Buying Used Restaurant Equipment

Buying Used Restaurant Equipment

New restaurant equipment can be costly if you are starting a restaurant or are on a budget and need to make a replacement. However, often you can find quality used or refurbished commercial kitchen equipment for a fraction of the cost of new equipment.  Before you decide to purchase used restaurant equipment over new restaurant equipment, do your homework to determine if new or used equipment is best for your needs.


With the high failure rate of restaurants in this tough economy, there is a variety of used restaurant equipment available.  Some of the most common types of used restaurant equipment include:

  • Beverage and bar equipment – blenders, juicers, ice machines 
  • Cooking equipment – ranges, grills, griddles, ovens, fryers
  • Dishwashers – commercial dishwashers, glass washers, dryers, sanitizers
  • Food preparation equipment – slicers, food processors, mixers, grinders, bakery, pizza equipment
  • Refrigeration and ice machines – commercial refrigerators, commercial freezers, commercial ice machines,
  • Restaurant furniture and displays –chairs, tables, bars, serving counters, displays
  • Stainless steel restaurant equipment



Used restaurant equipment is often sold as-is, without a warranty so you could be in for a financial headache if you do not thoroughly check it out before purchasing it.  However, if you follow these simple tips, chances are you’ll be more satisfied with the performance of the used restaurant equipment you’ve purchased.

  • Examine the equipment. Conduct or ask for a thorough evaluation of the equipment. Test it if you can. Look for any signs of wear or damage.  If it is old or damaged you could be better off buying new.
  • Look for warrantees. Some restaurant equipment may still have the original manufactures warrantee or if it is refurbished, the refurbisher or restaurant equipment dealer may offer a warrantee.
  • Look for brands known for quality. A recognized brand with a proven record of durability in the long run will save you money.  Plus, if it does need repairs chances are parts and service will be more readily available.
  • Ask for a service record. If a piece of used equipment had been serviced regularly and is well maintained it will last longer.
  • Reputation. Find out the reputation and legitimacy of the restaurant equipment dealer selling you the used kitchen equipment.  Talk with others who have bought used equipment from them in the past to make sure they are reputable and deliver quality products with integrity.
  • Installation and service. Many companies that sell restaurant supplies and restaurant equipment also have an installation and service department. This can be extremely helpful, especially when purchasing large commercial kitchen equipment.



  • Companies selling restaurant supplies. Many companies selling restaurant supplies, commercial kitchen equipment or even restaurant design services also offer used restaurant equipment. If they do not, chances are they have the industry connections to recommend a reputable dealer.
  • Used restaurant equipment auctions. These can be a good place to purchase quality restaurant equipment for a fraction of the cost of new restaurant equipment. Find auctions for used restaurant equipment in St. Louis, San Francisco, and New York or other larger cities across the country.
  • Online.  Many restaurant supply companies have websites where you can view their used restaurant equipment inventory or shop online for used commercial kitchen equipment. Some even offer online auctions.

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