Is Used Kitchen Equipment Worth The Money?

Pros and Cons of Used Kitchen Equipment

When opening a new restaurant, bakery, or cafe, one of the first things that pops up in one’s mind is buying kitchen equipment. In an ideal situation where there is no scarcity of capital, buying new apparatus would not be a problem. However, that’s not usually the case. Moreover, overspending on new kitchenware can affect working capital needs. This is where used kitchen equipment comes into the picture.

Opening an outlet comes with a lot of costs. Labor costs, rental costs, and inventory costs constitute the major part of the investment. As necessary as kitchen equipment is, it is possible to lower its cost by opting for second-hand apparatus. One should cut down costs wherever possible as financial mismanagement at a seed stage is one of the top reasons most restaurants fail within a year of launch.

Pros Of Buying Used Kitchen Equipment

Buying used kitchen equipment in the early stages of setting up a restaurant can save money that can be used elsewhere. One can switch to new equipment after the restaurant starts generating revenue. 

Let us look at some of their advantages when opening a new restaurant. 

1. The Most Obvious – Lesser Cost

Squeezing the equipment budget to make room for fixed costs, insurance, marketing, etc. is a smart thing to do when opening a new restaurant. Buying used kitchen apparatus saves up on a lot of initial investment. In addition, since the equipment is used, it has already lost its initial value. You can thus buy it at depreciated costs. 

Furthermore, following this practice not only expands the budget for other amenities but also enables purchasing a wider range of utensils and setting up a versatile kitchen. 

Throwing in all the money to buy new kitchen equipment can get you into trouble if there is no Return On Investment (ROI) in the short to medium term. However, if the business picks up the pace and starts generating revenue, there is no bad time to buy new kitchen equipment. 

Used Kitchen Equipment
Source: RestoHub

2. Negotiability And Complimentary Factor

Unlike new kitchen equipment, where there is no room for negotiation, used equipment comes with the negotiability factor. Since the equipment is second hand and comes at a depreciated cost, there is no rigid price for it. Therefore, one can negotiate over the original offer and buy the required equipment at lower prices.

If you’re good at negotiating, you might as well ask the previous owner to throw in some extra smaller utensils, which may include a prep table, extra spoons, etc. Vendors also offer complimentary items while purchasing second-hand equipment from them.

3. Environment Friendly

Whether you are a nature lover or not, it is always advisable to use eco-friendly products. Buying used kitchen apparatus not only saves you money but also helps the environment as it is a form of recycling. Recycling and reusing are always better options than throwing out all the equipment after first use.

4. On-site Maintenance

While buying used kitchen equipment, you should choose authorized vendors to buy your equipment instead of buying it from individuals. You can find good used kitchen equipment selling companies in the UAE on the internet

Equipment failure is a common thing in restaurant kitchens. When any of the equipment breaks down, it becomes the responsibility of the vendor to provide on-site maintenance by sending its personnel, ridding you of worry.

5. The Quality Is Just As Good As New

In the fiercely competitive UAE restaurant industry, there are ample restaurants that fail within the first year itself. The high turnover of kitchen equipment provides the new restaurateurs with an opportunity to buy second-hand equipment. Second-hand equipment used for only a few years is usually as good as new and worth the money. 

Moreover, restaurant kitchen equipment is generally durable and can be used for a long time with proper care. Furthermore, the resale vendors check, repair, and make sure the equipment is top-notch before selling it further. 

Cons Of Buying Used Kitchen Equipment

Buying used kitchen equipment comes with its own set of limitations. Even though the pros outweigh the cons, one should take them into consideration to make an informed decision. 

Some of the cons of used kitchen equipment are as follows. 

1. No Warranty 

New kitchen equipment comes with a warranty. You can exchange or get the equipment repaired free of cost within the warranty period. However, there is no warranty on used kitchen equipment. Despite being extremely durable, there still is a chance of equipment failure. Having no warranty, in this case, can cost you a good amount of money for maintenance, repair, and replacement. The lack of warranty thus makes it crucial to ensure that you buy good quality second-hand equipment. 

No Warranty For Used Kitchen Equipment
Source: HGTV

2. Higher Operating Costs 

Used kitchen equipment must be bought carefully, keeping in mind the quality and durability of the equipment. If it does not work correctly or breaks down, there is an imminent loss coming your way. You might just end up spending more money on repair and maintenance than if you would have bought new equipment. The user manual from the original manufacturer should be rigorously followed to ensure its durability and efficiency. 

3. Less Variety

Buying used kitchen equipment can limit your options as not everything is available second hand. You might just be getting equipment which the previous owner doesn’t need anymore. Unlike new equipment, you only get to choose from what is available. You may even have to settle for fewer features than what you may have initially expected.

Even with these disadvantages, buying used kitchen equipment is recommended as it is a more cost-efficient way to build your kitchen. However, there are many things to consider before buying kitchen equipment, and you are free to weigh your options before making any decision. 

Kitchen tools are bought as per the cuisine you serve. Hence, the demand totally depends on your restaurant. Decide on a budget and then go for new or used kitchen equipment keeping the advantages and disadvantages of both in mind. 


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Nikunj is the Communications Lead at Restroworks, a global leader in cloud-based technology platforms. In his role, he oversees global marketing and branding initiatives for Restroworks across APAC, the Middle East, and the US.


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