Why Is Restaurant Equipment So Expensive: Unknown Truth Exposed!

Everybody that knows anything about the restaurant industry knows that it isn’t something that you can start with some pocket money but requires a great and in most cases, risky investment, and the success isn’t guaranteed by a long shot even then.

There are many things to consider in a restaurant from what type of a restaurant are you even starting to how to build a recognized brand. The main concern for starting restauranteurs is the cost of it all and especially the astronomical price tag that comes from commercial restaurant equipment. I know the feeling and in this article, I’m going to open up the subject and explain why restaurant equipment is so costly.

Restaurant equipment are so expensive because they are made from high-quality materials and will usually last for decades. Also, a great deal of testing, engineering, planning, and regulation monitoring has been made. Lastly, branding and the fact that they are for commercial use make some of the prices as well.

These facts considering, it is no wonder that commercial restaurant equipment such as a the dishwasher cost so much. Don’t get me wrong you definitely can get great deals out there but in general, they do cost a lot. Also, going for the cheapest restaurant equipment isn’t a wise choice but more on that later.

Next, let’s review all the aspects that make restaurant gear so expensive more in-depth so you can get a better understanding of each aspect. Let’s get to it!

Why Is Restaurant Equipment So Expensive

So there are 5 main factors that really determine the price of appliances, supplies, or items in the restaurant industry. Let’s take a look at each of them individually!


Let’s start at the beginning. Everything starts from the actual material used for the equipment. There are different appliances crafter from different materials which will greatly determine the price as well.

Let’s take a Food Processor as an example. You can get a same-sized food processor for around $50 whereas you can pay more than $1000 for one that looks similar to the cheap one. However, the cheaper is made mostly from plastic, polycarbonate, and low-quality steel, and the expensive one is made from high-quality materials with industrial level gears and components.

When choosing the right equipment for a restaurant, it’s important to keep in mind that it needs to be used 365 days a year with heavy commercial usage. The $50 food processor really couldn’t handle the same amount of use and would be broken way sooner than the one made from high-quality materials.


Another aspect is that great time investment is made in each and every piece of equipment with professional experts, engineers, and federal workers inspecting and testing the equipment that it truly can operate long periods of time in heavy use without malfunctioning or breaking.

When this kind of investment is made in the designing part, you just can’t find really cheap products because the quality appliances have been certified by the NSF or a similar organization to make sure that they truly are worth and fitted to a commercial environment.


The third reason for the price of quality equipment is the construction. Let’s take a kitchen knife as an example on this one.

A cheap knife can simply be honed from a single piece of steel and constructed to a handle and it’s practically ready to be sold. On the other hand, a quality knife can be hand-made with some serious care, heat treatments, precise honing, and stabilization on the mind.

Therefore a $10 knife will handle its edge a couple of times and when you have sharpened the knife too many times it will just be useless. When you compare that to a quality knife you can use it months before the need to sharpen it and the whole product will last for decades.


Branding plays a great role in setting the price on product and here you will need to use caution because it is easy to overpay when purchasing branded items that are simply just too expensive when compared the price to the quality.

However, in most cases, a good brand is highly recognizable and you can probably name a couple of brands right now that make excellent and reliable products that will last a long time. Investing in a proper brand that isn’t overpriced will be easy and it will usually promise great results as well.

Of course, there are new brands forming every day and there are some great price-quality brands out there that you should keep your eye out for.

Commercial Industry

The last part of why commercial equipment is expensive is because of the commercial industry itself. The fact that the products are made for businesses is a great reason for pricing the products high regardless if the construction cost comes even close to the actual product.

Different industries and businesses need to make the money somewhere and what else is better than selling directly to businesses that will have money to spend are looking to do so.

These are the 5 main aspects and as we can see there really is good reasons why the appliances are so expensive in most cases. There are always products that sell unbelievably low and when you see that, believe me, there is a good reason for that.

I would personally only recommend purchasing larger appliances that are certified by the NSF because they have done various and thorough testings for each product that have received the mark, therefore you know that they really are made for commercial use, whereas some random product with unbelievable low price will probably break sooner than later. Let’s dive more into this subject and really see why you should usually invest in more costly commercial equipment rather than the cheapest one available.

