There are a lot of different elements that you have to consider as an operator of a restaurant. The equipment that you use can make or break your restaurant, and hence it is important to know when to repair and when to replace. Here are some signs that it is time to replace your restaurant equipment.
Repair Costs Are Out of Control
Over time, equipment may begin to break down or degrade. While regular maintenance can help the longevity of your equipment, it does not necessarily mean that it will last forever. You have to take into consideration the life cycle of the equipment. Some pieces, for instance, may have a 10-year life cycle. While you may be able to get a few more years out of it, it likely will begin to break down more over time.
As the equipment degrades, you will see more problems. If you feel like you are calling for repairs every time you turn your head, then you might want to start budgeting for new replacements. Your kitchen requires equipment to function properly. If a stove or other appliance breaks down, it can slow down or completely stop your restaurant from running until you can fix it. Not only does this cut into your profit, but it forces you to shell out more money for repairs.
You might think that the cost of new restaurant equipment is more than you can afford, but the truth is that it is a more cost-effective investment than paying for repairs all the time. In addition, there are some pieces that you do not want to spend money repairing. Some repair jobs will cost more than a piece of equipment brand new. For instance, you may not want to repair your countertop warmers, blenders, coffeemakers or microwaves. These are only a few of the types of small appliances that are cheaper to replace.
Safety Is Becoming a Concern
When you run a restaurant, you already have several different safety protocols that you need to follow. The safety of your staff, customers and yourself relies on your attention to detail. Safety should always be number one when it comes to what your concerns and considerations are when it comes to new equipment. If something keeps breaking down, you have to consider if it is a safety hazard or not. Degrading equipment can become a fire hazard if you are not careful. For instance, say that you have a fryer with leaked or cracked tubes. This can easily cause a fire in your kitchen.
In addition, if you have any bare wires or panels missing from a stove or other appliance, you need to have that replaced quickly. Any exposed wires pose a risk of shock. Your employees should never have to worry about shocks or burns from your equipment.
Restaurant Standards Are Changing
Every now and then, new regulations come out for restaurants. The Department of Energy and the FDA continuously release new standards for a variety of different equipment types. Your restaurant needs to meet these standards. If you have older or degrading equipment or equipment that simply does not meet the regulations, then it may be time to seek out new models. When technology advances, the regulations also advance. It is important that you consider how the restaurant standards change and whether your restaurant can meet those standards.
Parts Are No Longer Available
How old is your equipment? Over time, as appliances age, the manufacturers may stop making replacement parts. As technology changes, the types of parts used change too. If you have an oven that you have been using for the last 20 years, there is a good chance that the parts are going to be more difficult to come by when you need repairs done. The harder it is to find specific parts, the more expensive it can be to make repairs when an appliance breaks down.
If you can no longer find parts at a reasonable price, then it may be time for you to consider an entire replacement. You have to have running equipment and you should not be spending more on repairs than you would pay to replace a piece entirely. When you find newer restaurant equipment, you don’t have to worry about availability. If something goes wrong with your newer appliances, you should be able to find parts at an affordable rate without digging around.
Restaurant Growth Is in Your Future
When you first start your restaurant, you may choose your equipment based on your budget at the time and the number of customers that you are likely to see. It is important to start off modestly so that you can grow your business. After all, if you spend too much at first, you may lose your investment quickly. In addition, as you learn how to run a restaurant, you may have difficulty keeping up with your promises.
Growth in the business is what you want to see! However, when your business is stabilized or is on the rise, you should be thinking about your equipment. Will the appliances currently in your kitchen hold up to the new business? Is everything durable enough? If your business is growing, you can start to invest more in your equipment and make sure that you have quality appliances that can meet the demands of your customers.
The Menu Undergoes Changes
Whether you are growing your restaurant or considering a change, if your menu changes, this can change a lot of aspects about your restaurant. When you change your menu, you need to ensure that you have the right tools and appliances to handle preparing the new menu. There are some pieces of equipment that are better suited for certain menu items. In fact, there are many types that companies will allow you to try for free if you are testing new items.
For instance, say that you want to add more fried foods. If you do not have a fryer that can handle large amounts of food or one that retains a high oil quality, then you may want to think about replacing the old fryer with a piece that can handle your expanded menu options. Your equipment needs to be up to making everything on the menu, so replacements or new appliances may be necessary.
If any of the above issues apply to you, then it may be time for you to consider replacing your restaurant equipment. When thinking about replacements, remember that it is important to consider your bottom line, your company’s safety and the durability of the equipment in question. To run a successful restaurant, you need the right appliances.