One area where you can save money when setting up a new bakery is by buying used kitchen and baking equipment.
While it is nice to have everything brand new just like the business, if you’re working on a tight budget and need to find somewhere to lower the capital needed to start up, you could definitely get by with some pre-owned stuff.
Mix of New & Used
It doesn’t have to be absolutely every single item. Just zoom in on the costly big ticket ones (such as the ovens) where it may be worth saving a few hundred or a couple of thousand dollars here and there.
For example, it may not make much of a difference to your staff and customers if your main oven has been used before. As long as the one you’re buying has been well maintained, and may have been properly refurbished, it should be as good as new.
The only thing you should beware of is what to do if it breaks down, especially if the warranty period is over already. Who can do the repairs, is it quick to get replacement parts, how long will it take to fix and what will you do in the meantime while it’s down?
Obviously, a totally new oven can break down as well, and you could end up in the same fix, so do your contingency planning thoroughly either way.
It’s not necessary to try and save on the smaller items such as the utensils and other bits and pieces in the kitchen. Just focus on the equipment and furniture that may cost quite a bit.
Weigh Up the Pros & Cons
And when you’re making your purchase, use your common sense to pick the ones that offer the best value. In some cases, the savings may not be much and it may make more sense to buy new and have peace of mind with the warranty.
But sometimes, there will be fantastic deals when you can buy items that have hardly ever been used for a fraction of the price. It all depends on your luck and resourcefulness in hunting for the best deals.
You definitely need to shop around and do your homework when buying used bakery equipment. Above all, you should know what items you need and stick to them.
All too often, inexperienced bakery owners try to save money by shopping in a used equipment store but end up overspending by purchasing all sorts of things they don’t need.