Why should restaurants buy more expensive equipment

As we briefly discussed the matter above, it makes sense to spend more on more costly equipment than the cheaper ones even if that sounds kind of weird. I’ll break it down for you!

When browsing potential equipment in your restaurant, you need to look far into the future. If you decide to purchase the cheapest model out there you will be selling yourself and dooming yourself paying more in the long run. Think about it, when you purchase the reliable high-quality model with great reviews, you will have a far more efficient and easy time operating it, you don’t need as many replacement parts or repair appointments, you will save money in energy bills and they will be safer to use.

There are so many great benefits including money savings when you decide to get the more expensive one because it will pay itself back in the long run, even if the cheap one would save you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars less at the start.

Of course, there are exceptions and that’s why you need to have an eye open for them. Without a doubt, there are some great deals with amazing price-quality ratios out there that will do the trick with a lesser price but you will need to be extremely careful especially when you need a new grill, dishwasher, standing deep fryer, or other major appliance.

How much does kitchen equipment cost for a restaurant

The answer to this question is extremely broad because there are so many affecting variables such as the restaurant type, size, equipment quality, energy efficiency, retailer, and much more. The price between can vary easily with $100,000s of dollars and in the extreme end of both sides, even millions of dollars.

However, the average commercial kitchen equipment cost for restaurants is between $40,000 – $200,000 where the median cost is set at $95,000. This is according to a survey made by RestaurantOwner.

In addition to this price, there are multiple other factors to take into consideration such as furniture, operating facilities, restaurant supplies, license & permits, technology, marketing, and other running costs.

What is used restaurant equipment worth

This answer is a broad one and the final result will be greatly affected by the age, condition, demand, and what kind of appliance it is. A great rule of thumb is that used equipment is usually sold 10 to 40% of the current price in the manufacturer, in fact, the actual price point usually falls around 20% if not less.

Therefore it is a great deal for the buyer and might not be so for the seller, however, this will also vary greatly in each case.

Is it better to buy new or used restaurant equipment

There are also other options on how to get your restaurant equipment at a cheaper price and there are some obvious advantages and some obvious cons to buying used equipment so let’s review them and see whether you should think about it or not.


  • Cheaper price
  • May still come with a warranty
  • Usually inspected for quality


  • It’s not new
  • Might be harder to find replacement parts
  • Might miss a warranty
  • Lesser lifespan in most cases

As we can see there are some major pros and cons to the choice and ultimately it is up to you whether you decide to buy used appliances. However let me tell you this, buying used equipment might be just an incredible deal or it could be the worst nightmare, therefore you will need to take extreme care and buy from a reliable source while all the agreements and preferable warranties in order.

How To Save Money On Groceries
How To Save Money On Groceries

How do restaurant owners save money

There are many, many reasons how restaurants can save money. I have listed some of the best ones below so you can take a quick look at what you could implement into your business if you need to save additional money.

  • Set a budget
  • Decrease food waste
  • Train employees properly
  • Simplify your menu
  • Use energy-efficient equipment

The steps above will have a great impact on the money saved in the restaurant!

Read more: 21 Ways To Save Money In Restaurant Business

Trending: How To Increase Restaurant Revenue: 21 Proven Methods

What kind of restaurant is most profitable

There are many different types of restaurants that have the potential of being money-making machines if run properly and the most successful ones are bars because of the huge profit margin of alcohol, fine dining restaurants because of the high prices. However fine dining restaurant isn’t the easiest one to start. Also, food trucks are extremely profitable in fact, more than half of food truckers bring in +$100,000 annually. Delivery-only restaurants are on the top as well with vegan restaurants beside them.


There definitely are many important reasons to understand when it comes to the high cost of restaurant equipment, appliances, and supplies. As we learned above cheapest isn’t always the best and before purchasing anything it is smart to review the product properly with some other potential ones besides them!

I sincerely hope that this article was of great value to you and you can now understand why commercial restaurant equipment is so expensive and some other aspects revolving around the subject!

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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