A lot of restaurant owners have faced this same difficult decision should you repair your old kitchen appliances, or is it better value just to upgrade or replace the fittings entirely? This is especially true for older restaurants that have operated for a long period of time without an overhaul. As a result of the daily usage, equipment gets damaged and worn out over time. It is crucial to know when to go for repairs and when to just buy completely new equipment.

When is it time to repair?

Commercial equipment can be repaired if there are small malfunctions. Kitchen equipment suppliers often include repairs and maintenance in their service packages. Restaurants can make use of these services and repair equipment packages as and when needed.

Repairs are also a good choice when a single piece of equipment is damaged rather than a number of products being damaged in a short period of time. A single malfunctioning piece is manageable as chefs can work around it. For example, if one of the refrigerators is not working properly you can still run your kitchen. But it is not viable when multiple refrigerators or the primary freezer goes down.

As long as the warranty is in place, repairs are still a good option as the equipment may not be that old and it is certain to be cheaper than buying new equipment.

When is it time to upgrade?

Upgrading restaurant equipment is inevitable over time. Whether it is to replace old equipment or get the latest equipment possible, updating is a good option. One of the biggest indicators that it is time to upgrade is when there is a constant and frustrating need for repairs. Constant repairs over long periods of time are going to hurt your pocket, frustrate your staff and hamper your operations. In this situation, it is usually better to just upgrade and replace the faulty units outright.

Updating also makes sense when the old equipment begins to lose effectiveness. New equipment is likely to be more efficient and save more time and energy, compared to older pieces that were barely surviving. Griddles and refrigerators are a good example of this as they start becoming inefficient over time, leading to suboptimal temperatures, improperly cooked food or prematurely spoiled produce.

Newer products can also mean newer features. These days, many equipment providers have found ways to merge functions of multiple units into one. Restaurant owners, when presented the opportunity, should carefully consider upgrading as it can save them money and make life easier for their chefs. Units that have combined functions also save space and make room for other functions or increase the effective service capacity of your kitchen.

It will often be clear when it is time to upgrade the equipment in your commercial kitchen. Ideally, equipment that is more than 10 years old almost certainly needs to be replaced. Some equipment cannot be easily repaired – griddles, ice makers and the washers are all good examples of this. They are absolutely crucial for day to day functioning and need to maintained constantly and replaced more often than the other appliances.