Why would you rent foodservice equipment?

Introduction

The world of foodservice equipment rental is full of offers that tie you into long term agreements that have penalties and give little protection against breakdowns. 

Rental is often seen as a short-term option. But long-term rental can be a very sustainable option for businesses, and especially new businesses.

Here’s why: 

It’s tax deductible 

When you buy an asset, such as a fryer or an oven range, the tax man allows a decreasing amount each year to be claimed back for tax purposes – with rental, the entire rental cost each month can be levied against tax – reducing your operating expenses. 

It’s important to remember though that this is only true if the IRS is convinced you are NOT “paying off” an item, but simply paying to USE someone else’s item. Look carefully at your rental agreement before filing your return to check that there is no grey area for the IRS to question.

Breakdown is covered

Looking after your equipment is a vital part of any foodservice business. Faulty equipment can cause problems with meeting food safety guidelines, as well as reducing capacity.

When you buy your own foodservice equipment, even on finance, you’re often expected to handle breakdowns yourself. But with rental it’s handled through the rental company. 

Different packages are available, from simply administering the manufacturer’s warranty to offering a full fix-or-replace service. The main difference for you, the business owner, is the stress is gone: one phone call and the rental company do the rest.

No issues at the end of the contract

When you sign a rental contract, you agree to rent the equipment for a certain amount of time – beyond that, it’s flexible – you can extend the rental on the same terms or hand it back without a penalty.

With shorter contracts than the average finance agreement, rental doesn’t tie you down for as long, and doesn’t penalise you for changing your business plans.

If you don’t need the equipment anymore, at the end of the contract you can simply swap it out for another, more useful piece of equipment. Under a finance agreement, you are stuck with the equipment you chose, regardless of whether it is useful or not. 

It’s easy to add new kit as you go

Once you have an agreement setup with a rental company, you can simply add more equipment as your business grows, with no new checks or finance agreements to arrange – just add to your hire! 

You’ll be looked after…

It’s in the best interest of everyone – you and the rental company – that you get the best equipment and it’s maintained in the best way possible, as it’s not your asset, but the rental company’s.  This makes training, support and a positive relationship really important in the rental process. 

Conclusion

Rental is a great option for new businesses: it comes with flexibility built in, less commitment to a long-term financial agreement and often breakdown is covered with the stress taken by the rental company. 

For new foodservice entrepreneurs, the opportunities offered by rental can boost their business in the early stages and allow them to feel more comfortable with the level of risk they are taking on.