Came across this great article in Foodservice Equipment and Supplies today, all about what to consider when replacing worn-out or outdated restaurant equipment. It’s a little long, so we’ve listed the salient points here, but take a look at the full article for all their advice.

Replacing restaurant equipment isn’t just a matter of going out and buying a new oven or dishwasher—it’s a little more complicated than that. Aside from being a chance to take stock of your kitchen operations, it’s also a great opportunity to upgrade to energy-efficient equipment that can have a significant impact on your operating costs.

So here’s what you need to know:

  • Know when to replace things. If repair calls are happening more frequently than scheduled maintenance calls, it’s time to replace. If you notice obvious signs of deterioration, like rust or water damage, it’s probably time to replace. And if your equipment isn’t holding temperature, or becoming an energy sucker, it’s replacement time.
  • Take the opportunity to evaluate. How’s your menu performing? How’s your kitchen performance? Is there a way a new piece of equipment could help improve things? Think about all these things before you make a purchase.
  • Make sure your equipment fits. Whatever you purchase needs to fit in to your physical space, and should align with the power capabilities of your kitchen. More than that, though, your new equipment needs to fit with your existing equipment, menu and workflow—otherwise, be prepared for growing pains while your staff gets used to working with it.
  • Consolidate. Do you need to upgrade more than one piece of equipment but don’t have the budget? Look for equipment that does double duty, like a broiler/salamander combo.
  • Think energy efficiency. Replacing your old equipment with new, energy efficient models can cost more up-front, but will save you money in the long run—and with government rebates and incentives, you may get cash back in your pocket right away.
  • Be proactive about replacements. All restaurants have periods of high and low cashflow—so time your replacement purchases accordingly.

Have you recently replaced kitchen equipment? What was your experience? Share your story in the comments section.

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