Keeping expenses low is a critical imperative for today’s busy restaurants. But as owners navigate reopening during a global pandemic, the need to conserve costs may be stronger than ever. While certain money-saving measures make sense, others may have only short-term gains with long-term complications. One such strategy? Buying used cooking equipment. Here’s a closer look at the issue, along with why buying new may be a more advantageous decision.
The Downsides of Used Equipment
On the surface, buying used equipment may seem like a good move. After all, the sticker price on used stoves, ranges, griddles, deep fryers, charbroilers and other pieces of your cookline may be significantly lower than the prices of new equipment. While this can work out in some cases, it’s also a risk. Why? Because when you buy used equipment, there’s no real way to know its condition. In addition to threatening performance, the lifespan may also be shorter.
Specifically, a number of things can go wrong when you buy used equipment. For example, a piece of equipment may have been abused or not used according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Furthermore, the seller could be concealing damage or wear on components in an attempt to unload it on an unsuspecting buyer. Gas leaks, electrical shocks and debris in the motor fan wheel are all potential issues you risk unknowingly incurring when you buy used equipment.
The Benefits of New Equipment
Conversely, buying new equipment mitigates against these risks. There will be no hidden problems -- and the costs that go with them -- to discover down the line. Furthermore, assuming you have the right operator training in place, you can be assured that the equipment is not being misused and will therefore perform to its full potential in terms of efficiency, ease of use, productivity, and more.
In short, when it comes to keeping repair and replacement costs low, new equipment is the much safer bet. Plus, manufacturer’s warranties on new equipment offer additional peace of mind.
Staying within budget is a top priority for restaurants, but all owners should strive to avoid doing so at the expense of creating additional, unexpected future costs. The takeaway? While paying less for a used piece of equipment may seem like a wise move, the only way to truly know what you’re getting -- and what it’s going to cost you over the long run -- is to buy new.