Part of running a successful restaurant is having the right commercial kitchen equipment that will last you years. This is a long-term investment and the cost can be high, so it’s best to get it right the first time.
The kind of equipment you choose can affect the quality of your restaurant’s food and your earnings. If your equipment breaks down while a lot of diners are visiting your restaurant, this can frustrate your staff and slow down the service. Repair costs can also be high.
Given that commercial kitchen equipment can be expensive, buying everything right away may not be the option for you. Owners can rent, lease or finance commercial kitchen equipment. If you purchase the wrong type of equipment for your restaurant, you may end up wasting a lot of money.
Here are some of our tips to make the process of restaurant equipment purchase easier:
How to Buy Restaurant Equipment
The first thing you have to do is figure out a budget. Before anything else, it’s imperative to conduct research on the kind of features and specs that would be suitable for your commercial kitchen.
While you may feel tempted during a sales promotion to buy a smaller, less expensive unit if it doesn’t have all the features you need this can slow down the kitchen workflow. It may also end up frustrating the kitchen staff and result in customers leaving a low rating.
It’s much wiser to obtain the best that your budget can buy and not give in to temporary sales of lower-quality products. In fact, it’s a lot better to pick a used, superior model than one originally priced similar to the used equipment. Fewer features can be limiting and can make all the difference for your restaurant.
Note down your requirements and look for equipment features and specs that meet them. Review your kitchen floor plan. If your commercial kitchen equipment takes up too much space, then this can cause a bottleneck in your kitchen workflow.
Types of Restaurant Equipment
Commercial kitchen equipment can include the following items:
- Mixers, food processors
- Ovens, grills, microwaves
- Food prep counters, cutting boards, knives
- Refrigerators and freezers
- Safety equipment
- Storage containers
- Point of sale system (POS)
- Steam tables
- Storage racks and shelves
- Washing equipment
- Ice makers
When buying every piece of equipment, always consider your number of staff, the layout of your kitchen, the type of food you’re going to serve, and available kitchen systems.
What to Look For in Commercial Kitchen Equipment
Commercial kitchen equipment can cost a lot since they’re expected to provide long-term utility. However, even if you find a high-quality and affordable unit, there are other factors to consider as well, such as:
- Is it energy efficient?
- How long is it going to last?
- What is the maintenance schedule?
By considering this, you can manage your profit and loss.
Inquire From the Chef
Since the kitchen experts are the chefs, it’s best to ask them for their recommended kitchen equipment, gadgets, and tools to use. They may favor a particular brand or model. They can also offer more tips on what particular features are essential and which ones are not. A smart owner asks for advice from chefs to avoid wasting money when buying commercial kitchen equipment.
Although a warranty is always provided, combing through the details is crucial. Don’t give in to purchasing a kitchen equipment item that has no warranty, even if the selling price is low.
Local Health Codes
Review the local health codes to make sure that your commercial kitchen equipment purchase matches the requirements, especially if you’re buying used items. If you end up having a non-compliant piece of equipment, you may be liable to pay a fine and risk facing a court case.
Priority is placed on being able to serve the food fast. You should be aware of the important specs such as cooling or freezing time, and hourly output. Evaluate if your commercial kitchen equipment is fast enough and can meet the work that is needed.
Check with Service Vendors
If purchasing your own equipment is not in the cards for you, some vendors can provide you with kitchen equipment at a fraction of the cost or for free, provided you use their service.
Look For More Value When Buying Commercial Kitchen Equipment
Don’t rush the buying process—request a demonstration. Before buying, get a feel of the equipment. Spend time assessing the demo and checking your requirement list. Always have a checklist on hand and make sure you’re able to get a lot of use for each feature that the commercial kitchen equipment carries.
After the purchase, you should inspect the equipment once it’s delivered. Damage from the shipment can only be entertained for a limited period.
Commercial Kitchen Equipment Purchase Checklist
- Evaluate the specs and features. Consult with the chef.
- Check out the different options that are available for your budget. Avoid scrimping and go for a quality purchase.
- Always buy the right size to avoid potential issues in your kitchen layout.
- Review the Certifications (look for the Energy Star and NSF Sticker logo).
- Look at the Warranty. Even if you plan to get a used kitchen product, it should still have a warranty from the seller.
- Ensure that the commercial kitchen equipment satisfies the Local Health codes
- Ask for a demo
- Carefully inspect the equipment for damage upon delivery
- Check out the varied financing options
- Consider getting insurance for your commercial kitchen equipment
- Ensure that you fully understand how to clean and maintain the equipment, particularly from grease buildup. Lack of attention to this can lead to damaged and irreparable appliances, food safety violations, and dangerous hazards and accidents.
Since commercial kitchen equipment is a long-term investment, it’s recommended to plan your equipment purchase well, in terms of budget, features, and maintenance. It will serve you in the long run, to become one of the best restaurants in your area, if your decision is carefully considered.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Grease Cycle.