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When are repairs no longer cost effective?

When a piece of equipment becomes faulty it can be easy for foodservice operators to just go ahead with required repairs, but is this the right avenue to avoid future issues and will this be cost effective in the long run?

The life expectancy of catering equipment varies drastically and will depend on build quality, kitchen conditions and correct use/maintenance. For example if you have a smaller piece of equipment that cost under £2,000 and has been in use for over 8 years it can be tempting to repair that item if the repair bill is £300-£500. What operators should be taking into account is that at that age many component parts could be starting to wear out and whilst a repair may be a temporary solution it is then likely that more repairs will be needed in the short term, potentially making this a more costly route that will lead to machine downtime and eventually replacing the unit anyway.

By contrast if a business has invested £10,000 plus in larger equipment such as combi ovens or rack dishwashers then it is normally more cost effective to repair on the first few occasions to get the maximum lifespan from your product.

It is a difficult balance and some would argue that the funds aren’t always available. With this in mind there is often finance or in some cases interest free credit options that may help with cashflow.

There is no right or wrong answer but it’s worth considering your options when repairing older units, there will be a point reached that is beyond economical repair for any machine.

Keeping in mind that technology is advancing all the time so a unit built 10 years ago is likely to be far less efficient than what’s on the market today. Meaning a new investment could start saving you money from day one.


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