Congratulations! You have just opened up a business that specializes in fine-dining fast-food: burgers, hot dogs, poutine, chicken sandwiches, and a bunch of other stuff that you could find at McDonald’s.
But before you serve your first burger, you will need to invest in commercial kitchen equipment.
This will not only be expensive, it will also require plenty of research and due diligence. What should you do? How much should you spend? What do you need? Let’s explore!
Here are five tips for buying commercial kitchen equipment for your new café:
1. Always Look for the ENERGY STAR Label
One of the biggest costs for any restaurant is the energy bill. From the equipment that’s in the kitchen to the electricity being used in the dining area, any culinary establishment can be hit with an exorbitant receipt at the end of the month.
How can you save more on energy? Buy commercial kitchen equipment with the ENERGY STAR label.
This label is a symbol for energy efficiency that suggests you can save money, reduce your energy consumption, and help the environment all at the same time. So, keep a look out for it.
2. Plan Your Menu First
What type of restaurant are you owning and operating? A coffee shop with treats? A fine-dining Italian restaurant? A buffet?
Whatever category of restaurant it is, an important first step to take is to plan your menu first.
By planning your menu in advance, you can determine what commercial kitchen equipment you need. You don’t want to purchase anything more than you need, otherwise it’s just money being thrown down the drain. As a restaurant, or any business in general, this is the last thing you’d want to happen.
3. Do You Meet All Municipal Codes?
As a restaurant, you will need to meet all sorts of municipal codes, by-laws, and a whole host of other rules and regulations.
Once you start your business, you need to determine if you will meet all of the municipal standards. This should be done prior to acquiring the commercial kitchen equipment you need. It’s important to remember because you may need to make renovations, which also means some of the equipment you might have purchased may not accurately fit.
4. Inquire About Warranties for Equipment
One of your biggest investments will be your commercial kitchen equipment. Depending on what you need, you can expect to spend thousands of dollars in a single day, from the oven to the exhaust fans to the freezers and refrigerators.
Since you’re investing a large chunk of money in these products, you don’t want it to go to waste should they break down or need repairs. The simple solution is to get warranties for the equipment.
A five-, 10-, or 25-year warranty can ensure your equipment can be replaced or repaired instantly without any cost to you. It may not seem worth it, but this initial added cost could save you plenty.
5. Stick to Your Budget – No Matter What
In the end, no matter what, you must always stick to your budget. This is the reality of the situation.
Remember, most businesses shut down within one to five years. The reasons vary – from not having enough cash flow to going too much into debt – so you want to ensure you’re not drowning in an ocean of red ink.
Even if you feel like you need something, but you have gone over your budget, just stick to what you already have and try to do without.
Fine-dining, coffee shops, and small cafes all need commercial kitchen equipment.
It can be difficult to ascertain what you need, how much money you need to spend, and what exactly is critical to your business. With a little bit of research, sticking to your budget, and getting warranties, you will ensure that your company can survive the difficulties in the food market and thrive under pressure.