The Foodservice Equipment Association has issued guidance to operators regarding the purchase of secondhand equipment.
FEA recommends any business looking to buy secondhand equipment to only do so if the vendor provides a warranty, or extended warranty, to avoid the problems of buying a dud and the further expenses faulty equipment can cause.
As a rule, the absolute minimum this warranty should be is three months, according to the FEA.
“The logic here is simple; if the seller won’t support the equipment, then you will have to,” said the association. “Any savings made by purchasing cheaper equipment could be negated by the repair costs required to keep it going. Vital spare parts might be in short supply and difficult to source, and may not even be available at all.”
It also advised operators considering buying secondhand equipment to check that there is a ready supply of OEM parts still available should they be required. Without this, keeping the equipment operating to its original specification will be more difficult and, in the case of thermostats on fryers for example, could even be a safety issue.
“While the lure of a bargain can be tough to ignore, you should always look at the material problems that could occur once you’ve made the purchase, with running costs and ease of repair being the two major ones,” the association added. “Not being offered a warranty is a great early warning that the bargain you’re being presented with might not be the great deal you want it to be.”
The secondhand catering equipment was forecast to be worth £250m in the coming years prior to lockdown, but with an abundance of surplus kit making its way to the market as restaurants streamline their businesses and operators looking for more affordable solutions it is anticipated that sales will reach that figure quicker than expected.