Most people don’t realize the amount of money it costs to not only open a business but keep it running. Therefore, as a business owner you must decide how you can make the most of the money you have. Food costs are accelerating and then there’s always the rent, electric bill, and the cost of labor to worry about. Every penny counts and deciding where those pennies go is crucial to any business well being.
Many restaurants and bakeries struggle with the dilemma of whether to buy new or used when it comes to equipment like mixers, ovens, and fryers. Do they cut a percentage off their total bill by buying used or do they spend a significant amount of money on new equipment? What’s even worse is that there’s’ no right answer. There’s no cut and dry solution. What might work for one business owner may not for another. So instead of telling you what to do, we’ve simply created a pros and cons list so you can decide what’s best for your company.
Let’s start with used equipment.
There is a huge market for used equipment. The word “used” has a negative connotation but it doesn’t mean it lives up to its name. Just think about your friends and family who have bought used cars. Used cars are significantly cheaper than brand new cars and a majority of them last for years without any major problems. Same goes for equipment. Sure you might buy a new sink only to have it leak the next month, or buy a food warmer only to find out it doesn’t work. But many customers buy used freezers and steamers, allowing them to spend money on other aspects of their business. Saving money means you can put that money towards something else, helping ease the stress of money. The only suggestion we have is to make sure you purchase used equipment by a reputable source. A source that gives you a warranty or a guarantee, a source that is known for their excellent equipment. There is the risk that the equipment may break or be a piece of junk, but if you get it from a reputable company, chances are it will last for a while. And anyone who knows its used history. The owner could have bought a new version, closed up shop, or decided to go in a different direction.
- Cheaper price tag
- Allocate money elsewhere (spending money wisely)
- Know what get (with no new unnecessary features)
- Unexpected Issues / break downs
- May not be robust enough for your production
- Look and feel of kitchen
- No financing available
- Buy from Reputable Source
- Buy only with some warranty
- Know the history of the Product
Means you have a brand new freezer, refrigerator, or steamer. It means that no one else has used this equipment and chances are it’s still under warranty. Therefore, if something goes wrong within the first few years, the company you bought it from is obligated to fix or replace the item. This is a luxury that used equipments don’t have. Sure some new equipment malfunctions, but chances are unlikely. The major con of new equipment is that it’s expensive. It’s usually the newest model and that means a big price tag. If you have the money to spend then it’s not that big of a deal, but if you’re trying to cut costs, now that’s a different story. You may be able to spend half a million dollars on a food processor, but will you still be able to afford the food that goes into that processor? Pay the staff that delivers the food or the cooks that actually prepares it? These are just some of the hard questions a business owner must ask themselves.
- Fresh look and feel
- Company warranty
- Unlikely to disappoint you with the production
- Financing available
- Expensive price tag
- Unnecessary confusing features
- Check its new features if they are necessary to your line of business and if you can get those features in older models
So there you have it, a pros and cons list of whether you should buy new or used. Chances are you’re more confused than you were before. That’s natural. We suggest you look at some old equipment and some new equipment. What did you like about the new steamer that you didn’t like about the used one? What are the things you want in a freezer, do both the new and used freezer meet your needs? Being prepared, asking questions, and comparing will help you make an educated decision that will help your company in the long run. You can thank us later with a delicious pie or hot out of the oven roast beef.
If you have made this decision before, what did you chose? What steps led you into choosing either new or used equipment? Did you regret it? Furthermore, share your advice you have for other business owners facing the same decision.