Food service equipment covers every part of a restaurant and commercial kitchen, from outfitting the kitchen stations to tracking sales and profits with a POS system. Knowing where to save money when buying food service supplies and where to spend the extra money will save you a lot of time during the start-up process.
Food service supplies come in many shapes and sizes. For example, a commercial range may have 4, 6 or 8 burners. It may be a single or double oven. A reach-in refrigerator may have 7, 9 or 11 cubic feet of storage space. Some food service equipment require plumbing lines, while others need special outlets and electrical cords. Three questions to ask yourself before purchasing food services equipment include:
1. Budget- how much can you afford to spend on a piece of food industry equipment?
2. Priority- do you really need a particular piece of food serving equipment or can you get by without it?
3. Long term cost- Will the equipment cost you more money in the long run, given the growing energy and fuel prices?
Save money with used or leased food service equipmentIn the food service business, purchasing cooking equipment and supplies can quickly eat up most of your start-up capital. To save money, you may want to purchase certain items used. Or you may want to lease big ticket items, like ice makers or dishwashers. Keep in mind that second-hand food services equipment doesn't often come with any type of guarantee or warranty.
Buy the basic restaurant supplies and worry about the rest laterWhen you are setting up a new restaurant, it is often tempting to get food service equipment that come with all the bells and whistles. For example, a panini grill sounds like fun. You can make really cool grilled cheese sandwiches with one. However, unless your entire restaurant concept revolves around cool grilled cheese sandwiches, you can get the same cooking effect with a heavy cast iron skillet and a couple of bricks wrapped in tin foil. Until you have selected all the basic restaurant supplies, don't worry about the extras.
Select Energy Star approved appliances for long term savingsCommercial food service equipment that features the Energy Star seal, uses up to 45% less energy than those without the seal. Although Energy Star appliances are usually more expensive, they will save you a tidy sum over their lifetimes. Plus, they are good for the environment.
- Purchase used restaurant supplies, such as pots, pans, dishes and silverware with confidence. You don't have to worry about warranties or parts breaking.