Used Restaurant Equipment Buying Tips
The only reason to buy used restaurant equipment is to save money. The trick is to save money upfront and not end up spending more in the long run. If that happens, you would have been better to buy new to start with.
New equipment comes with a warranty and factory support. You know upfront what your expenses will be for that time period. With used restaurant equipment you are taking a gamble.
You probably will not be able to get a formal warranty on used equipment. But at the bare minimum, you need a guarantee that it works properly right now. It is even better if you can get a guarantee that it will be working tomorrow.
You don’t want to hear “as is”. I have seen broken ice machines filled with purchased ice, sold as is. I have seen cooler compressors straight wired and running until it fails. It’s not a good deal if you start off with a repair bill almost as much as you paid for the equipment.
Used Restaurant Equipment for Cooking
Cooking kitchen equipment is a safer bet that refrigeration equipment. Kitchen equipment has a longer life span than refrigeration equipment and is simpler.
The simpler the better, the less things there are to break as the equipment ages. Avoid things like internal sensors, computer interfaces and other bells and whistles. Don’t buy highly specialized units or combination units. Both are likely to be headaches in the long run.
Gas ranges, ovens, grills and fryers are all good bets to buy used. Electric versions are more risky. They have more things that can wear out and go wrong. Physically inspect the unit and try to push for a better guarantee on electric equipment.
Used Restaurant Equipment for Refrigeration
Refrigeration equipment is a much bigger risk. The life expectancy is much less, the ongoing maintenance cost is much higher. Often when you buy used refrigeration equipment you are buying someone else’s problems.
Flake ice machines are the riskiest bet, followed by cube ice machines, freezers and then coolers. Keep in mind the life expectancy of an ice machine is about 8 years and the life expectancy for a reach in is about 10 years.
This in depth special report will help you make informed choices when making decisions about acquiring refrigeration restaurant equipment.
Free Report with sections on used restaurant equipment
The Free Restaurant Equipment Option
Some companies will give you equipment if you buy their products. Chemical companies might give you a dishwasher. A coffee company might give you a coffee machine. A waffle mix company might give you a couple waffle irons. Other possibilities are an ice machine to go on a drink dispenser, a juice machine and a cooler for soft drinks.
Of course nothing is really free. You will end up paying more for the product you purchase. But you will be avoiding the up front cost of the equipment. You will also be eliminating potentially costly surprise repairs of your commercial kitchen equipment.
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