Restaurant equipment accounts for a significant portion of your start-up budget when you're getting ready to open a new restaurant, so it's important to use your money wisely. Purchasing the wrong equipment can add to your operating costs and detract from your profits. You don't want to end up paying extra to replace or repair your equipment before you've had a chance to get your new business off the ground. Take a look at some common restaurant equipment purchasing mistakes and learn how to avoid them so that you can get your restaurant off to a good start.
Forgetting To Measure
Shopping for the equipment you need in your commercial kitchen is exciting, and it can be easy to get carried away when you find the perfect oven or dishwasher. However, if you make a purchase without stopping to consider the layout of your kitchen or take some measurements, you could end up really regretting it.
The best thing that you can do is take all of your measurements before you start doing any shopping. Write them down so that you'll have them available when you shop. Don't forget that you're going to need to measure the doorway – if an item can't get through the door, it's not going to be much use to you. You'll also need to remember that refrigerated equipment and ice machines can't sit right up against the wall or too close to the appliances on either side of them. Refrigerated equipment needs a few extra inches of space on the sides and back of the appliance for ventilation purposes, so take room for air-flow into account when you're measuring.
Cutting Corners On Energy Efficiency
As a general rule, you can expect to pay more for appliances meeting the highest energy efficiency standards. When you're working with a limited budget, it can seem like it makes sense to cut costs by choosing cheaper and less efficient appliances.
However, saving a few dollars on equipment in the short-term can cost you plenty down the line. Energy efficient appliances can save you as much as 25% to 27% on your energy bills. These savings can come in handy – they'll improve your profit margin and may give you the budget surplus you need to make it through the slow periods in business. It's worth spending a little more up front if it translates to long-term future savings.
Not Paying Attention To The Warranty
A warranty is just as important a feature as anything that the appliance actually does. Your appliances will need maintenance and occasional repairs. A commercial kitchen is a busy place, and normal wear and tear adds up eventually. When your appliance needs work, it's important to know what's covered and what isn't.
For example, some warranties cover the cost of labor for a repair, but not the cost of consumable parts, like belts or gaskets. Others cover both labor and parts. Some warranties include coverage for periodic maintenance, while others do not. If you're having trouble deciding between two different brands of dishwashers or fryers, the warranty could be the thing that helps you make the decision. The more comprehensive the warranty, the better off you are.
Failing To Inspect Equipment When It's Delivered
So you've chosen energy efficient equipment that fits neatly into your kitchen and has a great warranty. All that's left is to sign for the deliveries when they arrive, right? Well, not quite.
The fact is, it's not unheard of for appliances to become damaged during the delivery process. When you sign off on a delivery, you're accepting the item in whatever condition it happens to be in, so if you discover later that there are dents or damaged parts, you may have a difficult time returning the item. It's better to have the appliance uncrated and unpacked so you can inspect it thoroughly before you sign off on the delivery. If you do find damage, you can have it returned immediately without signing for it.
Buying the restaurant appliances for sale that you need for your restaurant is a process. Don't be afraid to take your time with it. It's more important to make the right decisions than it is to make speedy decisions.