When one of the machines or some other equipment in your restaurant breaks down or wears out, you know that you must act fast in fixing the issue – as we all know, time is money and wasted time means wasted money.
The equipment in your restaurant can break or malfunction at any given time, during the day when your customers are being served, or even during the night when one certain refrigerator decides to stop working.
In this case, you, as the owner, will have to decide what to do about the faulty equipment and, therefore, you will be presented with two options – namely, either fix or replace that certain restaurant equipment piece.
Naturally, before getting to the equipment part bit of the article, we’ll show you some things you can do in order to determine whether you should fix or replace the broken machine. It’s quite important that you are aware of the following steps and things you can do, as they can save your business some money.
Repair vs. Replace – How to Determine?
As mentioned before, if the choice between repair and replacement is not properly done, your business may eventually end up losing money – of course, you won’t notice this straight away, but you will definitely realize later if your choice was a benefit for your business or not.
In order to avoid a poor decision, we have rounded up some vital factors for you to take a look at and consider before deciding to either replace or fix your equipment. If these factors are analyzed carefully, you’ll know exactly what to do with the faulty piece of equipment.
Age of the Equipment
You probably already know, but age is the most important factor when deciding what to do with a piece of equipment. Naturally, as a rule of thumb, you don’t want to start changing parts and fixing any machine that’s over 10 years old.
It is a common fact that machines that are around 10 years old will probably need to be replaced very soon, as most commercial kitchen equipment is made to last only that much.
However, keep in mind that there are a couple of restaurant machines that come with a shorter lifespan, like ice machines, for example.
Moreover, you should also know that the age of a certain piece of equipment on its own cannot fully help you determine whether that equipment needs to be replaced or not – we all know that there are machines that can go on for a very long time without facing a single problem.
Energy Star Rating
Right after age, you’ll probably want to look into the Energy Star Rating of the broken machine. If the machine is not yet around 10 years old, you might think that replacing its faulty parts and fixing it is much better than replacing the entire appliance.
However, as technology evolves quite fast nowadays, a machine that’s around, let’s say, 6 to 8 years old, might have a much greater energy consumption than one manufactured in the last couple of years.
Fixing it may be much cheaper, but if the machine is not efficient in terms of power usage, then you may find your business spending more on its monthly utility bills – money that could have gone into buying a new machine.
When it comes to the price factor, you will have to apply one more rule in order to assure yourself that your business won’t be wasting money in regard to faulty equipment. Namely, if the repair/ fix of the broken machine costs more than 50% of the price of a brand-new item, then you might consider upgrading rather than fixing it.
Well, the previous statement was pretty much self-explanatory – you really don’t want to throw in a part of your business’ precious budget in order to replace the faulty part of the machine that costs almost as much as a new machine.
Moreover, in terms of price, you have to decide whether it would be better to just replace the machine or find it the parts it needs and repair it – if bought carefully, parts can restore the machine to its early years and make it function just fine.
Furthermore, if the faulty machine is not even one-year-old, which means it still has a good standing in the market, then you can safely proceed with fixing it, as replacing it might leave a hole in your business’ budget – depending on the broken part.
Savings and Expenses
As we were just talking about the budget, it is quite clear that it will be one of the main factors you will take into account when having to either replace or fix a piece of equipment in your restaurant.
When it comes to the budget, we can’t tell you that much as you have to properly manage it in order for your business to have success – however, we do know that one must compare the immediate expense and the savings when it comes to replacing equipment or parts.
In the end, you have to do what’s best for your business and for its budget!
So far, we’ve told you what to take into account when faced with a broken machine, therefore it’s only natural that we moved to the equipment parts portion, so that you have a clear idea of all the aspects that involve that machine.
However, before we do that, we wish to present you with some of the common issues that can occur in a restaurant and also tell you if the broken piece of equipment in the discussion will have to be repaired or replaced.
|Equipment||Issue||Effect||What to do?|
|Ice Machine||Warped Evaporator||Will have trouble harvesting ice.||Usually, it costs more to repair it than buying a new machine, but you can find deals for the evaporator and replace it without too much hassle.|
|Ventilation System||Grease Build Up||Rising HVAC Costs||This system will build grease in time and it will also be harder and harder to clean it and replace parts – fixing or replacing depends on how old the system is.|
|Dishwasher||Leaks around the tubes or tanks||Inefficiency||In case of a commercial dishwasher, any leaks are a sign that the machine doesn’t have much time left.|
|Refrigerator||Refrigeration System Failure||Rendering the machine completely useless||While a commercial refrigerator can be repaired quite easily, you do have to check some other things before doing so. For example, if the machine has warped drawers or gaskets, then this might mean that their life is about to end.|
Obviously, there are many more machines in a restaurant, but we cannot cover them all – it’s up to you and to the other members of your management team to know how a certain machine behaves towards the end of its life.
If you know this, you will be able to make the right choice for your business, without putting its profit in danger.
OEM and Aftermarket Parts
As you may have noticed, you can’t really compare the buying and fixing of certain equipment – buying a new machine can solve all of your issues, but leave a hole in your business’ budget while, on the other side, fixing can be done for quite cheap in most cases, but there are some chances that the issues will come back and threaten your restaurant’s efficiency again.
