Buying equipment is essential for new restaurants. It’s also expensive, so you don’t want to make mistakes. Learn about common mistakes and how to avoid them.
New restaurant owners have to make a lot of expensive purchases before they can open their doors, and buying equipment is one of them. Equipment is essential to any commercial kitchen, and mistakes can cost you both time and money. Keep reading to learn about common mistakes new restaurants make when buying equipment and how to avoid them.
Not Doing Enough Research
Before purchasing any equipment, take the time to figure out exactly what you need. Research local and state requirements, equipment ratings, how big your budget should be, and any other details specific to your restaurant. Make sure to focus your research on commercial equipment, not all kitchen products. For example, air fryers are popular in home kitchens, so you may think they’re a smart choice for your business, but most restaurants don’t use commercial air fryers.
Failing to do adequate research can have both short- and long-term consequences. You could fail inspections, miss an important piece of equipment, buy something unnecessary, run out of money, or lose customers to your competition.
Once you’ve done your research, you should have a good idea of what your budget should look like. However, depending on your cash flow, you may feel the need to shrink your equipment budget and use that money elsewhere. Or you may start looking at prices and decide to put extra money into your equipment budget. Both are mistakes.
If your budget is too small, you may feel tempted to buy cheaper, lower-quality equipment, which can have negative long-term consequences for your business. If your budget is too big, you could overspend on unnecessary equipment that you don’t need.
Choosing the Wrong Size
Even if you’ve done the proper research and budgeted appropriately, you may still choose the wrong sized equipment for your space. Buying the wrong sized equipment is a common mistake. Many people don’t realize that you don’t just need to know the size of the spot where your equipment will go but the entire layout of your kitchen. Just because an oven or a refrigerator can fit in a specific area doesn’t mean it should go there. You have to consider whether opening doors will disrupt the flow of the kitchen. At the same time, too small equipment may limit your ability to serve customers.
To avoid this, go shopping with a picture of your space and measurements that include room for movement like doors opening and people walking. That way, you can get equipment that will fit your space and allow staff to meet customer demand.
Not doing enough research, inadequately budgeting, and choosing the wrong size equipment are some of the most common mistakes new restaurants make when buying equipment. If you do adequate research, stick to a careful budget, and take thorough measurements and pictures, you can avoid these mistakes and equip your restaurant with ease.