Outfitting Restaurants For Less

Outfitting Restaurants For Less


Back of House equipment is one of the most expensive aspects of opening a new restaurant location. It also doesn't help that equipment financing is wildly expensive. To save money on your new unit rollouts, working with a Food Service Equipment Company and Food Service Designer who can specify Value Engineered kitchen options can help you continue to grow your brand.

Value Engineering (VE) sounds like a euphemism for “buying cheap stuff”. Sometimes this comparison is accurate but, with an expert Food Service Designer on your team, restaurant chains often find that they can spend significantly less for foodservice equipment that perfectly meets performance and production needs, has a long life span, and comes with all of the recipe and service support they need. 

How do you know if your restaurant chain could benefit from VE fryers, hoods, reach-ins and more? See how many “YES” answers you have to the following questions. If one or more of the below hit home you should ask a new Food Service Equipment Company to price out alternative choices for your upcoming kitchens:

Have you considered new manufacturers for equipment in the last three years?

COVID threw the foodservice equipment manufacturing world for a loop. Lead time issues and rampant price increases helped many operators discover cutting-edge U.S.-based and imported oven, griddle and walk-in manufacturers that could match the quality and performance of legacy brands. While lead times have come down throughout the industry, many of the lesser-known brands that made a financial windfall during the pandemic years invested their new-found resources in technological upgrades and streamlining processes.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you should ditch great well-known manufacturers such as Southbend, True or Hobart. Many of the mainstay equipment workhorses in the foodservice landscape have introduced discount and incentive programs in response to increased competition.

For the restaurateur and franchisee, this means that it’s important to shop for alternatives before sinking more money than needed into the equipment packages for new units.

Are you being told that equipment costs are rising?

In short, this isn’t happening. Although we don’t know what the future holds, prices for kitchen equipment have largely not increased in the last 18 months.

Production costs are rising but the price tag isn’t. Increasing raw material costs - copper, stainless steel, rare-earth minerals -  are largely being absorbed by manufacturers. In turn, rising labor costs are being off-set by internal efficiency improvements, better uses of technology and simply the need for kitchen equipment producers to rebuild stock. As manufacturers have begun to reach pre-pandemic stocking levels, many have offered shipping and bottom-line discounts.

Although Summer, 2024 may be an expensive season for general construction, it’s a great time to work with a Food Service Equipment Company. Expert Foodservice Designers can offer alternatives that will free up cash to combat foodservice inflation for your restaurant chain.

Have your operating processes changed since you last considered new equipment?

It’s not just menu changes that drive the need for restaurants to consider the purchase of new lines of equipment. Lockdowns, remote-work and technology changes probably affected your restaurant chain just as much if not more than manufacturers. If your foodservice concept has glorified bookshelves holding to-go orders in the dining room or soup pots masquerading as  sous vide stations in the kitchen, a new equipment line up could improve your customer experience and significantly lengthen the life of the food you serve. 

All manufacturers are offering product line-ups reflecting the new reality of foodservice. Creative and thoughtful Foodservice Designers will be able to offer both Mainline and VE equipment packages that can reduce waste, improve ticket-times and lower overall costs.

Take a bite out of rising costs and keep your menu prices down by exploring Value Engineered foodservice equipment options as you continue to grow your restaurant brand.