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ACityDiscount - Restaurant Equipment and Restaurant Supply

Pros and Cons of Buying Used Restaurant Equipment

Posted: Mar 17, 2009

One of the biggest expenses of opening a new restaurant, bar or catering business is buying the equipment. A $100,000 start up allowance may seem like a sufficient budget to equip the kitchen and furnish the front-of-house when you are planning a new business, but it will run out quickly. Buying new equipment such as commercial ranges, broilers, fryers, dishwashers, coolers and freezers are large ticket items that will eat into your budget. In addition, much like a new car, these items begin to depreciate when they leave the showroom. Then there's the tableware, barware, furniture and the remaining decor. To help you save some start up cash, consider purchasing quality used equipment. ACityDiscount has been buying and selling used restaurant equipment and furniture for over 35 years. Learn from our experience in the industry to lessen the risk and increase the value of your used purchases.

Pros of Buying Used Restaurant Equipment

Save Money: Buying used equipment will save your start up cash, which can be put toward your first food order, staff payroll, or restaurant marketing.

Quality for Less: Due to the high failure of new restaurants many second hand pieces of equipment have only been in service for a year or two. If you are lucky, you may be able to purchase equipment that has never been opened, or be able to transfer the original manufacturer's warranty to you, the new owner.

Research: Reading the manufacturer's spec sheet on the specific items you are interested in purchasing will allow you to know what was originally sold with the new item, to know if any parts are now missing, and if replacement parts are still available.

Negotiate: Used restaurant equipment dealers who buy large lots of inventory are used to negotiating their purchasing price. If you are buying several items of kitchen equipment, refrigeration, furniture, etc. from one dealer, see if they are open to a realistic counter offer.

Cons of Buying Used Restaurant Equipment

Warranty: Used restaurant equipment is usually sold “as is.” Most reputable dealers will have a technician inspect an item to assess its condition and resale value, so they should be able to provide an honest assessment. However, most commercial restaurant equipment, particularly gas cooking equipment, is built to last, so if one small part goes, it is usually easy to replace.

Know Where to Scrimp and Where to Spend: Purchasing the following equipment second-hand is a safer bet for those wanting to get their feet wet in the used foodservice equipment market.

  • Gas Ranges, Baking Ovens Convection Ovens and Fryer have a fairly long life span. So if the items you want are missing some knobs don’t fret, they are easily replaced.
  • Gas Steam Tables are solidly built, and have few parts
  • Smallwares such as stock pots, fry pans, bakery sheet pans, steam table pans and bar supplies, etc. can all be purchase second hand with no health code infraction.
  • Tableware such as dinnerware, glasses, decanters, vases, salt and pepper shakers, etc. can all be purchased second hand with confidence. The only problem you will face is finding enough matching pieces to complement your décor.
  • Table & Seating - Any flaws, such as scratches in the laminate and holes in the upholstery will be visible. As long as the seating feels comfortable and tables sit flush to the floor, you just need to find enough matching used pieces to complement your décor.
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