Starting a commercial food business is not cheap and you will need to be savvy with your budget to keep costs under control. Renting food machinery instead of buying can be a cost-effective way to lower your startup expenses. That said, buying food machinery can save you money in the long term, especially if the items retain their value.


Let’s look at the pros and cons of renting vs owning commercial food machinery:

Pros of renting food machinery

Saves money

One of the biggest advantages of renting food machinery is that you won’t have a large upfront expense. You can put the money you save towards other areas of your food business such as marketing for your restaurant or recruitment.

Quick access

Renting food machinery is usually quick and easy to arrange. An agreement can often be put in place on same day to allow you quick access to the machinery.

No repair costs

Food machinery can break when you least expect it and lead to costly repairs. This can cause issues with cash flow and result in debt. When you rent your food machinery, you will have peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to fork out for expensive repairs if something goes wrong with your equipment.

Easier to upgrade

When you rent food machinery, you can easily upgrade items when you renew your rental agreement. It is more difficult to upgrade equipment when you buy, as you will need to try and sell old items and save up for a newer model.

Test different machines

Renting allows you to try out different food machinery without committing to buying the equipment. If you discover that a particular machine is not being used in your business, then you can stop the rental agreement from renewing and choose a different machine that is better suited to your needs.

Cons of renting food machinery

Monthly bill

When you rent food machinery, you will need to pay a weekly or monthly rental bill and you must budget for this accordingly. There is no initial investment when you rent, but you may end up spending more over time than if you brought items.

Penalty fees

You may have to pay a penalty fee if any equipment is damaged while you are renting it.

Tied into a contract

You will need to sign a contract when you rent food machinery and you must read and understand the terms. For example, you may have to continue paying your monthly rental fee if your restaurant closes before the renewal lease is up.

Pros of owning food machinery

Wider choice

When you buy food machinery from new, you will have access to a wider range of machines and you can find a product that is perfectly matched to your needs, for example specific vacuum packer machinery. You can also choose to buy the newest models with the latest features and designs.

Save money

Buying food machinery can save you money when compared to renting equipment long term. You will also own the machinery and have the option to sell items to recoup some of the costs. Many items retain their value and there are plenty of places to sell second-hand kitchen equipment.


When you own food machinery, you have full control over it and can ensure that your equipment is properly taken care of and maintained to keep it in optimal condition.

Cons of owning food machinery

Upfront costs

Food machinery may not be the cheapest option for you – especially if you require multiple pieces of equipment. You will need to save up to buy food machinery and this may lead to delays when opening your startup.


You will be responsible for paying for repairs if anything goes wrong with your food machinery. The best way to avoid unexpected repair costs is by purchasing high-quality equipment from a reputable supplier, such as ourselves at First Food Machinery.


There are lots of things to consider when deciding whether to rent or buy food machinery for your restaurant. Renting can save you money upfront and will allow you to try out different kitchen machinery without buying new equipment.


On the other hand, buying food machinery means that you will have more choice and it could save you money in the long run. Take the time to weigh up the pros and cons of renting vs buying food machinery and choose the best option for your business based on your needs and budget.