How Do I Choose the Best Foodservice Equipment?

E. Reeder

Choosing the best foodservice equipment is an essential consideration in the restaurant business, involving items ranging from ovens and steamers to milkshake machines. There are many things you should take into account when choosing foodservice equipment, such as the needs of your restaurant, the functionality of the equipment, customer service and technical support provided by the company, and reviews from other users of the equipment.

Stainless steel pots and pans.
Stainless steel pots and pans.

The functionality and specifications of foodservice equipment are important considerations, because you will need the machines to have the right output. To figure this out, you need to have a clear idea of the needs of your restaurant and the specifications of the product. The types of food and beverages that you will serve and your projected business volume should play into your decisions. For example, if your restaurant is likely to serve a lot of drinks chilled with ice, then a high-volume ice machine that is reliable and consistent would be advisable. If your restaurant will cook and store meat products, then the right type of cooking, serving and storage equipment should be needed.

Some restaurants use deep frying equipment.
Some restaurants use deep frying equipment.

The warranty available on the equipment as well as the customer service and technical support provided by the company making the foodservice equipment is another vital factor in choosing the best equipment. You want to know that, if you have problems with the equipment, the company from which you bought it will provide excellent customer service and technical support. It is advisable to buy equipment from companies that are easily accessible by phone and online and can quickly dispatch technicians and maintenance workers to repair your equipment. Should your equipment malfunction or shut down while it is under warranty, you probably will want to know the company is committed to repairing it or replacing it quickly and without a hassle.

As with all other business purchases, the price of the equipment is an important consideration. It is vital to consider the price and quality of the foodservice equipment that you are considering compared with similar machines from other companies. Determining whether your purchase should give you an acceptable return on investment also is important to figure out. If your restaurant is likely not to sell many deep-fried products, then an overly expensive deep fryer would not be advisable.

It likely will be helpful to examine customer reviews of the equipment you are considering. It also may be a good idea to talk to other restaurant owners and managers who have used the same foodservice equipment in their restaurants. Visiting other restaurants that use the equipment you are considering also may be worthwhile so you can see the machine in action.

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