The One Thing You Need to Do Before You Buy a Commercial Fridge
Investing in new commercial fridge for a hospitality business can be overwhelming, especially when you are only just beginning to make your mark and money is tight.
While saving money on your initial purchase sounds like a great deal you also have to consider other aspects. Product reliability and future running costs are huge considerations that are not necessarily reflected in your decision to buy on price alone.After all, buying an asset is no small thing - especially when you can expect a quarter of your energy use to come from things like cold store and refrigeration equipment.
Is your Fridge an Asset or just a Fridge?
When you think of your equipment purchases as an asset of the business it changes your perspective. Did you know that about 25% of your ongoing electricity costs will be your coolroom and refrigeration? Most people don't consider this when making a buying decision.
Unfortunately reliability and great price rarely go hand-in-hand.
And, as in life, you tend to get what you pay for, good or bad.
The Skope ActiveCore range is the leading energy efficient brand in the marketplace. With an ongoing R&D program the Skope Activecore range is set to increase. All of this is good news for business owners in the food industry.
Fridge A looks like a no-brainer. Buying it will save you $500 upfront.
That's important, because you've got to protect your cash flow as much as you can.
But not when you add up the total cost of ownership.
Your best decision
Fridge A is about 20% less efficient than Fridge B, which doesn't sound like a lot but adds up when you consider that you need to reduce the frequency of asset replacement as much as possible across the lifetime of your business.
Ideally, you want this fridge to last for years.
Over 10 years (the designed lifetime of Fridge B), Fridge A will cost you an extra $5000 to run. And that's if power prices stay the same. They won't, of course, so you'd better multiply that number as time goes on.
All of a sudden, Fridge A doesn't sound that much of a deal!
Warranty is a consideration
Commercial fridges are typically put under intense pressure, especially in the kitchen where staff are slamming the doors and even ventilation can be an issue. The rates of fridge failure are, is significantly higher than those seen in the domestic fridge sector.
At the same time, the cost of a failure can also be critical. If you rely on the fridge to deliver service, you need to calculate not just the cost of replacement parts and a service call out, but also the cost of disruption to your business. How much income does your business generate every hour? How many hours will service be disrupted? Those are two key questions to answer.
The longer the warranty the bigger the difference. Fridge manufacturers offering longer warranties are more likely to have more service support in the field, which means quicker repairs and more parts availability.
Design quality matters
Most fridges sold locally, like Fridge A, are imported from regions with different refrigeration requirements and operating conditions to Australia.
3 things to consider:
1. When Fridge A fails, spare parts are more likely to only be available overseas, adding shipping time and extra transit costs to repair. Meanwhile your fridge still isn't working!
2. If Fridge A has been designed to meet European climate conditions against the harsher Australian climate, it could be less robust.This increases the odds of failure and increases the chances of a single parts failure impacting other parts in the fridge as well.
3. Even if Fridge A doesn't completely fail, it may struggle to cope with local climate conditions, affecting food safety and placing the business at a much greater risk of financial penalties.
The combination of a weaker warranty and a higher chance of failure involving more parts that will come at a higher replacement cost, should impact your purchasing decision.
And, to drive home my point, with Fridge A it might be more economical to buy a brand new replacement than repair.
Your decision to save $500 isn't looking that flash anymore is it?
So, do yourself and your business a favour. Always buy the right product for the right job!