This is a guest post by Felicia Baratz-Savage who is a freelance writer and graphic designer living in Indianapolis, IN. As a frequent contributor to Eat Breathe Blog, she discusses eco-friendly innovations, green long distance moving, and overall health and wellness. If you would like to write an article, please read How to Become an Author.
Every eco-conscious restaurant owner longs for the day when food doesn’t spoil, equipment runs forever and heating/cooling costs become irrelevant. While the days of high-tech refrigerators that keep items fresh and crisp in bio-polymer gel seem somewhat in the distant future, there are steps everyone can take now to reduce their carbon footprint. Just by buying, or keeping, used restaurant equipment, you can help the environment. With a little research and planning, you can obtain high-quality items and even save some money.
Looking for Quality
These days, it’s easy to purchase used supplies from larger restaurants that plan to remodel, places going out of business or even online auctions. According to Thomas Chavez, author of “Buying and Selling Restaurant Equipment,” high-quality commercial restaurant equipment maintains its value for decades. You’ll probably still want to buy some items new, according to the ever-popular “Dummies” series, you should consider buying used gas ranges and grills. If you can, get a manual from the original owner and do a detailed inspection of any used unit before purchasing it.
Why Buy Used?
Do you feel secure only when you buy something new and pay the full-price tag? Consider that not all of things you may get will ultimately suit your needs. Buying things on credit may be regrettable in the long term. And, because something is new doesn’t mean it’s worth buying. Just because something has a high price tag doesn’t mean it will last. On the same token, just because something has a low price tag doesn’t mean it isn’t of high quality. Buying used items enables you to adhere to the old adage from the Depression-era that admonished everyone to use it up, wear it out, and make do or do without.
On the other side of things, large, busy restaurants often have to keep buying high-quality restaurant supplies to keep up with their growth pattern. They may have to buy new equipment more frequently because if the equipment were to have even a slight malfunction, it could cost them valuable time and hurt their business’s reputation. For smaller, just-starting-out businesses, though, buying these used items can be the perfect way to get their foot in the door.
The benefits of reusing high-quality restaurant supplies include the ability to:
- Avoid debt from items you can’t really afford or don’t really need. Would you buy Manolo Blahnik heels on sale for hundreds of dollars if you had no place to wear the shoes regularly?
- Retain value in the items you purchase. Restaurant equipment maintains its value. Unlike items that depreciate quickly, including electronics such as phones and computers, you can count on your used-equipment purchase to be a good investment. However, resist the temptation to buy trendy items and you’ll find that the high-quality products you love maintain their value long after the hype for newer gadgets fades.
- Give back to society. The ability to give unwanted items to organizations or families will contribute to society in immeasurable ways. Quality items last. When your business outgrows the item you’ve purchased, such as an oven, you can pass it on to a charitable organization that needs it more than you know.
- Avoid buying equipment used for more than three years. About 30 percent of restaurants fail in their first year; therefore, you should have options.
- Buy great equipment. Buying used allows you to purchase a top-of-the-line brand that you may not be able to afford otherwise. And, you prevent these high-quality products from going to landfill. Look for brands like Vulcan, Traulsen, Delfield, Garland, Hobart and Wolf.
- Get equipment that’s easy to maintain. Choose commercial gas ranges when purchasing because they have fewer moving parts. Avoid electric cooking equipment since, although these are more energy-efficient, they tend to have more parts and are more expensive to repair.
To easily locate used-equipment dealers for restaurants in your area, conduct an online Internet search or simply ask around. You can also help the environment by accepting items rejected by restaurants that refuse items that arrived dented or scratched. In this way, saving the environment offers a socially acceptable alternative to paying full price.