NATIONAL REPORT — Foodservice equipment in a convenience store takes a beating, especially in high-volume stores, so it is important to properly maintain the equipment to yield the longest life possible.
Depending on the piece of equipment and the volume of a store, most foodservice equipment should last five to seven years, sometimes longer, according to members of the Convenience Store News How To Crew, a panel of leading foodservice experts.
“We try to build five to seven years into most equipment, but unless a new revolutionary item comes out to replace it, the equipment can last well beyond those years in most cases,” one How To Crew retailer said.
It is important to inspect foodservice equipment annually to identify pieces that need replacing and can be planned for in the budgeting process. However, these inspections are not only to identify new equipment needs, advised Mathew Mandeltort, corporate foodservice manager for convenience distributor Eby-Brown Co. and an expert on the CSNews How To Crew.
“Sometimes it’s more a question of whether we can get more out of what we have,” he said. “You just can’t keep adding equipment because you’re going to run out of space.”
New food trends and equipment technologies can also drive some new equipment or replacement decisions, but most experts agree that amortizing the most time from each piece of equipment is important to realize a quicker return on investment.
The primary foodservice equipment selection criteria typically includes price, durability, maintenance plans, reliability, user-friendliness (particularly in a self-serve environment) and space, according to Tim Powell, a foodservice consultant with THINK Marketing and a fellow member of the How To Crew.
“The equipment should be upgraded if it is worn, there is better technology and the ROI for operators is within a year to a year and a half, which is a general rule of thumb,” Powell said.
Editor's note: Check out the February issue of Convenience Store News for our full report on how to determine the best equipment to use for different foodservice programs, including special tips for beginner, intermediate and advanced operators. A digital edition of the issue can be accessed by clicking here.