10 Quick Tips About Used Restaurant Equipment

Are you in the restaurant business or considering getting into the restaurant business? If you are, you know that the one of the many key cogs to operating a successful establishment is the equipment that you have to help store and prepare the food you’ll be serving (not to mention intangibles like furniture and decor). The bottom line is that you need reliable equipment, because should there be a malfunction and the equipment have to come offline for a period of time, that’s likely going to lead to your inability to serve part of – if not all of – the menu that you’re offering to customers. In a worst case scenario, the restaurant might even require closing for several days before the issue can get repaired. And if you’re not making food and serving customers, you’re losing money – not making it. And if you have to turn business away, what’s the likelihood that these customers will ever return to your establishment? Probably not good.

For this reason, many business owners are somewhat reluctant to consider used restaurant equipment for their establishment. All used restaurant equipment isn’t related equal, but here’s a look at 10 tips about used equipment and why they’re almost always just as viable a solution as buying brand new:

1. Good quality: It’s estimated that as many as 3 out of every 10 new restaurants fail within the first year and up to 60 percent of all new restaurants fail within the first three years of operation. If that’s the case, the equipment needs to go somewhere – and in most cases, it is sold off to another source. Forget for a minute about where the equipment is sold off though – what’s important to get out of this tip is that there’s a bevy of gently used restaurant equipment out there for a fraction of the price of buying new. Yes, newer isn’t always better.

2. Saving money: Going the used over the new route is especially relevant for new restaurant owners who may have limited capital to get their operations going. While new restaurant equipment is nice, shiny and likely comes with manufacturer warranties, it’s also very expensive. Some owners just don’t have that kind of money to spend, especially when things like payroll, licenses, insurance, marketing and food orders are taken into consideration. That’s where buying used equipment can really come in handy.

3. Only buy commercial: When you’re shopping used restaurant equipment, it’s pertinent that the products you’re buying are commercial-grade. Not only is this pretty much mandatory based on the standards of local health departments, but such equipment is also easier to maintain and clean. What’s more is that this commercial-grade gear can stand up to the wear and tear of a restaurant or commercial kitchen.

4. Do your homework: Just as how some used restaurant equipment is a cut above others, certain manufacturers are as well. Know what manufacturers have a good reputation and which one’s don’t. To put this point further into perspective, if a piece of equipment is going to break down quickly and easily when bought brand new, it’s going to likely be even more of a problem used. Know the good brands from the bad.

5. Inspect the equipment: If you’re going to a restaurant auction or even a retail store that carries such equipment, be sure you give the gear in question a considerable eye test. Check for rust, missing pieces and other damage – anything to give you an idea of a) how old the equipment is, and b) how well it was cared for when it was last in use. You might even put on your reporter’s hat to find out where the piece of equipment was last used and do a tad bit of research to learn a few things about the venue. This may offer further clues on what type of item you’re possibly acquiring.

6. Warranties: You shouldn’t ever buy a new piece of restaurant equipment without a warranty. But in some cases, you might also be able to secure a warranty with a used piece of equipment. Be sure to ask about this – you might be surprised at what the answer is. Needless to say, if you purchase a used piece of equipment with a warranty, that’s even more of a win when you factor in the cost savings.

7. Make sure it’s up to code: Chances are if you ever got a new hot water heater, furnace or other main home appliance installed lately, someone from the city had to come out to inspect it and make sure it was installed right and is up to code. That’s another important factor when purchasing used restaurant equipment – make sure whatever piece you’re interested in is up to current health and safety codes. This is especially important when you’re looking at much older, more dated equipment.

8. Go with gas: In terms of many major appliances – let alone used restaurant equipment – it’s the gas appliances that generally have fewer moving parts than other types of equipment. Hence, these appliances are much easier to troubleshoot because of this if you ever run into a pickle where something needs maintenance. When taking into consideration electrical equipment, understand that there’s usually more moving parts. This makes such equipment much more difficult to troubleshoot.

9. Be wary of fryers: While this post is certainly designed to champion the benefits of buying used restaurant equipment compared to new equipment, we strongly recommend doing even extra due diligence when it comes to purchasing deep fryers. If you’re going used, be extra certain that the fryer you’re considering has only been gently used. That’s because fryers have a high failure rate based on how the equipment works. So if you’re going used, a thorough inspection to check for leaks and any other damages is a must.

10. Know who you’re buying from: There’s a big difference between a reputable seller and one who isn’t exactly ethical, so it’s important that you know who you’re buying from when it comes to anything – let alone used restaurant equipment. That’s where a service like Bid on Equipment comes in handy. The service collects various products – like used restaurant equipment – and opens them up for resale via bidding. But unlike other venues, you can rest assured that any equipment purchased from Bid on Equipment is in working condition.

