The Network for Incubator and Commissary Kitchens (NICK) is the largest network of shared kitchen professionals sharing their knowledge and insights daily. Below is a summary of a recent conversation regarding establishing a new kitchen near a competitor. Answers may have been edited for readability.
Where do you purchase your commercial equipment? Do you use local purveyors or large internet resources?
- When we could, we purchased equipment from local food businesses that didn’t make it – found some very good deals on Facebook Marketplace, bought some things at auctions, and the rest was new from webstaurantstore or similar suppliers.
- Although we were fortunate to be able to purchase a lot of the equipment new when we started, much of our large equipment purchased later is used from auctions/closed businesses. Many items such as commercial mixers, ovens, fryers, are going to last forever with proper maintenance. Items such as refrigeration or weigh-fill, are likely best bought new, if possible, or hardly used. Other items like your ice machine or dish machine that require very regular maintenance and special cleaning/deliming are best leased and not owned.
- WebstaurantStore – if you pay the membership fee to save shipping.
- We used WebstaurantStore for most of our large equipment purchases. I see that Costco also sells commercial equipment that I’ll be looking into as well.
- In my clients’ and my experience, Webstaurantstore is a great place for small wares, parts, and some consumables, but is a gamble on larger items.
- I always get quotes from the local restaurant supply stores, then shop around online. I usually go with the local guys – I like the relationship building. Smallwares comes generally from the least expensive source, taking quality into account.
- We have great family owned commercial distributors in the Sacramento region. You might scope out warehouses in your region that sell almost new or that re-sell equipment after liquidations. Also sometimes businesses closing or that are struggling, are willing to sell equipment either permanently or temporarily (that they’re not currently using).