Commerical equipment new vs used


New member
Mar 26, 2007
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Hi there~

I''m looking for advice on commercial equipment. I''m just starting out and need everything, espresso machine, ice machine, refrigeration, probably a dishwasher, etc etc. Any advice on what one really must buy new and what is OK to buy used?

I''ve got lots of experience, as does my husband who will be my parter - his MUST is a new ice machine, of all things, he had lots of trouble with his breaking down etc...anyone have any similar stories? Can I buy used refrigeration that will last me? I''m looking at a used Rancillio epoca, and think I can get a good deal. Those machines are built to last and with good maintenance I think I''ll be alright...right?

For mission critical pieces, like brewers and espresso machine, if they are down the repair bill is going to be high, and you can't serve customers, so you should go with new one. For your secondary pieces, if you want to take a chance, go ahead. I mean if your dishwasher or ice machine break, you can get ice from your neighborhood bars and your husband can do the dishes :grin: .
It really depends on where you buy it from used. If you pick it up from a equipment distributor with a service center then it could be a good buy as long as it has been refurbished.

Otherwise buy new. Besides the Epoca is Rancilio's starter machine. It's cheap enough to buy new. The list is $5400 and you can probably pick it off the net for around $4000.

Espresso Machine - center of your operation, take no chances unles you have personally rebuilt a few machines on your own. Make sure you have 24/7 local maintenance. Don't be cheap, you'll regret it.

Ice Maker, Fridge, Freezer - VERY important equipment, and make certain you have a good warranty on the compressor. Highly recommend Hoshizaki ice machine.

Everything else - or - use your best judgement.

Hoshizaki is a very good brand of ice machine, and it is very expensive. Most of the internal parts of Hoshizaki are metal as opposed to plastic as with other brands. I work for a high volume family restaurant, and we have a Hoshizaki that is pushing 17 years old. In the past two years, we have spent $$$ on repair bills and we will be replacing it very soon. I have worked for other chains in the past that used Manitowac and Scotsman, that have also lasted a long time. All three brands are very dependable, it all depends on your start up capital.

In my opinion, there is only one name in dish machines - Hobart. You really need to look at your needs though, because dish machines are very expensive and need to be serviced frequently. Every restaurant I worked in that owned dish machines, serviced them every two weeks. If you plan on doing less than $10,000 per week in dine-in sales, a machine will cost you more than it's worth.

Reach-in coolers, I would recommend three brands. Beverage-air, True and Delfield.
Well if you have hard water, make sure you can lease your dishwasher. Hard water just tears them and they will need service all the time.

Buying one may be cheaper in the short run, but in the long run it will kill your business.

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