How to Lease Restaurant Equipment

Stocking a restaurant kitchen can be expensive.
••• Rhys Ludlow via Pixabay

How a Restaurant Equipment Lease Works

Certain pieces of commercial restaurant equipment are better suited for leasing than buying outright. Items such as commercial dishwashers, coffee makers, and ice makers are all ideal for leasing rather than buying new. A major benefit of leased equipment is that it can save a significant chunk of change when opening a new restaurant. Here are the basic steps to leasing commercial restaurant equipment.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 1-4 weeks, depending on lease company

Here's How:

  1. Shop around for quotes on restaurant equipment leases.
    1. You may be surprised at the number of companies who deal with restaurant equipment leasing. Along with the monthly fee, find out what services the lease provides. How often will the company service/clean the equipment. Will they deliver it and set it up (usually most companies will do this).
  2. Compare leasing and buying new and used equipment.
    1. These are the three main options you have when buying equipment for a new restaurant. Tally the total for the lease over the price of a new piece of equipment. You may pay a heck of a lot more for a lease than if you bought the piece new. And of course buying used restaurant equipmentis usually the cheapest route. However, you need to take in account that used equipment doesn’t usually come with a warranty and you may end up paying more for maintenance in the long run.
  3. Read the fine print of any restaurant equipment lease.
    1. Find out how long the lease is for and what happens if you need to terminate it early. A majority of restaurants fail within three years, so signing a five year lease on a dishwashing machine may not be the best idea.
  4. Be prepared for a credit check.
    1. Leasing commercial restaurant equipment requires the same credit checks as leasing a new car or applying for a loan from a bank. If your credit is less than perfect (which seem like just about everybody these days) you may not be approved for a lease or may have to pay a higher interest rate.


  1. Some companies, such as coffee distributors, will let you lease a coffee maker for free, so long as you buy their products. The same is true of beverage distributors. They will give you a cooler or freezer, as long as you make them your primary supplier.