used restaurant equipment

What to Buy Before Opening a Restaurant

New Restaurant EquipmentFor restaurant owners just starting out, the search for the right equipment and supplies can be daunting. Figuring out exactly what you need is a difficult task. For any restaurant, there will be a long list of equipment and supplies that need to be procured before even opening, and that list is different for each person and each restaurant.

Determining What Equipment You Need

The equipment you need will largely depend on your menu and your restaurant concept. However, here are a few general guidelines to follow when you first make up the list of equipment you want to purchase:

Limit yourself. When deciding how much equipment you need, the key is to limit your equipment. Evaluate your menu to determine the fewest pieces of equipment that are needed to produce all of the dishes. For example, if you own a sandwich shop, your absolutely essential equipment needs might be limited to a commercial refrigeratorsrefrigerated prep tablesice machines and meat slicers.

Add strategic extras. The list of essential equipment should be your basis for purchasing. However, if you have extra room in the kitchen and enough extra capital, you can purchase extra pieces: for example, a commercial food processor or cheesemelter. While this equipment may not be a necessity, it can reduce the kitchen labor required to produce your menu, enhance the final taste or appearance of the food or make your kitchen more flexible in case you need to change your menu in the future.

Does slightly imperfect sound perfect to you? 
Shop Burkett’s Scratch and Dent Clearance section today!

Determining What Supplies You Need

Most commercial kitchens need basic kitchen utensils on hand, such as scoops, spoons and spatulas. Often, fledgling restaurant owners overlook purchasing these necessities until the last minute, so before opening, be sure to consider even the smallest things you will need.

Speed up your kitchen. Purchase handy food prep supplies, like vegetable cutters and slicers for high volume produce. Commercial kitchen tools like these can help increase your workers’ productivity.

Stock up for storage. The last thing you want to do is overlook your storage requirements. Every restaurant will need food storage and shelving to hold its supplies. Many full-service restaurants will also require food service carts to help move supplies from one area of the kitchen to another.

Do not overlook the tabletop. Every restaurant will need smallwares. Quick-service establishments will need disposable restaurant supplies, while full-service restaurants will need reusable dinnerware and drinkware. Most restaurants will also need other supplies for their tabletop, like condiment containerstabletop signs and food baskets.

Remember food safety supplies. Gloves, pot holdershairnets and thermometers are easy to overlook, but they include essential items that any commercial kitchen needs to meet strict health codes and keep workers and customers safe.

Finding the Right Equipment and Supplies

Every restaurant is different and therefore has different equipment requirements. Using a buying guide or speaking directly with an expert will empower you to make the best possible decisions when purchasing equipment.

Think about going green. Purchasing eco-friendly restaurant equipment and supplies is a good way to help the environment and attract customers at the same time. It will also help you save a significant amount of money on your utility bills.

Consider used or discounted equipment. On a tight budget? You may want to look into buying used equipment or equipment that is cosmetically damaged. Although there is some risk involved, for some restaurant operations, this is a viable option. Check out this blog post on the pros and cons of used restaurant equipment.

Finding a Good Dealer

You can often get a better deal if you choose one restaurant supply dealer and stick with it. Since you order all of your supplies from one business, you are likely to receive a discount. To find a dealer that is right for you, you must first consider your priorities. Usually, your priorities will include one or more of the following:

  • Price. While a local dealer may offer excellent pricing, usually the least expensive products can be found online. However, the cheapest online dealers usually offer low prices but lack the customer care services and expertise that can be found with higher-priced online or brick-and-mortar dealers.
  • Expertise. Speak directly with salespeople to determine their level of expertise. If the salespeople seem to be experts at making a sales pitch, rather than having knowledge about the actual products they are selling, it may be time to find another dealer.
  • Customer Service. When buying expensive equipment, any restaurant owner should make sure that their dealer offers superior customer service. Without good customer care, if you receive damaged equipment or your equipment does not live up to your expectations for any reason, you may be stuck with it.
  • Installation. One of the major advantages of buying from a local restaurant equipment dealer is that they will often provide you with equipment installation, for a fee. If you buy your equipment online or at an auction, you are less likely to find installation included in the package. However, some online dealers, such as www.Burkett.com, will help you find someone to install the equipment.

