Everything You Need to Know When Buying Restaurant Equipment
Whether you are starting a new restaurant, renovating or just replacing aging equipment with new models, buying the right restaurant equipment is crucial. You will want to ensure that your new equipment can be a “good fit” for your restaurant, both literally and figuratively, and that your purchase experience can include other necessities like a warranty and restaurant equipment financing.
To help you make the selection process easier and increase the odds you will be satisfied with the results, consider these criteria when selecting your next set of commercial kitchen equipment:
1. Measure, Measure, and Measure Again
Your biggest limiting factor will be the space of your kitchen. Employees will not be pleased, for instance, if you buy the latest and greatest equipment but they have to suck in their gut every time they walk by it.
As such, measure floor space diligently, and draft a crude floor map, if you need to. You should also think about all three dimensions, not just floor space. Things like shelves and fume hoods require height clearance, and your other equipment may overhang or adjoin the new pieces. Furthermore, the fourth dimension — time — matters since your space will change as people cook and move through during busy shifts, so think ahead to make everyone’s lives easier.
2. Examine Capacity
Modern restaurant equipment will typically come with estimations for how much volume of food it can handle over time. Take diligent notes during your next busy shift to quantify your exact needs for kitchen throughput, and try to select models that can promise the volume and turnaround time you need to keep customers happy and tables moving.
3. Always Double Check for Compliance
Commercial restaurants must navigate a complex series of local, state and federal regulations. Health codes, fire codes, OSHA standards and more. All will dictate the features you must have on your equipment as well as many aspects of your kitchen’s layout.
One additional consideration is safe ingress and egress for employees through the kitchen, even when things like oven doors are open.
4. Find Equipment Brands and Suppliers with a Good Reputation
Reliability is key in the restaurant business. No one likes going out to eat somewhere to see half the menu 86’ed because a deep fryer needs servicing again.
As such, try to research how prone certain equipment is to fail as well as how good manufacturers are at providing warranties and service plans without hidden costs. Similarly, identify vendors and suppliers who can work with you to ensure that service gets performed under warranty or — in extreme cases — help you replace an unsatisfactory item with one that gets the job done.
5. Consider Your Restaurant Equipment Financing Needs
Restaurant equipment is a significant investment, one that many business owners do not have the liquid capital set aside to pay cash for. Fortunately, you have many options for paying for these items through financing, credit, bridge loans and more.
Working with a third-party lender can help you obtain commercial kitchen equipment financing on your terms, not a vendor’s or manufacturer’s. You can get the items you need through a flexible arrangement that fits your budget and needs.
Start cooking up something great for your customers when you explore restaurant equipment financing options from ARF!
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