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Where to Buy New Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Image of a commercial kitchen with a pizza oven
By Dean Wayne – Regional Sales Manager

So, one of your 20-year-old Snorkel Convection ovens is once again having issues on Friday morning going into your busy weekend? You call the commercial kitchen service company and the technician arrives, runs through the sequence of operation, and finds multiple issues, and writes up an estimate for repair of this old oven that has seen better days. The question is do you keep throwing money at this old piece of equipment; installing new components in an oven that is likely to fail again sooner than later, does not make good business sense!

The first thing to consider before buying a new oven is, do you A), simply want a direct replacement from the same manufacturer or do you B), need to investigate other options such as upgrading to a combi-oven which may allow for new menu development and/or deliver new kitchen efficiencies. The good news here is, no matter which option you go with, investing in a new unit, will be more energy-efficient, which will save you money in utility bills.

Option A
We are often asked by our customers for equipment replacement options. Our advice is if you are happy with your existing model and simply require a replacement, you should replace it with the same manufacturer and model. This option works well if you are happy with your existing kitchen flow and need the replacement equipment to perform much the same as the old unit, but with the latest technology and efficiency upgrades. In this scenario, we recommend reaching out to your local manufacturer’s Rep Group for that specific brand.

Depending upon the equipment type, the Rep may want to begin the process by visiting the site to ensure the equipment will fit your needs, discuss options for models the manufacturer carries. The manufacturer’s Rep will then call on the local Commercial equipment dealer(s) to provide the actual equipment quotes, which could include the cost of installation.

After purchasing the equipment, the manufacturer’s Rep may come on-site and demonstrate the equipment features for the operators, particularly for certain pieces of equipment like larger conveyor/door & flight type dishwashers, Blast Chillers as well as combi ovens and steamers. This may include programming recipes, day to day maintenance/cleaning, adjustments, etc. This is an added value when purchasing locally vs buying equipment online through a company that has no presence in the local market.

Option B
If you have decided that now is the time to look at new equipment options, then the question is, who do you talk to? It doesn’t hurt to ask your kitchen equipment service company for advice. The service provider is familiar with the various manufacturers and their technical support teams to resolve issues promptly, keeping the equipment running and your business operating smoothly. The service company works with the dealers regularly when called upon to run service calls while equipment is under warranty, as well as provide new equipment installation quotes when requested. The service company will perform the manufacturer’s authorized start-up which is also arranged by the dealer to ensure proper operation. Though the ASA’s expertise in the foodservice industry is primarily the maintenance and repair side, their experience working with the manufacturers, local dealers, and Reps as a team are invaluable in providing new equipment and installation (turn-key) quotes quickly.

We also recommend getting in touch with your local dealers. Start with those you already work with; they may sell a variety of manufacturer’s equipment lines and will be able to recommend what is best to suit your menu, efficiency goals, and price points.

As you can see, replacing one of your foodservice appliances is a process. Considering the substantial investment, you will be making in your new equipment, working with the key industry partners is time well spent. Working as a team with the installer (ASA), equipment dealer, and Rep. will ensure the correct commercial appliance is specified, removal of the old and installation of the new is performed properly by a qualified installation team, and the manufacturer authorized start-up was performed by an ASA. All the aforementioned advice will help to ensure a good new equipment purchase experience that will leave you with an ongoing support network in case of any operation issues, routine maintenance, as well as other replacement equipment inquiries.

General Parts Group is an ASA for many of America’s most well-known and trusted brands. If you would like any additional advice or need help with an existing installation, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, Dean Wayne, at the following email address; deanw@generalparts.com