When looking for a good dealer, it is also important to look into the following:

  • Shipping costs
  • Return policies
  • Parts availability

Finding the right equipment and supplies at a good price from a reasonable dealer is a major aspect of opening a restaurant. If you do not have the right supplies from the right dealer, it will end up hurting your bottom line in the long run. Be sure to carefully consider your equipment and supply needs, as well as your choice of dealer, before you begin to purchase.

Great Savings at Burkett Restaurant Equipment!

Savings Blog_11222013

 

FIND THE PERFECT EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR VENUE!

84″ x 30″ Stainless Steel Work Table w/Glass Filler Water Station…Used: $175
Scotsman BH1300 1400 Lb. Ice Bin …New: $3105 Used: $975
Continental SW60-BS 60″ 2 Door Worktop Refrigerator…Used: $1195
Carrier MC1100 2 Sliding Glass Door Merchandiser Refrigerator..Used: $1295
Garland SX-10-2626 60″ 10 Burner Gas Range, 2 Standard Ovens…Used: $1975
Blodgett DFG-100 Double Deck Gas Convection Oven..New: $15229 Used: $3195

How to Get Max Dollars for Used Restaurant Equipment

Burkett has been buying and selling used restaurant equipment for over 35 years and we’re going to let you in on a few secrets to make sure that you get the most money for your used items.

Selling used restaurant equipment is like selling a used vehicle. Appearance, obvious signs of regular maintenance, and cleanliness are key to getting maximum dollar. So whether you’re selling them to us, or to a private buyer, below you will find 5 questions to ask yourself to ensure that you make as much money as possible.

Is it Clean? Are there years worth of grease build up on the top and sides of your Commercial Range? Is there mold on the bottom of the Walk-In Cooler Refrigerator? If your used equipment is dirty when you are trying to sell it, just like if your used car is dirty when you are trying to sell it, you’re not going to get as much as you hoped.

Is it in Normal Working Condition? If you decide to sell your used refrigerator, that keeps food cold, but has a loud rattle, expect to get less money for it, than if it were working properly. When we purchase a product that needs extensive servicing before it can be placed on the floor for sale, it becomes financially prohibitive to offer you maximum dollars for it.

Where is It? Bring the product in for us to see or send multiple pictures of the exterior and interior of the product for a better offer. Remember, we are taking a risk buying a product sight unseen.

Do You Know the Model and Serial Number? When you email us the product pictures, make sure to also send the model and serial number. This information will give us the year the unit was made as well as product specifications in order to give you a more accurate purchase price.

Are Your Expectations Realistic? If you are selling a used T-23 Refrigerator, you are not going to receive today what you paid for it three years ago. For most privately sold used restaurant equipment, expect to sell it for 10-30% of what you purchased it for. According to Mike Burkett, Burkett Restaurant Equipment founder and current Used Purchaser, “When customers call us to sell their used equipment, I have to remind them that nothing is cut in stone. A product that is 3 years old and gone through the ringer a couple of times will get less than a similar product that is 10 years old, but well-maintained, clean, and in proper working condition. So be realistic with your expectations.”

If you are interested in selling used restaurant equipment, contact us at 419-720-8181 for more assistance or a quote.

Used Restaurant Equipment And Your Business

If looking to buy restaurant equipment, you may be considering the option to buy used. Know what you’re getting into before jumping in head first. Used restaurant equipment has many pros and cons. Let’s examine a few of these.

PROS: You save money! Used restaurant equipment can be nearly half the price of that same new product. More often than not, used restaurant equipment isn’t so old.  Many restaurants go out of business within the first two years leaving many used units available for sale.

CONS: Using used restaurant equipment can be a risky choice by some owners. Whether it be too old for your staff to figure out how to work it or simply old parts corrupting the unit to go bad. Used restaurant equipment may not look as good as a brand new unit. If your customers plan on seeing the unit on an everyday basis, such as merchandisers and display cases, you must be sure it is free from defects.

THINGS YOU CAN DO TO AVOID THE CONS:  Avoiding risky used restaurant equipment can be simple. Look for warranties on your used restaurant equipment. Is your equipment reconditioned or refurbished? If so your unit will last much longer than a normal piece of used restaurant equipment. You can often negotiate special pricing when dealing with used restaurant equipment.

Check out Burkett Restaurant Equipment’s website for a great selection of used restaurant equipment. All items are reconditioned and come with an industry-best 90-day parts and labor warranty!

 Scroll to top