does more than just serve to help deliver your customers meals, it is a long-term investment, which factors into your monthly costs and returns.
It’s time to get your kitchen up and running! If you have any questions about purchasing commercial kitchen equipment, we encourage you to contact us. We would be happy to help you find what you need at an affordable price.