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9.28.2022

What to Consider When Purchasing New Foodservice Equipment

When it comes to making decisions about new equipment for your commercial foodservice operation, there are a lot of factors to consider. New equipment can bring new possibilities and opportunities for your restaurant, cafe, bakery or foodservice business. Does your reopening plan include changes to your kitchen, menu or service? Are you adding healthier menu options or branching out into takeout and curbside models? Chances are new equipment will be a top priority. 

In this blog post, we'll explore some of the key considerations for choosing new commercial foodservice equipment. As you evaluate your needs, keep these important factors in mind:

Menu Changes

When it comes to running a restaurant, there are a lot of factors to consider. One of the most important is your menu. After all, your menu is what determine what dishes you’ll be serving and how you’ll be serving them. If you’re planning on making changes to your menu, it’s important to consider how that will affect the type and amount of equipment you need.

For example, if you’re adding more grilled items, you’ll need to invest in a good quality grill that can handle the increased demand. Do you want to offer healthier options? Consider investing in a steamer or an induction range, which uses less energy than a traditional gas or electric range. On the other hand, if you’re planning on adding more baked goods, you’ll need to make sure you have the right mix of ovens and baking supplies.

The bottom line is that your menu should dictate your equipment needs, not the other way around. 

Service Model Changes

If you're in the process of changing your restaurant's service model, it's important to make sure you have the right type of equipment to accommodate the change. If you're moving from dine-in to takeout or delivery as a response to health concerns in a post-pandemic society, you'll need different types of equipment to support the new service. For takeout orders, you might need food warmers and various packaging supplies. If you're offering delivery, you'll need additional shelving and storage to keep the orders organized.

Make sure you have a good understanding of your needs before making any decisions. By taking the time to plan ahead, you can ensure that your restaurant is equipped to handle the change in service seamlessly.

Review Your Budget 

It’s important to have a realistic budget in mind when shopping for new commercial foodservice equipment. Depending on the type and amount of equipment you need, as well as the features and brand name, costs can vary widely. You don’t want to get carried away and spend more than you can afford, but you also don’t want to end up with a machine that’s too small or too outdated.

The best way to find the perfect balance is to do your research. Talk to other restaurant owners and chefs, read reviews, and compare prices. Once you have a good idea of what you need and what your budget is, you can start shopping around for the best deals.

Be prepared to make some sacrifices along the way. If you want the best of the best, you’ll likely need to spend more money, but there are also some affordable options available if you’re willing to compromise on features or brand name.

Whatever you decide, remember that it’s important to think long-term. Buying cheap or outdated equipment may save you money in the short term, but it will likely cost you more in the long run when it needs to be replaced.

Compare Features

Not all commercial foodservice equipment is created equal—some products have more features than others and it's important to consider all of the different factors that will affect your business. For example, you'll want to think about how versatile the equipment is, as well as how energy-efficient it is. You'll also need to decide whether you want a warranty on the equipment. These factors can make a big difference in terms of both quality and cost over time.

When it comes to versatility, some pieces of equipment are more versatile than others. For example, a commercial refrigerator can be used for both storage and cooling, while a microwave can only be used for heating and cooking. So, if you're looking for equipment that can do multiple things, you'll want to focus on appliances that are multi-purpose.

Energy efficiency is another important factor to consider when shopping for foodservice equipment. In general, the more energy-efficient an appliance is, the lower your utility bills will be. There are a few ways to tell how energy-efficient an appliance is: look for the Energy Star label, check the wattage and read the reviews.

Finally, you'll need to decide whether you want a warranty on your foodservice equipment. Most warranties cover repairs or replacements due to manufacturer defects, but they may not cover accidental damage or wear and tear. So, before you buy any equipment, make sure you know what's covered by the warranty.

Get Professional Advice

Making major changes to your commercial kitchen is a big decision—and it’s not one that should be made lightly. Before finalizing any plans, we recommend talking to a professional who can help you assess your needs and make recommendations based on their expertise. Some of the things you may want to consider changing include:

  • The layout of your kitchen
  • The type of equipment you use
  • The way you store food and ingredients

Making these changes can help improve efficiency and productivity in your kitchen. It's also important to remember that not every change will be right for every business - so take the time to discuss your options with a professional before making any decisions.

