Golden Rules For Buying Restaurant Equipment

The key to achieving success in the restaurant service industry rests largely on your potential and ability to consistently deliver a truly satisfying guest experience all day, every day. In order to sustain the quality of this experience, you as a restaurateur, have to ensure that your operations and processes function smoothly at all levels. The acquisition of the right commercial restaurant equipment is a critical factor in determining how quickly you grow as a desired destination in your marketplace. Now that we are done with a formal introduction, let us look at the three most important things to consider when buying commercial restaurant equipment for your new venture.

A Few Assumptions before Buying Restaurant Equipment and Supplies

  • You have decided what type of restaurant you are planning to open—continental, All American, Chinese or even a sandwich shop for that matter.
  • You have narrowed down your location after having conducted a site survey and quality market research including footfall analysis
  • You have signed the lease
  • You have initiated the recruitment process to hire well qualified and experienced restaurant personnel.

But, you aren’t done yet. You need to zero in on a viable and realistic marketing strategy based on your original business plan. And then there is restaurant furniture, restaurant supplies and restaurant accessories to finalize. Fortunately, you can accomplish these tasks simultaneously. Finally, you need to focus on acquiring commercial restaurant equipment. This requires that you dedicate a reasonable amount of time for planning and research, ensuring that you pay careful attention to detail. Here are the factors to consider:

Arriving at a Realistic Budget

Most first time restaurant owners experience sticker shock when they begin the process of buying commercial kitchen equipment. Remember, this isn’t equipment for your home kitchen. These are commercial quality products that are designed to hold up for long hours of uninterrupted use. Therefore, it is going to be significantly more expensive. We recommend that you do some internet research at sites like Cooks Direct or consult with a reputable restaurant equipment dealer before you finalize your equipment and supplies budget.

Knowing What You Need

Setting up a restaurant and buying commercial restaurant equipment to get it up and running isn’t something easily accomplished unless you’ve spent some time in the back-of-the-house and become familiar with restaurant operations or you have input from someone with this experience. In order to arrive at a precise idea of your equipment needs you should consider conducting some quality independent research. Your local library can help you locate many of the trade journals which regularly carry articles and research reports, product reviews as well as buying tips. The worldwide web is replete with information on buying commercial food service equipment for all budgets. You can also attend various trade shows including the large national shows such as the NRA (National Restaurant Association) show and the NAFEM (North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers) show, or there are a variety of state and local shows. The benefit of attending a trade show is that you can see several different types of equipment at one time before making a purchasing decision.

Read the Fine Print

There are a few other related considerations. When researching suitable product lines, check the warranty and ensure in advance that the manufacturer has either a company service center or an authorized service center in your area. Be sure to compare warranties between manufacturers as well as other features. The cost of service is an important consideration in the lifetime expense of the equipment. If you are considering imported product lines, speak with the manufacturer directly and ask about warranty coverage, service center locations and the availability of parts. Finally, before you sign the check, find out if the restaurant equipment you are planning to purchase is code compliant. Speak with your fire department and the city food inspector to ascertain compliance levels.

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