Therefore, we can’t really tell you if you have to replace or fix your restaurant equipment, as you should be the one to decide that. However, we are here to help and offer you information that will make it easier for you to make the right decision for your business.
These being said, we move on to the restaurant equipment parts aspect of our article, namely, to talking about the OEM and the Aftermarket parts that you will most likely come across when fixing a certain machine.
The OEM parts – an abbreviation that stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer” – usually refer to the parts that have specific branding. In short, when it comes to making a difference between the OEM and the generic parts that you can find, they are usually just the same item but have different marketing strategies.
As the name implies, these types of machine parts are not usually marketed by the company that produces them, but by another manufacturer.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of the OEM Parts
Just like in the case of Aftermarket parts, which we’ll discuss in a bit, the OEM parts have their advantages and disadvantages – these will help you decide whether you want an OEM or an Aftermarket part as the replacement for the faulty part of the machine.
The first thing that draws most businesses to OEM parts is the fact that these are made and designed in such a way that they function just like the original parts of the machines they can be found in.
Therefore, most of the time, you can be sure that the part you are replacing will make your machine behave just like before it broke down.
Moreover, the OEM parts usually come in one single type – unlike the aftermarket parts, as we will soon see – and, therefore, you will have a much easier time searching and choosing the right part to replace.
Most of the entities that sell OEM parts will usually offer warranties for these so that in case something happens you can safely return to the store and fix the issue.
Clearly, the big deal about the OEM parts is their price – this type of parts can get quite costly, mostly because they are branded. However, keep in mind that can’t be seen as a disadvantage at all times.
For example, we said that these parts are made to function just like the original parts – therefore, if you have to replace a more intricate part of a certain machine in your restaurant, then you could go for the quality that the OEM parts offer.
In the case of aftermarket parts, they are just what their name implies – they are part of the secondary market, meaning that they are not usually made in the same factory as the OEM parts.
This type of part comes with some interesting advantages and disadvantages when compared to OEM parts. Essentially, both types are fit for a business, but it depends on how it chooses its parts. Don’t worry, we’ll make a breakdown of the OEM and aftermarket parts towards the end of our article.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Aftermarket Parts
The fact that they are made in a different factory should not make you turn down aftermarket parts entirely – there are plenty of situations in which they perform much better than the OEM parts.
However, as mentioned, it depends on what parts the machines in your restaurant need to be replaced.
Naturally, as they are manufactured in a secondary market, they usually have a lower cost than the OEM parts – however, their price depends on their brand, as well.
Moreover, they are characterized by variety, meaning that there are more parts of the same type for you to choose from. Therefore, a wider range of prices is also available so that you will, most of the time, choose the price you want to pay for a certain part.
Last but not least, there have been plenty of customers that claimed that some aftermarket parts out there can potentially have a better quality than the OEM parts. It is a widely known fact that some of them can function as good or even better than their OEM counterpart.
As we ended with the fact that some of them may be potentially better than OEM parts, we begin here by saying that there is also the chance that they can also function worse than those.
Basically, you can’t be entirely sure of what you get – that’s why it is recommended that a business relies on aftermarket parts when those that they need are not that important, can be easily replaced, and do not impact the workflow that much.
Moreover, due to the variety we mentioned before, you might also have a hard time finding what you like and/or what your business needs among the aftermarket parts.
Also, keep in mind that, depending on their price, some aftermarket parts are usually sold without any warranty – which increases the risk that your business is susceptible to.
Breakdown – OEM vs. Aftermarket
Basically, the main difference between the OEM and the Aftermarket parts is the way in which they were made/ created. All the OEM parts that you find on the market are created equal, in the same way – therefore made to function the same.
On the other hand, the Aftermarket parts are not the same – which is why you may encounter some functionality issues when using one to fix one of the more complex machines in your restaurant.
However, the choice between OEM and Aftermarket is made entirely by you, the business owner – as there is no better or best option between the two. Depending on what you need to supply your restaurant with, you will choose a certain part.
For example, the replacement cutting boards that go in the prep table of your restaurant are considered to be a great deal when it comes to aftermarket parts – they cost less than their OEM counterparts, and they usually come with the same quality.
Therefore, when you come to us looking for restaurant equipment parts, you should have an idea of what’s going on with the machine or equipment that needs to be fixed – if you determine that, making a choice between OEM and Aftermarket parts will be very easy.
Final Thoughts on Food Equipment Repair Parts
Well, now you know everything a restaurant owner should do when one of the machines runs into some issues. Obviously, first, you have to determine if you must replace the machine or not.
Moreover, you need to check out which of the two aforementioned options is more profitable and safer for your business – you can’t just go change parts in your machines every week, but you also can’t go buy new refrigerators every month. Remember, it’s all about taking into account the immediate cost and the savings.
And if you do need restaurant equipment parts, then you can safely rely on us – we’ll give you some help when it comes to choosing between OEM and Aftermarket so that both you and your business thrive and are healthy.
Furthermore, it’s important to remember the fact that the cost doesn’t really matter when it comes to OEM and Aftermarket – it matters what the parts are going to be used for, a fact that has to then justify their price. Of course, it’s also about knowing what the machine or equipment needs in order to function properly.
In the end, we hope that the information we have provided you with today has given you some insight about how you should treat equipment parts-related issues and about the two types of parts we have available for you and your business.