Important Considerations When Selecting Commercial Kitchen Equipment
The purchase of new commercial kitchen appliances is one of the most important decisions you make regarding your commercial kitchen. Your equipment should last at least a decade, so you want to ensure that what you purchase now will fit nicely in your operation and remain head-ache free for the years to come. Whether it be commercial mixers or walk-in freezers there are common issues to be considered when purchasing new foodservice equipment for your kitchen.
At General Parts Group we have worked on many commercial appliance installations, and what we have learned about equipment selection we would like to share with you here. Working through this list of items to consider will help improve the ROI of your new equipment, your facility, and your operation.
What is your budget?
Equipment comes in all shapes and sizes and there are many options available and price varies by brand. Determining your budget in advance will help direct you to the most effective piece of equipment for your operation
What permits, if any are required?
Some municipalities require you to obtain permits before a new unit is installed and often those permits have to be purchased. Equipment buyers should be aware of this to understand how that might impact their budget and to avoid any monetary penalties.
What are the dimensions and weight of the piece?
Can your facility handle the weight of the equipment? Will the current layout of your operation allow for the size and shape of the new equipment, or will a remodel be necessary?
What is the logistics of getting the new piece into your foodservice operation?
Does it need to be assembled? Will it fit through the doorways?
Do the existing utility and drain connections match up properly?
It is a good idea to have the installer perform a pre-installation site survey to identify what utilities are needed for the purchased piece of equipment. This can help eliminate any unexpected costs during a commercial appliance installation.
Is the unit Energy efficient?
Saving money long-term is always a good policy. Look for the Energy Star® on the model you are interested in. The Energy Star logo indicates that this model meets strict criteria for energy efficiency.
What, if any, is the Impact on your existing HVAC/R and Exhaust system?
Some equipment can have an impact on the temperature of the environment as well as airflow in the kitchen. This change in environment can potentially have a negative impact on the HVAC/R and Exhaust system.
Are there any Fire suppression requirements?
It is good practice to verify fire suppression requirements before finalizing a purchase to make sure your current system meets the requirements for safety and to avoid unnecessary violations.
Does the manufacturer have a credible ASA network?
It is important to know you will be supported by certified service technicians for the installation and maintenance of your new commercial kitchen equipment. Your manufacturer warranty may depend upon it.
What is the accessibility of repair parts?
Your equipment is an investment and downtime costs money. You want to be sure that service agents have access to parts to ensure any breakdowns are repaired quickly.
What are the warranty terms?
Industry-standard is 1-year parts and labor. However, some manufacturers do offer extended warranty promotions at low or no cost.
Will there be proper on-site training available to the operator?
Many manufacturers offer on-site training specific to your operation.
Does the performance match up with your menu and volume expectations?
Some manufacturers offer free demos which allows you to see the equipment in action.
What sort of consumable items will be needed, at what cost?
(filters, gaskets, cleaners, etc.).
Like equipment, consumables and required consumable items needed for regular maintenance vary in price. The cost of items that the manufacturer recommends that are regularly changed, should be a factor during the budgeting process.
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Although this list is comprehensive, every commercial kitchen is unique. We would love to hear from you if you have uncovered something we should add to our list.