Should You Buy New or Used Kitchen Equipment for Your Restaurant?

It goes without saying how new restaurant owners operate on a strict budget control when it comes to starting the business. Operation costs do not only cover the equipment used, it also involves buying bulk ingredients, wages for the employees, maintenance costs, and monthly rental dues for the place. Because of this, there is a serious consideration when it comes to commercial kitchen equipment — and whether or not it is a wiser option to buy used or buy brand new.

Considering it is one of the big expenses you have to account into your budget, the costs may add up over time especially if you decide to buy new gear. Stoves and ovens from a kitchen hardware supplier in Singapore alone will already cost you a couple hundred dollars in Singapore. A number of owners somehow managed to find the solution to this dilemma by opting to buy or lease used kitchen equipment instead. As long as they function well and do not disrupt the food preparation and handling operation in the kitchen, common wisdom would say they are as good as new.

However the question lingers still, is buying used really more preferable than buying brand new? It might be one solution to your budget predicament, but this option entails a lot of factors to consider. Along with lack of warranty, you may end up spending twice more than just buying new equipment from your local kitchen equipment supplier if it happens to break in the middle of usage.

Veteran owners who have successfully ran their restaurants for years offer the same strategy to deal with this problem. It is best to buy as much used equipment as possible in order to save money for other operating costs, but it is also considered wise to be unafraid in splurging a little on buying brand new. There are kitchen equipment that are best to be brought from store, mainly because of the warranty, but balancing both can be a tricky thing to do.

Advantages of new equipment

An obvious benefit of buying brand new commercial kitchen equipment is that it comes with a warranty. Meaning, for a covered amount of time, you may get it fixed in case it acts up in the middle of operation without paying for the services. This can save you a lot of money in the long run especially if repairs are needed every now and then.

Buying brand new also means you are the first to use the equipment, which is most likely at its peak. The more you use a tool, the more it loses its quality, hence using a new tool gives you an assurance that is efficient and that you can rely on its performance. This will benefit your restaurant since it is likely to hasten food preparation speed in the kitchen, decreasing the waiting time of hungry customers.

Disadvantages of new equipment

As was clearly pointed out in the earlier part of the article, buying new equipment can be a big chunk out of your budget. Even if you buy during sale season or haggle with your long-time kitchen equipment supplier, you are still likely to spend hundreds of dollars on a single equipment. These costs can be significantly cut in order to allocate more funds to other aspects of the restaurant operation.

Not only that, the price tags of new kitchen equipment are also usually set in store. Aside from the percent discounts you may avail, like the ones effective if you pay in cash, there is also little to no possibility of bargaining for lower prices.

Advantages of used equipment

Buying used equipment can save you tons of money, especially if you’ve landed yourself a good deal. There are mixers and ovens which haven’t been in used for more than a year that you can buy at half the price you would spend in buying brand new ones. Prices of secondhand kitchen equipment are also typically not set in stone, hence you can put your bargaining skills to a good use and haggle the prices with sellers. Politely asking for a lesser price won’t hurt. Who knows, they might give you a generous discount for it!

There are lots of restaurant kitchen equipment auctions in Singapore, or even auctions happening online in various websites for your own convenience. Contact your local supplier and see if there are any relevant information you can get hold of.

Disadvantages of used equipment

Used equipment does not come with a warranty on parts and services. Hence in the likely event of the equipment breaking, you might have to find a local technician who can work on the repair and reimburse him for his service. If it regularly fails to be of proper condition, chances are you’ll be spending more dollars out of your own pocket just for its repair — which may add up to twice or thrice the price of its brand new counterpart.

It is important to understand that there is a gamble in buying used commercial kitchen equipment. Even if you thoroughly inspect if it has issues like accumulating rust or examine how long it has been used, it doesn’t guarantee that it won’t break after a few weeks’ use.

As a restaurant owner, it is your responsibility to figure out which option will benefit your business the most. If you think that buying used equipment has more benefits than buying new, then meet up with a local dealer so you can personally inspect the tool. But if you have a considerable amount of money and can afford to buy brand new kitchen equipment for your restaurant, then do so. It all boils down on your own circumstances. The decision is yours to make in the end, so choose wisely.

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