There's no way around it: kitchen equipment is expensive. The high upfront costs of starting a restaurant or replacing equipment makes it tempting to cut corners to save money, but that can actually mean spending more in the long run. One way many operators end up spending way more than necessary is by renting a commercial dishwasher.
It is easy to see how renting a commercial dishwasher can be tempting. Purchasing a warewasher can cost thousands of dollars, while renting means you can get one installed for only a few hundred dollars upfront. However, renting, or even leasing, can cost you up to two times as much as purchasing outright over the life of the unit. Below are some ways that renting or leasing will cost you more.
Another major factor when it comes to commercial dishwasher rental is the fact that you are irrevocably, at least for the length of the contract, tying yourself to one company for chemicals and service. This means that you have to pay their prices for their chemicals – even if they have a price hike two months into the contract. You have no room to negotiate or look for other suppliers that may cut you a better deal.
Most rental and lease contracts include maintenance and service, which can be a boon to foodservice operators choosing to rent. However, the maintenance on commercial dishwashers is fairly simple: clean the filter out every day, wipe out the washing chamber every once in a while, and run a delime cycle every two to four weeks, based on usage. The only other regular maintenance that is needed is making sure the chemical lines do not need cleaning or replacing, which your chemical company should do regardless of whether you rent or own the machine.
When it comes to emergency service, it may seem beneficial to have a rental company that can send out service technicians, but that is not always the case. As with the chemical purchases, you are bound to the rental company to wait on its repair services, and are unable to shop around for faster service if it may be a few days before there's an opening in its schedule. Additionally, rental companies don't always use factory-authorized service technicians, so you may end up dealing with sub-par service that leaves your commercial dishwasher in less than optimal condition.