7 Signs You Need to Replace Your Commercial Kitchen Equipment
Your commercial kitchen equipment is a major investment. Due to the cost, you want to make the most of your purchase. However, there eventually comes a time when you find your equipment begins to fail. When this happens, it can be tempting to stretch out its life as long as possible, but this can end up costing you money in the long run. From wasted food, to risk for food-borne illnesses, you need to know that your equipment is dependable. Here, we look at 8 signs you need to replace your commercial kitchen equipment.
1. Ongoing food waste
Since safety is always top of mind, your kitchen staff are ever on the lookout for signs the food they serve is not edible. If you find that food in your fridge is constantly going bad before its serve-before date, it’s a sign your fridge is failing. When it seems the safety and well-being of your customers is at risk, you know it’s time for a replacement.
2. Frequent repairs
This is, of course, the most obvious sign your kitchen equipment needs to be replaced. Although repair and maintenance calls are inevitable, once they become frequent, you know your kitchen equipment is on its way out. Although you might feel you are saving money by choosing repairs over replacements, when you start to add up those repair costs, you might be surprised how much money you are wasting. Another thing to keep in mind is that investing in new equipment comes with a warranty, so any repairs required are free.
3. Problem with parts availability
The older your kitchen equipment, the more difficult it can become to find replacement parts. When this happens, it’s a clear sign your equipment is way past its best-before date! It can also lead to retrofit challenges with repair technicians being forced to try to find alternate parts to bring your equipment back to working order. This is not only costly, but also increases risks for things such as fire, electrical challenges, freon gas leaks, natural gas leaks, and more.
4. Poor performance
Your kitchen needs to be as efficient as possible to provide good service to your customers. When commercial kitchen equipment is old, it starts to fail in performance - unless it is completely refurbished. You can experience issues with consistent temperatures when cooking, find your food is partly frozen in older fridges that might have frost issues and experience challenges trying to complete the simplest of tasks. When your kitchen equipment begins to interfere with production efficiencies, it not only costs money but can also cost you customers.
5. Increased accidents
Things like leaky old commercial fridges and portable sinks or faulty ovens can lead to increased accidents in the kitchen. From slips and falls to electrical shocks, and from increased burns to cuts from rusty, jagged edges, your kitchen equipment can become a hazard that leads to more work-related injuries. Not only is this bad for morale, but it can also impact your insurance, which is another cost you don’t want to eat into your bottom line.
6. Staff frustration
If you find that your staff are constantly complaining about the condition of their work environment due to unsafe or unreliable equipment, you could find you have an employee churn issue. This is very costly, as you have to invest in recruitment and training every time someone leaves. An efficient kitchen with quality equipment helps keep staff happy and also makes them feel a little prouder of where they work. An old kitchen with faulty equipment makes it hard for cooks to serve quality food that shows off their skills and professionalism.
7. Decreased food quality
As a restaurant, your food quality is what keeps customers coming back. When you are serving less than fresh food from a faulty fridge, or food that is cooked inconsistently due to old ranges and ovens, you will slowly see your clientele decrease. You’ll also see less-than-impressed reviews that will keep new customers from trying your food. You might think that replacing equipment sounds expensive, but compared to a dead restaurant without customers, it really pales in comparison.
Advantages of New Commercial Kitchen Equipment
It makes sense to also look at the benefits of new kitchen equipment:
- Newer models offer features that enhance multi-functionality.
- ENERGY STAR® equipment reduces energy bills.
- You will see less food wastage.
- The quality of your food will improve.
- Staff will feel proud to cook in your kitchen, so you can reduce employee turnover.
- Accidents can be reduced.
- You save on repair costs, not to mention downtime due to broken equipment.
- Service improves thanks to improved kitchen efficiency.
- Increased overall staff morale.
All of these reasons make it a smart choice to replace old kitchen equipment that is wasting money and reducing the quality of the food you serve.
Disadvantages of Keeping Old Commercial Kitchen Equipment
Old equipment has many disadvantages, including:
- It costs increasingly more money for repairs.
- It increases risk for accidents.
- You’ll start to see higher employee turnover that costs more money for recruitment and training.
- Poor efficiency means higher energy bills.
- Downtime due to breakdowns costs money and interferes with customer service.
- Inconsistent performance interferes with the quality for both your food and service.
If your restaurant equipment is failing, now is the best time to consider replacement. If cost is holding you back, consider the option of investing in refurbished commercial fridges, freezers, and sinks. This is an affordable option that offers the same advantages of new commercial equipment.