Repair or Replace: How to ensure you make the right decision

Oct 29, 2018

When it comes to commercial kitchen equipment, knowing when to replace a broken unit or whether to repair it will always be a tough decision to make. What questions should operators be asking to ensure they spend their money on the right solution?

Is a newer model on the market?

Replacing your unit and upgrading it may offer huge long term benefits to your business, and choosing to replace the unit could see your business fall behind the competition. Increased productivity, energy efficiency and reduced maintenance costs are just some of the benefits a product upgrade could bring to your business. For example, swapping your old combi for a new RATIONAL SelfCookingCenter will allow your business to cook multiple items at once without fear of flavour transference, with its overnight cook capabilities and self-cleaning features saving you thousands in labour costs. While some operations might pride themselves on holding onto equipment for decades, the hidden costs of keeping this equipment might be negating any upside.

Are you anticipating any menu changes?

Now is the time to think about the future for your menu and whether replacing the broken equipment for a different unit altogether is a smarter investment. Consider the versatility of existing equipment and the opportunities presented by new equipment, such as a toaster that can accommodate a variety of bread products, a microwave that also acts as a convection oven, or a conveyor oven that can cook your focaccias, pizzas and even your steaks and schnitzels. You may find this means you can remove several other items from your kitchen, savings valuable space and excess energy costs.

How old is too old?

If you’re equipment is relatively new, checking the warranty on the unit and contacting a service agent who specialises in that brand will be the best way forward. You should treat your commercial kitchen equipment like a car – it needs to be regularly serviced to ensure it doesn’t break down. Organising planned maintenance visits is a great way to keep your equipment running its best for years to come.

What are the total costs of both scenarios?

The decision to repair or replace equipment should be based on minimising the total cost of the equipment over its remaining lifetime. Whilst the cost to repair the unit or the purchasing of a new unit may be clear, other factors to consider include:

  • Ongoing maintenance costs over the lifetime of the existing equipment
  • Costs of downtime during repair or replacement
  • Installation costs of a new unit
  • Productivity loss from using older, non-efficient equipment
  • Productivity gain from investing in new equipment
  • Training costs to train staff on new equipment
  • Waste, labour and time savings from investing in new equipment

By analysing all of these factors, your decision to repair or replace the item should become a lot easier to make. 

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Comcater – behind every great menu

As one of the largest suppliers of the Australian Quick Service Restaurant and Fast Food markets, Comcater is proud to present a portfolio of brands dedicated to high volume output, speedy service, consistency and space saving kitchen designs.

Perfect the art of a crisp chip with our huge range of Frymaster fryers, or grill the best burgers in town with thanks to the affordable Trueheat range. Plus with a staff filled with Chefs and industry experts, you’re guaranteed to find the right solution for any QSR need.

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