As you get ready to open a new restaurant, something to consider is whether or not to lease some of the commercial kitchens. While you probably wouldn’t consider leasing a stove or a dishwasher for your home kitchen, leasing for a commercial kitchen often makes the most sense. When outfitting a new restaurant kitchen, it is important to remember the appliances you choose will get a lot more wear and tear than those of an average home kitchen. Factoring the cost of repairs and the time it takes to fix something, it is sometimes better to lease equipment rather than buying it. Leasing can save you a lot of start-up money and come with better/longer warranties than the pieces of equipment you buy outright.
Benefits of Leasing
- Saves Money. Leasing large commercial equipment, like a commercial grade dishwasher, will help you save your start-up cash for other areas. Instead of paying three thousand dollars for a dishwasher, you could use that money toward your first food order, or your first payroll or your marketing budget. Read more about getting ready to open a new restaurant.
- Some Leased Equipment is Free. A leased piece of equipment may be free (as in no monthly lease fee) if you are already buying the companies product, such as dishwashing chemicals or coffeemakers.
- No Paying for Repairs. If the equipment breaks, you don’t have to spring for repairs.
- Easier to Upgrade. When the lease on your commercial restaurant equipment is up, you can get a new model if you choose to renew.
Some Commercial Equipment Is Better for a Lease Than Others
Certain pieces of restaurant equipment are better suited to leasing, because of their short lifespan and wouldn’t be worth the investment to buy new. These items include:
- Ice Machines
Other items that are ideal for a lease include table linens, cooks uniforms, floor mats, and dishrags. These items get dirty, really fast in a busy restaurant and outsourcing their maintenance to another company may be cheaper than paying your staff to clean them.
What to Know Before You Lease Restaurant Equipment
Of course, with any lease, you don’t own the equipment, and you will have a weekly or monthly bill. You will also need to sign a contract, which you should review (or have your lawyer review) very carefully, to ensure you understand it and agree to the terms. If your restaurant closes before the lease is up, you may be responsible for the rest of the payments for the term of the lease.
The layout of your kitchen will also be important in deciding what kinds of equipment you will need. Restaurant kitchens are often crammed into small spaces, and it is essential to make every square inch count. You may have dreams of large reach-in coolers, spacious range with grill and long line to plate food, but the reality may be something much smaller.