Investing in kitchen equipment is no easy task. It takes a lot of money, and there’s minimal room for error. Check out the following five tips to help you equip your restaurant with the best equipment!
1. Start By Researching Your Specific Needs
If you approach buying restaurant equipment with a general mindset, you’ll miss out on a lot of good deals. Instead of looking for general vendors, get specific with your needs. Searching for vendors that specialize in stoves or fridges will help you get a better deal on quality and price. Searching by item also introduces you to information that will help you ask the right questions if you’re buying a used item. It’s also a good idea to research buying guides for specific pieces of equipment since they educate you on the important things look for in specific pieces of equipment.
2. Move To Researching Specific Equipment Models
Continuing with the idea of getting specific, looking up equipment by the model number is a great way to ensure you make a quality purchase. Searching for specific brand names and model numbers allows you to equip your restaurant with items that other business owners have had success with. Researching specific brands helps you get familiar with what to avoid and what to look for in your equipment. Before making a final decision, you can research what people think about the specific model you’ll be using in your business. Taking a little extra time to research your restaurant equipment makes it easier to make a quality long-term investment.
3. Tap Into Your Network For Referrals
Using your network of fellow business owners is an excellent way to get experienced opinions on restaurant equipment. They can recommend brands and models that have worked out well for them and direct you to the vendors they deal with. If you’re having trouble finding these people in your personal network, double up on your research online. Restaurant forums are an excellent place to tap into the knowledge of an entire community. Many forums already have posts which compile recommended brands and vendors. Beyond just general advice, forums are a great place to get experienced opinions on the equipment that you’re considering.
4. Ensure To Inspect Used Equipment
If you’re buying used, inspection is a must. Ideally, you should see the item in action before making your purchase. You may be able to get a good deal on used items, but it comes at the price of having to do your own due diligence. Take note of any dents, cracks or malfunctions in the item before you buy. When it comes to used equipment, warranties aren’t very common. At the most vendors will offer you a short-term warranty which makes doing your research extremely important.
5. Get Familiar With Your Building’s Utilities
The way water, power, and gas are delivered in your building impacts the type of equipment you should choose. If you live in a place where it’s hot for most of the year, it’s going to cost you more to run your ice machines and coolers. In this situation, it’s worth it for you to spend some time looking for energy efficient models to help offset the cost. You should also get familiar with your power and have information such as how much current draw your circuits can handle and what kind of outlets you have in your building. Before buying a stove, you need to get familiar with the costs of natural gas and propane in your area and determine which one is more cost-effective. You also need to get familiar with which type of gas your kitchen is set up for. Doing this extra research will help you invest in equipment that suits your building.