My Foodservice News (Independent Restauranteur)
The Golden Rules of Restaurant Equipment
Contact Press RelationsDavid Kelly, Marketing Director
Walk into a restaurant equipment store and it's easy to get the buying fever. But before you spend, consider putting together a well thought out plan - a plan that. includes a careful analysis of what your needs are and how the equipment you buy is going to fulfill them.
John Eberhart, manager of the Restaurant Equippers Warehouse store in Southfield, Michigan counsels his customers to always keep in mind what he calls the "Golden Rules" of buying equipment for your foodservice operation. "It's easy to rush ahead and buy the newest piece of equipment we offer, but will that really answer your needs?" Eberhart asks. With that notion in mind, Eberhart has a few suggestions.
First, he says to ask yourself if the piece of equipment you are considering will help better serve your customers. It will if it can do the following: Increase the quality of the food you serve, expedite your food production, increase overall productivity, and increase the food safety standards of your operation.
Next, Eberhart suggests that the buyer determine if the piece of equipment in question will help employees do their jobs more effectively, which in turn will allow them to serve the customers more effectively as well. "You need to look at whether the equipment provides the tools for your employees to do their job safely and make their job more enjoyable," Eberhart explains. "If you have a piece of equipment that is a pain to clean, or even too difficult to operate easily it certainly isn't worth the investment."
In most cases the equipment that is easiest to use is often the best purchase. Add-ons and fancy bells and whistles may look attractive at first, but if they don't add to the overall operationor to the product the customer receives, then are they really worth it? Keep in mind, high tech extras are also just one more thing to have to repair.
You should also consider the flexibility of the equipment. The restaurant business is always changing and the most successful players are those who can adapt. The equipment you purchase today needs to have the flexibility to meet future challenges.
The overall reliability is of major importance as well. "The bottom line is your equipment has to deliver when it counts," Eberhart explains. "If the equipment is of a high quality and easy to use but can't reliably withstand your crunch time then it is not your answer." That's where adequate research comes into play, another one of Eberhart's Golden Rules. He recommends each customer do sufficient research on the equipment to make sure they are getting the best value available. It is that value that can then be passed on to the customer. "The least expensive equipment is always attractive, especially if it can get the job done fast. But faster should not be the only goal," Eberhart cautions. "Consider the quality of the output as well."
Finally, Eberhart encourages customers to take the time to build relationships with their suppliers. "Even if you buy everything just right the first time around, as your operation grows, your equipment needs will too. If you develop a good relationship with your supplier at the onset, the process down the road will be less painful with far better results.”