Your food truck is the foundation of your business, and your kitchen is the heart of your food truck. What I mean by that is this: do NOT cheap out on commercial kitchen equipment. You might be able to save a few bucks right now, but the long term impact of underperforming kitchen equipment will cost your business big time.
Purchasing commercial kitchen equipment is not something you should take lightly. Here are five common mistakes to avoid when looking for new commercial kitchen equipment.
1. Poor Research
Many food entrepreneurs fail to do adequate research on two things. These are their requirements as a business and how well a piece of equipment fits into these requirements.
For example, cook-and-hold ovens may be common with a lot of other food truck businesses out there. However, is it a sufficient choice if you offer smoked-meat recipes?
Smoker ovens are best here but without adequate research on what you need, you may go for the best cook-and-hold oven in the world — a rather poor move for your food business.
When you go for commercial kitchen equipment, you always want to look into its functionality, capacity to hold food, size, energy usage, and maintenance cost. You compare these to how well the equipment fits into your truck and business model.
2. Neglect Energy Efficiency
Energy bills are the dread of many business owners out there and, for a commercial kitchen outlet, you just can’t boycott them. The mistake you need to avoid here is buying a piece of equipment that doesn’t help you reduce these unavoidable utility bills.
Our tip? Energy efficiency should be at the top of your list. For instance, rather than buying regular ice makers, you look for Energy Star-rated ice makers. These efficient ice makers have proven to reduce energy usage by 1,200kWh yearly, saving you an average of 20% on energy costs.
3. Disregarding Warranties
For a food business that expects to make sales day in and day out, you should always expect the wear and tear of equipment. Thankfully, warranties exist to reduce your financial burdens here.
However, while some food truck owners don’t take advantage of the terms of these warranties, others fail to renew warranties for longer coverage. You shouldn’t belong to any of these groups.
Make sure you always utilize warranties to reduce your costs on regular inspection, maintenance, and repairs.
4. Failing to Inspect Equipment When Delivered
Your manufacturer or supplier could be the most reliable plug in the market. Nonetheless, you can’t rule out issues with equipment sold to you. Who knows, it could’ve suffered some damage while in transit.
A failure to inspect equipment and make reports on issues as soon as possible can deal a huge blow to your warranty claims. For instance, you may be offered only discounts on repairs when you could’ve had the whole equipment replaced. Sometimes, you even have to bear the whole cost alone. Always inspect every bit of functionality your commercial kitchen equipment claims to offer.
5. Putting Pricing Over Quality
When you opt for cheap equipment over high-quality equipment, you risk spending more on equipment maintenance and repair, or even having to replace the equipment earlier than expected. These amount to costs that aren’t so cheap in the long run.
Yes, you have to consider your budget, but taking that extra cash out for better-grade equipment is always the better choice.
Purchasing Your Equipment The Right Way
Your commercial kitchen equipment is at the heart of your food truck business, defining the line between success and failure. For the best results, always compare your budget, available food truck space, menu options, energy usage, and quality requirements with what every shortlisted piece of equipment can offer.
If you are having problems with this assessment process, Legion Food Trucks experts are definitely here to help. Contact us today for appropriate guidance on the best equipment for your food truck.