Used restaurant equipment is a big temptation for anybody who wants to save money. And with rising food and utility costs, who doesn't want to save money? A used commercial range is an attractive proposition to restaurant owners, especially new restaurant owners. However, if you are considering a used commercial range, be sure to properly inspect it and set up a routine maintenance schedule to get the most out of your investment.
Follow these tips when shopping for a used commercial range:
- Go with gas. If you are going to buy a used commercial range, get one that runs on gas. Generally speaking, any piece of gas cooking equipment is pretty reliable if bought used. This is because they're pretty simple, a pilot stays lit and a turn of the gas valve fires everything up. On electric ranges, the heating elements can go bad and be expensive to replace.
- Top configuration and base type. There are several different range top configurations from which to choose. Be sure to read the product description and find a configuration that suits your needs. Also, pay attention to the oven base, because it can be either a storage cabinet, standard or convection oven.
- Inspect the unit. Physically inspect the used range before you buy. This may be difficult if you're shopping online or at an auction. During your inspection, check the burner heads and pilot ignition for clogs. Also, if there is a cabinet or oven base, check the hinges and seal. The seal isn't much of a problem if it's a cabinet base, but for oven bases, a bad seal will decrease cooking efficiency and increase energy costs.
- Call the manufacturer with any questions. If you have any questions about the used commercial range, be sure to call and ask the manufacturer. The manufacturer will be able to diagnose any problems you see and provide repair estimates. If the potential repairs run more than the cost, walk away.
Is it Safe to Buy a Used Commercial Range?
As long as you purchase a unit powered by gas, a used commercial range can be reliable. However, once you install the unit, fire it up and check the flame. If the flame sputters or isn't the ideal blue color, you may need to adjust or replace the burner.
Benefits of Buying a New Commercial Range
New commercial ranges come with a warranty and are more efficient than used models because everything is clean and fresh-from-the-factory.
Here are some more benefits to buying a new commercial range:
- Power source. The biggest benefit to buying a new commercial range is that you can select the power source you need. You can choose electric or two kinds of gas (natural gas and propane). With a used range, you are limited by what the dealer has, and that may not match the utility setup of your kitchen.
- Top configuration and base. With new ranges, you can easily find the specific top configuration and base to suit the needs of your restaurant. Again, the choices are limited with used units, and you may never find exactly what you need.
- Efficient burner pattern for gas-powered units. The burner pattern on gas-powered commercial ranges is something manufacturers are constantly tinkering with. New models often feature a redesigned burner pattern that helps maximize heat transfer while minimizing gas usage.
More from Tips for Buying a Used Commercial Range...
- Top 10 Tips for Buying an Existing Restaurant
- Opening a Franchise vs. Starting an Independent Restaurant
- Opening an Independent Restaurant
- Restaurants Organized as Sole Proprietorships
- Buying an Existing Restaurant vs. Starting from Scratch
- Legal Structures in the Restaurant: Sole Proprietorships, Corporations, Partnerships and LLCs
- How to Open Franchise Restaurant: A Quick Guide
- Restaurants Organized as Corporations
- Organizing Your Restaurant as an LLC: Pros and Cons
- Restaurants Organized as Partnerships: Pros and Cons
Back to Tips for Buying a Used Commercial Range