If you are the owner of a restaurant then you will likely want to lower your business costs wherever possible. As such, buying a brand new refrigerator may not be the most economical choice, as a new refrigerator can cost several thousand dollars, which may lead to insurmountable debt, particularly if you are a start-up business.
The good news is opting for a used commercial refrigerator may be a feasible alternative, as a bit of research may help you obtain a quality appliance at an affordable price. However, in order to obtain the best used commercial refrigerator for your hard-earned dollars, you need to look for a refrigerator that is being sold for reasons that go beyond mere functionality.
What to Look for When Buying a Used Refrigerator
A commercial refrigerator is intended to house a myriad of different food items and beverages, and is a very large appliance when compared to a conventional refrigerator. Furthermore, there are many companies on the market that sell used commercial refrigerators, which is a big plus if you are planning on opening a new restaurant. Below, are a few things that you should prioritize when shopping around for a used commercial refrigerator.
Space for Your Refrigerator
First and foremost you will need to measure the amount of space that you have available to place the appliance. Before you begin looking for a used commercial fridge you should carefully measure the depth, width, and length of the space where your used commercial refrigerator will be set.
Also, please remember that you usually cannot return a used refrigerator, so you need to be especially careful when measuring the area. The general rule of thumb is that there should be a 1-inch clearance on the apex as well as on each side in order for the appliance to be fully operational.
The price range will also fluctuate greatly, depending on the size, age, condition, model, and make of the used commercial refrigerator. Set a realistic budget range and only shop for refrigerators that fit within it.
For example, you may be able to obtain a decades-old appliance that is beige in colour for as low as $80, whereas a stainless steel refrigerator that is only 6 months old may cost $800 or more.
Type of Commercial Refrigerator
It should also be noted that there is a wide array of commercial refrigerators to choose from, including blast coolers that are manufactured in order to cool foods at an accelerated rate, and bakery display cases that serve as showcase appliances.
The specific needs of your restaurant will determine which cooling system you will need in order to store your food. For instance, if you only need a small unit in order to house your inventory then a reach-in unit may suffice. However, if you need a unit that will freeze your packed foods and meats, as well as another section in order to keep a copious supply of food cold, then you may need a walk-in unit instead.
Age of the Used Refrigerator
In an ideal scenario opting for a brand new commercial refrigerator would be best. This is because as commercial refrigerators age, they will undergo fluctuating bursts of energy use, and their marked cooling capabilities will also take a hit.
Reliable service should be a top priority, and the best way to help ensure that you obtain reliable service is to search for a unit with minimum mileage. In other words, try and only search for used commercial refrigerators that have only been used for a brief period of time and that have only been on the market for a few years at most.
Condition of the Used Refrigerator
Arguably one of the biggest issues or challenges that you will come across while looking for a used commercial refrigerator is trying to find one that’s in optimal condition. Fortunately, there are some key areas that you can quickly focus on before deciding if the unit is right for you.
For example, the freezer doors and the refrigerator itself should have a correct seal. If the door has not been sealed correctly then it will leak air, which will lead to wasted energy that will cause your utility bill to skyrocket.
If you want to test the device for air leakage issues then you can place a piece of paper inside the unit and then close the door or one of its doors on it. Then, try and pull the piece out in order to test its resistance.
If you feel little to no resistance then there may be an issue with the hinges, which will need to be adjusted accordingly. Or, the culprit may be a subpar gasket around the perimeter of the door.
In sum, look for cracks, chips, or tears in and around the used commercial refrigerator, as such conditional flaws are a telltale sign of poor sealing, which may cause your energy bill to spike.
Used Commercial Refrigerators Are a Good Investment
One of the biggest advantages of opting for a used model over a new model is that you will save quite a bit of cash; cash which can be put towards launching your new restaurant with minimal obstacles along the way.
You usually get what you pay for when it comes to restaurant appliances, and the unit will need to meet all of the aforementioned criteria in order to meet all of your business needs without compromise.
Fortunately, most commercial refrigerators should fit the bill nicely, as many used refrigerators are no more than one or two years old when buying from a reputable retailer or supplier. Most have also not been used for very long, so you will likely not have to worry about excess mileage being an issue when shopping around for a quality used commercial refrigerator in your area.