Master-Bilt® Refrigeration News & Product Information
Buying New Refrigeration Equipment Vs. Used
Don’t Put That Used Cooler In Your Store – You Don’t Know Where It’s Been!
These days it’s tempting to cut operating costs anywhere possible. Sure, you can probably save a few bucks by purchasing used refrigeration equipment but keep in mind there are several potential snags.
Not that your used equipment provider isn’t trustworthy, but there could be issues that they don’t know about. Mold inside walk-in panels and mechanical issues with refrigeration systems are just a couple of nasty surprises that can arise. By purchasing new, you get the manufacturer’s full warranty and lower maintenance costs. And remember, new refrigeration equipment will be agency listed for proper sanitation while used equipment that may have been modified voids the sanitation listing. Other pitfalls with used equipment include parts availability (particularly with refrigeration systems) and lower energy efficiency.
Here are several more reasons to know when it’s time to buy new equipment…
Avoid Food Spoilage
Welcome to every foodservice operator’s nightmare. Your customers get sick and a food poisoning outbreak is traced back to your business. If food isn’t properly refrigerated, it can spoil and cause a multitude of troubles. Of course, sometimes it’s difficult to tell if food has spoiled. That’s why it’s so important to have new and dependable refrigeration. If a freezer or cooler isn’t holding temp and food isn’t properly cooling (even after servicing), you should seriously think about replacing it with a new one. Don’t let the nightmare become a reality!
Ideally, a solid door reach-in refrigerator should operate between 32 to 40°F while a freezer should stay in the -5 to 5°F range. Of course, temperature ranges will vary depending on equipment type and specific applications. It’s a good idea to check your equipment specs to make sure it’s in the proper range. If you don’t have the information or can’t find it online, contact the manufacturer.
Adapt To New Trends
In the last year, foodservice and retail operations adapted to the pandemic with a wide range of new delivery methods such as take-out, drive-thru, curbside service and ghost kitchens. Customer safety is always the highest concern and you want to be as touchless as possible. But remember, modifying your business plan sometimes requires making new equipment purchases.
Ghost kitchens, for example, are more flexible when it comes to layout as you don’t have to accommodate a dining area. With this versatility, you can add a much needed undercounter or chef base for additional refrigerated storage. If you want to add fresh sandwiches and salads to your menu, you may need a prep table and a reach-in for added storage.
If you’re expanding into take-out, you may need refrigerated storage to hold orders until they are picked up. A glass door merchandiser in the take-out area is also a good for last-minute sales of beverages or side items.
If you need to add refrigerated space in your current location and have a walk-in cooler or freezer, you may be able to expand what you currently have by purchasing additional panels. But make sure your refrigeration system’s condensing unit and evaporator coil can handle the extra load first. Your equipment dealer or the manufacturer can help evaluate your requirements.
Bypass Service Issues
Regularly scheduled maintenance appointments for refrigeration equipment is a great idea but if you’re calling a service tech every other week, that’s another potential sign you need new equipment. After a while, it’s just not worth it to keep patching up the old cooler and, since a used cooler is probably out of warranty, that’s not the best route, either. Plus, you do not want a service issue to lead to the aforementioned spoilage nightmare.
Reduce Energy Usage
If you were shocked by your last electrical bill (sorry, couldn’t resist!), you might think about upgrading to a more efficient model. With all the federal and state energy efficiency requirements that have come into being in the last few years, equipment is much more efficient than in the past. It’s best to go with new equipment so you’re sure it meets Department of Energy standards.
Even in difficult economic times, there are many reasons to invest in new equipment. Keeping your food safe, adapting to your customers’ needs and maintaining efficiency are all important to your bottom-line. Don’t risk it by going with used models. If you have questions, be sure to get assistance from your dealer or manufacturer. Knowledgeable staff can also make suggestions about equipment types or options to make your operation more efficient.