I am seriously looking into opening up a bakery, (with my main focus being cakes) and was just wondering what those of you who own your own place do about equipment? Like ovens, refrigerators, display cases etc... I always assumed that I would rent them, but now I'm not so sure what would be best. Any thoughts would be very helpful! =)
By the way, I've been browsing and admiring here for a little over a year now, you are all awesome!
I'll go ahead and offer you my point of view. I own a little coffee shop/bakery and I own all the equipment outright. I found my convection oven, refrigerators, display cases, etc. at a used restaurant supply store and paid cash. I like it this way because then I don't have extra monthly payments to deal with. Its also good because if I wanted/had to close the shop for any reason I don't have any rental agreements or contracts to be concerned with. I would just have to sell the equipment.
I will say that some people prefer to rent the equipment because its less money out of pocket for start up expenses. Also, sometimes when you rent equipment there is a warranty in case something goes wrong with it.
I hope this helps, maybe someone else will have more info for you also.
While I don't have my own shop YET...I do plan on it within the next few years and for the past year have been doing extensive research on every aspect of this type of business. I would definitely recommend buying your equipment instead of renting. Unless, of course, start-up funds just don't allow for that at all. I agree with everything ge978 said. Look for used equipment ... you can even look online. Or try out your local restaraunt supply store...if they don't re-sell used equipment, they might have information on places that are closing & you could contact them directly...or they may know a vendor who deals in used equipment. Also, if you decide to go with used equipment, I would recommend finding someone (or a business) before hand who can clue you in on pieces or brands of equipment that are more reliable than others and what types of repairs are common (& their costs) with the kind of equipment you'll be buying. But if you have to rent the stuff you need, ask around to see if any dealers offer a lease-purchase type of option...that way you can own it at some point. Hope this helps