The refrigerator is going out, the oven is baking things unevenly, and the ice machine is leaking again. As a restaurant owner, these situations can be more than frustrating; they can impact your business’ success.
Unfortunately, finding a solution isn’t always straightforward, and it’s not always obvious when to replace vs. repair your foodservice equipment. Here are a few principles to keep in mind as you navigate this choice for your business.
When Equipment Becomes Dangerous
Safety should be a primary concern in any business, but this is especially true in the restaurant industry. This begins with the safety of your kitchen staff. Safety risks may include:
- Slip risk from leaks
- Fire risk from overloaded circuits
- Burn risk from excessive oil splashing or problematic temperature regulation
- Cuts from dull blades
There is also the safety of your customers to keep in mind. Equipment that doesn’t sufficiently cool or cook your food increases the likelihood of foodborne illness. When your equipment begins to pose a consistent risk to your staff and customers, it’s time to replace instead of repair your commercial kitchen equipment.
Restaurant Performance is Impacted
Even if food safety isn’t an issue, equipment outages can impact your customer’s experience. It leads to extended wait times or, worse, some menu items not being available at all.
Be aware of your customer’s opinions when you notice equipment is failing more often than not. If frustrations are mounting, the extra funds are worth keeping your customers happy.
When the Cost of Upkeep Is Too High
One of the primary reasons many businesses take so long to replace their equipment is the cost. After all, brand new equipment is expensive. And when you find a quality foodservice equipment repair service with reasonable prices, repairing your own equipment is typically the more cost-effective option.
However, there comes a point when the cost of repairs exceeds the cost of buying new equipment. This is usually when equipment needs repairs multiple times a month or when the repairs needed are extensive. Keeping a careful record of your finances will help you know when your business has reached that point.
When It’s Over Ten Years Old
Most kitchen equipment has a lifespan of approximately ten years, whether it’s a range grill or warewasher. So, if your equipment is at this age or older, it’ll break down more and more frequently, leading to equipment upkeep costs exceeding the cost of a new machine.
By the time your machine reaches its ten-year mark, due to technological advances the new machine you buy will be able to do what your old one couldn’t. So getting new equipment may be in your restaurant’s best interest.
If you aren’t sure whether to repair or replace your equipment, don’t despair. The technicians at Jay-Hill Repairs can service old equipment or help install new equipment.