Restaurants are dealing with record-high food prices this
year. Between droughts in one part of the globe, floods in another and rising
demand for some ingredients all over the world, it’s hard for a restaurateur to
make ends meet. One of the best ways to make your dollar stretch further is to
look at gently used equipment. For restaurants that are watching every cent,
this is the best of all worlds.
Why Not New?
Think about how quickly your car lost value when you drove
it off the lot. The same principle holds true for most big ticket items;
restaurant equipment included. Once restaurant equipment has been used, it
isn’t worth nearly as much. However, since a significant percentage of
restaurants don’t make it past their first anniversary, there is a lot of
equipment that is available in nearly new condition.
Major appliances will run for years, especially with proper
care. Why pay full price for something you need when you can get it for less,
and know it has been serviced and refurbished by qualified professionals?
What you might not know about gently used restaurant
equipment is that some of it comes with tax incentives. If you are in need of
newer appliances, then you might want to look into which models are more energy
efficient. These items will save you operating costs right off the bat, which
is good, but the government offers rebates and incentives as well.
By upgrading to more efficient appliances you may qualify
for certain government programs. These can take the form of long-term energy
bill deductions, rebate checks or even cash in your pocket. Some of these
rebates will extend to used equipment, as long as it isn’t too old. Your
supplier should be able to point you in the right direction.
Don’t Use Auction Sites
It’s true; you can find used restaurant equipment online on
some of the more popular auction sites. You might even find things priced
“better” than they are with a supplier. Now, ask yourself what you know about
the seller? Will they be available in a couple of weeks when you have a
question about your new-ish range? Can you even trust them to give you accurate
information about the equipment you are purchasing?
One thing is for certain, you probably won’t get the
paperwork you need to file for any sort of rebate or incentive program. Let’s
face it; you can’t always count on folks that sell on such sites to deliver
what you ordered at all. Are you really going to trust the future of your restaurant
this way? I hope not.
Remember, your restaurant supplier wants to develop a good,
long term relationship with you. If you acquire a great stove at a fabulous
price today, chances are you will come back when it is time to put in new
restaurant furniture. It just makes sense for your supplier to offer you the
best for the best prices. So, if you intend to fight some of the rising prices
in the kitchen, looking for gently used restaurant equipment is the way to go.