Weighing the Pros and Cons of Buying Used Restaurant Equipment

When it comes to starting a restaurant business, the question of whether or not you should consider buying used commercial kitchen equipment will always linger. Some would decide to splurge on brand new tools, firmly grounded on the belief that buying expensive and high-quality equipment will save them money in the long run; while most would prefer to be thrift and instead check a nearby surplus shop in search of a used microwave oven or toaster.

In this economy, it is only normal to want to save expenses on kitchen equipment especially when it can be one of the biggest financial cuts in your starting funds. Availing a loan might seem like having lots of money to buy tools at first, but it can quickly run out once your kitchen equipment supplier breaks to you how stoves and ranges alone can already cost a couple of hundreds of dollars in Singapore.

Common kitchen wisdom would say as long as your equipment is functioning well and is able to meet the needs of your restaurant, then it does not matter whether your equipment is brand new or not. In fact, buying second hand or used equipment is a good alternative in order to save money. It shouldn’t be of any issue regardless of how it’s old as long as they still manage to serve their function well.

However, it is also important to weigh in each of the pros and cons of buying used commercial kitchen equipment in order to ensure maximum efficiency in your business are well as improve the quality of the food you serve.

The pros

Should you decide to buy brand new restaurant equipment from a kitchen venture in Singapore the price tag that comes along with it might be too expensive especially when you are just starting the business. In most cases, it seems to be the wiser option to buy used equipment instead. It will save you some of your valuable start-up cash that you can allocate to other essential endeavors — such as starting a marketing campaign to get the name of your restaurant out there or investing in insurances.

Another advantage of buying second-hand equipment is that they might have only been in service for a couple of years, max. A number of new restaurants in Singapore fail to thrive after a year or two, leaving their equipment up for grabs. Restaurant auctions will allow you to browse through various tools and utensils and at the same time find out how long they’ve been in use. Try asking your local kitchen equipment supplier as well, who knows, there may be a chance they are also selling used equipment.

In browsing, be cautious not to overlook signs which show off the equipment has been in a state of wear and tear such as missing parts, evident rust, and the like. If you are fortunate enough, you may even avail of the warranty that comes along with the piece if it isn’t too old yet.

Oftentimes, sellers of used kitchen equipment are open to price negotiations. With the prices not set in stone, you can always put your best bargaining skills to a use! This is the best avenue for you to be bold in countering their offer if you are good at haggling. If you buy several items from the same vendor, you can also try and ask them for a freebie. Say, they might have a spare mixer or a little prep table they are willing to give to you as a token of gratitude. You never know unless you ask, right?

The cons

One of the biggest disadvantages of buying used commercial kitchen equipment would have to be the lack of warranties. Secondhand equipment are usually sold as is, therefore if you encounter problems using it or if it suddenly decides to give up on functioning — there is not much that you can do about it. There still lies a silver lining in these situations, though. Many kitchen equipment are almost indestructible, and if the defect is only on one small part, chances are you can still replace it.

In the event that your used equipment break in the middle of usage, it might be a stuff of nightmares to restaurants which are only starting out. It might disrupt food preparation, resulting to dissatisfied customers who might give your business bad reviews. That is the risk you have to take in buying used, though of course, we can never exactly tell just when and where our equipment decides to give up.

Another thing about if it breaks is that you might end up spending more money, in comparison to just buying it new. You might spend more in having it fixed or if it really is beyond saving, then you will be left with no choice but to buy another one. Regardless, certain equipment like gas ranges, fryers, and ovens are proven and tested by many as better when bought used. They have a much better chance of working just fine for a long time to come.

Buying used is like taking a gamble. As much as there are advantages such as saving tons of start-up funds, there also lies the risks such as if it breaking in the middle of your restaurant’s operating hours. Regardless, you must deliberately take into consideration each of the pros and cons presented in order to decide if buying used kitchen equipment will bring more benefit than harm to your restaurant business.

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