Read Online Reviews

One of the best ways to get an idea of what type of commercial foodservice equipment is right for your business is to read online reviews from other customers who have purchased similar products. You can also learn about the pros and cons of different brands and models, and find out what features are most important to you.

When looking for online reviews, be sure to check a variety of different sources, including manufacturer websites, retail websites, and independent review websites. This will give you a more well-rounded view of the product. And, when possible, read reviews that are from customers who have actually used the equipment in a commercial setting.

Commercial foodservice equipment can be expensive, so it's important to do your research before making a purchase.

Test Out Products in Person

It’s always best to test out products in person before making a final decision to gauge how easy they are to use and how well they perform under real-world conditions. Manufacturers often host open houses or demonstrations that allow potential customers to try out their products.

If possible, visit a restaurant that's using the same type of equipment you're considering to get a feel for how it responds to the real world demands of a restaurant or food service operation. Ask the staff how they like it and if there are any problems with it. Ask other restaurateurs about their experiences with the equipment. They may have insights that you didn't consider. 

Finally, be sure to ask your dealer about service and support. Even if the equipment is covered by a warranty, you may need to have it serviced from time to time. Your dealer can help you establish a service plan and provide support when needed.

Check the Warranty

Commercial foodservice equipment warranties vary in length and coverage. It is important to research the warranty of the piece of equipment you are purchasing to ensure you are getting the coverage you need. Some warranties only cover mechanical failures, while others may also include parts and labor. Be sure to read the entire warranty before purchase to make sure you understand the coverage.

If you are purchasing a piece of commercial foodservice equipment from a retailer, be sure to check with them about their warranty policies. many times, retailers will offer their own warranty on top of the manufacturer's warranty. This can be helpful if something goes wrong with your equipment after the manufacturer's warranty expires.

If you are buying a used piece of commercial foodservice equipment, be sure to check with the seller about the warranty. Sometimes, sellers will offer a limited warranty on their used equipment. This can be helpful in case something goes wrong with the equipment after purchase.

Ask About Financing Options

Many retailers offer financing options to help spread the cost of the commercial foodservice equipment purchase over time. This can be a helpful way to make the purchase more affordable, and it can also provide some needed flexibility in terms of budgeting. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering a retail financing option: 

Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully. Make sure you understand what you're agreeing to, and that the interest rate and other fees are reasonable. 

  • Be aware of your credit score and credit history. A higher interest rate may be charged if your credit score is not high enough
  • Remember that not all retailers offer financing options. If you're not sure whether your chosen retailer offers this service, ask before you make your purchase
  • Inquire about any Buy Now, Pay Later options that may be available either through the retailer or their financing partner

Consider Alternative Ways to Finance Your Upgrade or Purchase

Need working capital to make the right equipment purchases and upgrades for your commercial kitchen? If you're a small business owner who needs up to $350,000 in working capital to purchase new food service equipment for your restaurant, food truck or catering business, Fundomate's small business funding program may be a viable solution for you. Unlike other traditional forms of loans and financing, Fundomate's working capital product for small businesses does not impact your credit score, require a personal guarantee, or set restrictions on how or what you can use your funds for. 

Plus, the process is not only quick and easy but offers attractive advantages:

  • get a qualified offer in minutes
  • get funded within one business day
  • flexible repayment options based on a percentage of daily sales
  • generous eligibility requirements including a minimum of $10,000 monthly gross revenue, 12 months or more of business history and a low minimum credit score of 600 and above

Conclusion

There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing new commercial foodservice equipment but by keeping these important factors in mind, you can be sure that you're getting exactly what you need for your business to take that next step.

Still have questions about financing your purchase? Our team at Fundomate is always happy to help—give us a call today or get prequalified online now and one of our financing experts will be in touch shortly. Since 2016, Fundomate has funded over $250 million to more than 3,000 small businesses in an effort to solve their growth needs.Visit fundomate.com to learn more or apply now to start growing your business today.

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