As much as restaurant owners all love getting a shiny new piece of equipment, there are certain things that maybe aren’t quite worth the investment. After all, not everyone has the funds to buy everything new, especially if you’re just starting out. Luckily, there are options: leasing and renting. Which one is best for you? Let’s find out.

Lease Equipment That Frequently Needs Updating

The one thing to consider about leasing is that you’re really only going to be able to have that option for big ticket items. Small things like microwaves likely won’t be covered due to their inexpensive nature.

However, items like ice makers make a great option for leasing as you can always upgrade them once your lease has come to an end–usually around 36 months or so.

Another factor to consider when leasing is how often you’re going to be using the product. Heavily used items like refrigerators and ovens are great leasing options as well, but the only downside to leasing is the money that you have to put in up front, as well as the monthly payments on top of that. Therefore, if it’s an item that won’t need frequent updating, it’s a better choice to buy the item instead.

Buy Equipment You Want to Invest In

As mentioned above, items that don’t need frequent updating are a safe choice to buy. But with buying comes its own dilemma: do you buy it brand new or find it used?

You can find just about any piece of restaurant equipment out there used and usually in good working condition. Big ticket items are wonderful items to buy used as a simple range can cost around $1500, but a saavy shopper can find one for around $800 in the used market. The thing with used items is that you really have to trust your instinct and the quality of the item. Is there a reason that it’s being sold for so cheap? Are there repairs that need to be done to it that would make it a better option to buy a new one? How long as it been used? These are the questions you need to ask the seller before sealing the deal.

However, there are definitely items that need to be bought new. Knives especially you don’t want to buy used. Not only are they not as sharp as new knives, but knives are also susceptible to damage and can have pre-existing scratches and grooves that could impact the food.

In conclusion, if it’s a big ticket item that you’ll get use out of every day, it’ll eventually pay for itself in the long run. If you do choose to buy new, choose energy efficient appliances to save on energy costs.

Rent Equipment You Only Need For a Short Time

At some point in a restaurant’s journey, they’ll want to branch out and try new things. Whether or not these new things take off or not is always uncertain which is where renting comes in!

Renting has no set length in which you have to have the item for, so if you give your new dish a trail run of a couple months and it doesn’t pan out, you’re not stuck with this new piece of equipment for another 34 months like you would be if you leased it.

Renting is also a great option for special restaurant functions such as parties, grand openings, and other events. You may not use that popcorn or cotton candy machine all year round, but for a day, it’s great to know you have the option of renting.

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