Guide to Buying Used Restaurant Equipment: Insights from a Chicago Used Restaurant Equipment Company

May 24th, 2020

Stainless steel cooking equipment at a restaurant in Chicago, IllinoisStarting a new restaurant is an expensive and daunting challenge. You’ve done your business planning, picked a location, set a menu, and decided on your operating hours…but what’s next?

The next step is to design the interior of your restaurant and determine what should go in the kitchen. For the furniture and décor, you’ll want to set a budget and ensure that it provides an ambiance that is comfortable and cohesive with your customers.

As for the kitchen, it’s important to pick the right equipment based on your restaurant’s needs, which could either be purchased new or used. Since buying brand-new equipment can result in huge up-front costs, it’s often best to purchase used equipment for the kitchen.

In this post, we’ll answer a few questions that will help you purchase used restaurant equipment in Chicago:

How to determine your restaurant’s needs?

When you’re considering all of the equipment that your restaurant’s kitchen will need, it’s important that you plan wisely.

It is often recommended that you involve your head chef in the decision-making process. You can create a spreadsheet and start writing down every piece of equipment that would be needed in the kitchen. A good way to do this would be to work through your menu to ascertain which equipment you would need to cook each dish.

Similarly, you can work your way to the dining area, writing down everything from starter plates, to utensils, to dessert bowls, to drinking glasses, and more.

Finally, sort the list further into “nice-to-haves” and “must-haves”. By following this process, you can ensure that you start by purchasing only what you truly need.

What type of equipment to buy — new or used?

The advantage of buying new restaurant equipment is that it often comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, so you can rest assured that you won’t end up paying for expensive repairs.

When it comes to used restaurant equipment, in some cases, warranties may still apply if the equipment has only been used for a very short period of time. Since start-up costs can compound easily, it is often a good idea to purchase used restaurant equipment — as long as you get it from a reputable seller.

What about financing?

If you do not have the upfront cash to purchase equipment for your restaurant, you sometimes have the option to lease the equipment. Some of the advantages of leasing the equipment include:

  • No upfront costs
  • Saves working capital
  • Easy to upgrade the equipment
  • No repair costs (since it is covered by the leasing company)
  • Option of lease-to-own

Where can you buy used restaurant equipment in Chicago?

Buying used restaurant equipment does require a little bit of research to ensure that your purchase will be worth the money you are paying. Some of the places where you can buy used restaurant equipment include:

  • Used restaurant supply stores
  • Auctions
  • Going out of business sales
  • Discounted/Damaged equipment
  • Garage sales
  • Storage/Locker auctions

Are You Looking for Used Restaurant Equipment in Chicago, Illinois?

If you’re on the lookout for used restaurant equipment, and if you need it in the Chicago area, we here at March Quality are the people to see.

For over 30 years, March Quality has provided a place for restaurants to sell equipment, while at the same time, offering a viable secondary market for those entering the restaurant business.

We purchase used equipment and refurbish it until it’s like new, allowing us to sell it for a fraction of the price of new equipment.

Contact us today to discuss your restaurant’s needs!

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