When starting up a restaurant, one of the biggest expenses an owner will face is the purchasing of restaurant equipment and furniture. At first, while it may seem a budget of one hundred thousand dollars may be more than enough to cover your costs, when you start to consider all of the restaurant equipment you will need, such as stoves, ovens, ranges, freezers, fridges, dishwashers, etc., suddenly your budget appears a lot tighter than you realized.
Since the startup cost of a restaurant may be a concern for some operators, it is not uncommon for first-time owners to consider the idea of buying used restaurant equipment to save money. Although there is no question that purchasing gently used items can be quite the savings, it is important that you know the pros and cons of buying second-hand equipment if this is something that appeals to you.
Pros of Used Restaurant Equipment
Used equipment is less expensive for the initial purchase.
Your budget will go a lot further. You will save money buying used equipment and can put your extra funds toward insurance, food order, payroll, etc.
You can negotiate prices with sellers.
If you want to pay less than the offered price, you can counter their offer with one of your own until you both can agree on a suitable fee. If you are purchasing a number of items from the same seller, they may give you an additional reduced price for buying so many products from them or may even toss in something for free.
You may find used restaurant equipment with remaining warranty.
If you do your research and know what to look for, you can find second hand items that have only been in use for a couple of years, are in good working order and may even still have their warranty. A good place to look for these pieces would be at a restaurant auction.
Cons of Used Restaurant Equipment
Most used restaurant equipment is sold “as is” and without a return policy.
If it is not compatible with your commercial kitchen’s hookups, you’ve wasted your money.
Most used equipment does not come with a transferrable warranty.
Second hand appliances, etc. rarely come with warranties because they have usually expired by the time they are re-sold, or the manufacturer warrants only to the initial purchaser. You need to make sure the products you purchase have all of their parts, are not rusted or broken and are functional.
You may not be able to obtain the exact model or brand you want.
Higher chance of machines breaking down.
It is possible that you may end up spending more money if you purchase used equipment because since it has already gone through wear and tear and may not have a warranty, if something should break, you’ll need to have the part replaced or obtain a whole new product.
Used equipment is typically not as energy efficient as new equipment and is more expensive to operate
Repairs are expensive and one repair call may cost as much as the new equipment with a warranty.
Is the unit something that you can repair yourself?
There is plenty to think about when it comes to purchasing gently used restaurant equipment. Just remember, always carefully research the product brands that interest you, thoroughly inspect the pieces you buy, and make sure that they meet all of the local health and safety codes in your area. You can also contact a full service dealer such as Hotel Restaurant Supply and seek professional assistance before making the purchase.