It does not matter if you are launching your first pop-up restaurant or if you are a seasoned professional in the catering industry; any venture is exciting. However, in all the rush and excitement of branding and launching, sometimes you can forget about the basics of getting a catering operation up and running—things like sourcing a reliable ingredients supplier, investing in a good website or even more commonly, getting the right catering equipment in place for your staff. While it is true that a bad workman blames his tools, investing in professional, high-quality equipment, like the Unox XEVC-2011-EPR, is a must for creating delicious food that will keep your guests coming back time after time. Professional equipment is also essential to making sure that your staff are able to maintain the highest standards of hygiene.
Of course, the downside is that professional equipment comes with a higher investment cost, both in time and money, than calling around your friends and family and finding out who has a spare oven you can use. However, it does not actually have to be that expensive. It is easy for creative types to get caught up in the glamour of shiny new equipment and overspend. So, the real question is, how do you balance high-quality equipment without breaking the bank? Well, here are three considerations to get you going.
What do you need and what do you want?
If you flick through any industrial equipment brochure, you will be amazed at all the different types of equipment and gadgets you can buy. However, you need to put all of this into perspective and only buy the things you really need, not the things you want. There would not be much point in an evening-only, fine-dining restaurant buying a waffle iron for guests to use, for example. Think about the type of catering venture you are launching, and work with the chefs who are preparing your menu to establish the equipment you really need.
Cost vs. quality
This is always going to be a tricky consideration. One way to identify whether you should be investing more into more expensive equipment is to look online for average life span and use time of the both the cheaper and more expensive equipment, and work out how many times you would have to replace it or repair it in five years. You might find that the cheaper equipment could end up costing you more over the five years. To mitigate the initial costs, you could look for a supplier who can offer 0% financing arrangements.
Warranties and the long term
With all the different covers and shifts that your restaurant will be doing, you need to prepare for the possibility that something could go wrong at a peak time on a Saturday night. To help work around these situations, you should look for a supplier who will offer you a long (two years at least) warranty and who offers a call-out service to get equipment back up and running as soon as possible.