Sitting in a candlelit restaurant, crisp white linen on the table, hot, luscious meals served by charming waiters, stimulating conversation with good friends…. it’s hard to think about all the work and organization that it takes to get to that moment. However, those who are in the restaurant business know exactly what goes on behind the scenes: the staff, the food and, of course, the equipment. From refrigerators to grills, having the right equipment makes all the difference to running a successful business. Here’s a quick guide to sourcing and financing commercial restaurant equipment in Canada.
Before purchasing kitchen equipment research is paramount. Whether it’s casual conversations with colleagues, checking for on-line reviews, discussions with designers or staff, it’s important to understand what your needs are and what is the best piece of equipment is to meet those needs. Speak to trusted suppliers. Compare prices. Doing some legwork and homework will save money in the long run.
Don’t know where to start? There are two excellent sources in Canada. Restaurant Canada is a national, not-for-profit association representing Canada’s restaurant and foodservice industry. Their website is packed with information on everything from food safety to supply management. Their restaurant equipment buyer’s guide lists suppliers in every province.
Restobiz, which bills itself as the « official website of the Canadian restaurant and foodservice news” is also a terrific source of information. Recent articles include « The Latest Trends in Refrigerator Equipment” and « What’s Cooking with New Barbecue, Smoking and Rotisserie Equipment.”
Once the equipment has been sourced, there’s the matter of how to pay for it. The price of top equipment can be daunting. However, for obvious reasons, scrimping on inferior or second hand equipment is not advised. Fortunately, there are some good financing solutions. Leasing restaurant equipment is one option. A financial institution that specializes in restaurant financing can buy the requested equipment from multiple vendors and lease it under one agreement. The terms of the agreement are based on the amount of the equipment, the length of the lease and how long the restaurant has been established. The benefits of leasing can be: very low affordable rates, small up-front costs and the option to buy the equipment outright when the lease expires.
Renting equipment can also be a good choice, particularly if the client is unsure if the appliance is exactly the right piece and wants to try it out. While rates can be higher for renting, shorter terms allow the client to return or buy the equipment at the end of the contract. If renting or leasing doesn’t sound like the perfect solution, a preapproved line of credit can allow for ease of choosing and buying equipment on the spot. A good financial institution, especially one with experience financing commercial restaurant equipment in Canada, should be able to discuss all options and put together the right package, with one great solution or a combination of all three.