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4 Things to Know About Buying Used Equipment for Your Restaurant Business Needs

Whether you need to purchase heavy machinery, office printers and copiers, one or more company vehicles, or cooking equipment for a new restaurant, new business equipment doesn’t come cheap. However, as Holt of California points out, purchasing your equipment used can help to keep business costs down without skimping on quality or performance. Plus, you’ll receive your business equipment immediately, avoid depreciation costs, and spend less on insurance. Read on for some tips on purchasing used equipment for your restaurant.

1. Purchase from Other Businesses

If you’re looking to purchase your business equipment used instead of new, you could start by searching online for going-out-of-business sales, auctions, and repossessions in your area. You can also use websites like and to search for closeouts and going-out-of-business sales near you, or you could check OfferUp and your local newspaper. Before purchasing used equipment for your business, however, it’s important to examine the equipment thoroughly and ensure that it contains all the features you want and need. You also need to make sure you get a contract that establishes the payment amount and schedule as well as any agreed-upon warranty period. Depending on the deal you make, your contract could be extensive. To ensure both parties have a copy of the signed and completed contract, it may be necessary to compress the PDF file where your contract lives so you can easily email it back and forth. Here’s a solution for compressing large PDF files.


You can also purchase used equipment from abroad. Mexico, for instance, offers a fast-growing market in heavy equipment, notes the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. For safely sending a timely payment, look into money transfer services that are not only secure but are affordable and guarantee a date and time for the transfer of funds.

2. Consider Financing or Leasing Options

As an alternative to purchasing used equipment from another local business, you could lease your equipment or see if you qualify for an equipment loan. Leasing your business equipment requires fewer upfront costs than buying — but you’ll typically spend more over time. Additionally, you may be responsible for replacement costs in the event of an accident or other damages. 


To assist you in buying instead of leasing, equipment financing may be a better option in some cases. To qualify for an equipment loan, you’ll typically need to meet credit and revenue requirements, and your restaurant must have been in operation for a minimum period of time. Several types of equipment loans for businesses are available through Currency, OnDeck, Credibility Capital, and SmartBiz. With Currency equipment financing, for instance, you need a minimum credit score of 585 and your business must earn at least $75,000 per year. 


Having your business filed as an LLC can provide vital protection from business debts related to equipment. LLCs are a form of legal structure that helps to separate your personal finances from the funds of your business, giving you added security in case of any financial issues or disputes. When running a business, starting an LLC can greatly reduce the possibility of being held liable for equipment-related debts, providing security and peace of mind as you continue to run your business. Filing as an LLC is simple and will give you the security and peace of mind you need when dealing with business liabilities in the future.

3. Perform Regular Maintenance

Even if your used business equipment is in optimal condition when you purchase it, you’ll need to maintain it to keep the equipment in good working order. While recommended maintenance varies widely by equipment type, these tips will keep your equipment in good working order for years to come:

  • Train employees and provide operator manuals to all equipment users

  • Create a maintenance schedule and keep records of all inspections and repairs

  • Check the equipment for signs of wear and tear, and make timely repairs or replacements when needed

  • Store business equipment indoors to keep it clean and reduce weather-related damage

  • Bring in a freelance electrical engineer to routinely test your equipment


Hiring a contract electrical engineer is a good idea before actually purchasing the equipment as well. This is an affordable “test run” that may save you money later, when untested equipment may break down due to poor design or faulty wiring. When it comes to managing your team of contractors, consider using a robust ERP system that integrates powerful tools like payroll and inventory management. This can be a more cost-effective solution than a traditional ERP system, and because everything is integrated, you can also reduce the time it takes to train your staff to use the system.

4. Shield Your Equipment from Harm

In addition to performing regular maintenance on your used business equipment, durable paneling can help to shield your investment from harsh cleaning products, inclement weather, hazardous chemicals, and daily wear and tear. Available in materials like stainless steel, aluminum, polyester, and several others, these durable panels can help to protect just about any type of business equipment. However, some of the more common uses are for food processing, audio/video, and aerospace equipment. 


Whether you trade goods with other countries, manufacture pharmaceuticals, or own and operate a restaurant, your business will likely need to invest in one or more pieces of equipment in order to succeed as a company. While buying pre-owned business equipment can help to keep purchase costs down, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of buying used versus new. Used business equipment typically costs a whole lot less, but the difference in price will depend on the equipment’s condition and quality. 


Moreover, you’ll typically receive your used business equipment much more quickly than you would if you were buying new and you’ll avoid depreciation costs. If you’re buying used but still struggling to pay for your equipment, however, leasing and financing options will be available to you as long as you meet credit, revenue, and business history requirements.

Become a member of the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce and take advantage of all the resources we have to offer your business!