For more information about purchasing used restaurant equipment – and what to look for in a good piece of used equipment, contact Bid on Equipment today at 847-854-8577.

Why We Love Machine Tools (And You Should Too)

From engine blocks to nuts and bolts to lifting devices, chances are that some sort of machine tool helped fabricate it. There are a bevy of different machine tools – from horizontal machining centers to vertical machining centers to water jet cutting machines to lathes to CNC milling machines and on. And they all serve a prominent role in creating many of the components that keep many of the things we take for granted operating efficiently. With that being said, here’s a look at some of the reasons as to why we love machine tools (and why you should too):

  1. Continuous use: One of the great things about most machining centers – namely computerized numerical control, or CNC machining, as opposed to manual machining centers – is that machines can be run around the clock to fabricate parts, all by just programming a computer. This leads to a great increase in efficiency when compared to more conventional manufacturing technology, as only one or two people are usually only required to be in the shop to monitor progress. In fact, the only time that many machine tools need to be taken offline is for routine maintenance every now and then – and usually that’s as simple as changing spindles on the milling machines.
  2. Easy to use: Fitting to the name, CNC machining is a manufacturing process that runs on computer software, rather than having to manually manufacture a product. This computerized manufacturing isn’t just highly efficient, but very high tech as well. What’s more is that it’s relatively easy to learn and even easier to update, as regular updates are pushed through often to enhance the capability of the machinery. The bottom line is that the process is fairly simple to comprehend and while mistakes can always be made, the technology isn’t something that you should necessarily be intimidated by.
  3. Highly accurate: Machine tools are very, very accurate. Because machining is so precise and computerized, manufacturers are able to ensure near 100 percent accuracy on every run (on some machine tools, accuracy is up to 0.01 mm). Not only are machine tools highly accurate, but they also offer great repeatability, so they have the potential to be highly accurate over and over again for as long as you’re completing part runs.
  4. Works in multiple materials: Not too long ago, most machine tools were only able to work on one or two materials. That’s not the case anymore. No, today machine tools can operate on a variety of materials, from steel to aluminum to space age materials and even to the likes of wood and plastics. Machine tools are no longer limited by materials, which is a big benefit in today’s manufacturing economy.
  5. Environmental friendliness: Not only are today’s machine tools designed so that they use as little energy as possible during runs, but many also offer recycling features. For instance, many subtractive manufacturing machines – which cut away material from a block – now offer a feature that gathers scrap material from the process and allows operators to recycle it so that it can be eventually used again. In terms of the former point, many even offer integrated solutions to allow operators to monitor how much energy they’re using. Some more advanced machine tools include a whole gamut of technology to analyze the entire system and advise on ways to eliminate waste and conserve energy.
  6. Design software is highly advanced: Another benefit of many machine tools isn’t necessarily the machine tool itself, but the software that helps drive it. For instance, many software programs are so advanced that life-like simulations can be virtually created before a particular product goes into production via a machine tool. This software may essentially eliminate the need for prototyping in some cases, as the high quality of the modeling and simulation software is able to do it for the operator. Needless to say, but eliminating the physical prototyping from the process helps save both time and money in production runs.
  7. They’re durable: When you acquire a machine tool, you’re acquiring a piece of heavy machinery – and a quality piece of heavy machinery at that. Machine tools are fabricated from high quality materials and designed to be durable and long-lasting. After all, if you’re planning to run a machine around the clock and nearly non-stop, it’s going to have to be reliable and it’s going to have to be able to stand up to routine wear and tear. Today’s machine tools can do just that, as they’re more durable and reliable than ever before.

From durability to repeatability to high accuracy, the aforementioned seven reasons are why we love machine tools so much – and why you should love them too. With that being said, machine tools make a fine addition to any machine shop or manufacturing facility. But one thing that scares many people off from the computerized machinery that has revolutionized manufacturing today are the high costs that come with such equipment. Machine tools are heavy machinery – and they’re not exactly inexpensive to acquire. That’s where buying used or refurbished machine tools from outlets such as Bid on Equipment come into play, as you can ensure you’re getting a quality piece of equipment for much less than brand new price. This can be especially helpful if you’re just starting a machine shop and have limited capital. By visiting Bid on Equipment, you’ll find some of the top brand names in machine tool fabrication that you can place bids on in an effort to add such equipment to your operations.

For more information on why we love machine tools – and why you should too – and to acquire your own machine tool for your operations, contact Bid on Equipment today.

Benefits of Walk-In Coolers

If you operate a commercial facility - or even have a large residential facility - it may be a good idea to invest in a walk-in cooler. Walk-in coolers, or freezers, are pretty much are what they sound like - places to refrigerate or freeze stored food products in advance of preparation. They're much larger than standard freezers or coolers, which make them ideal for large food storing purposes (keep in mind that if you're running a restaurant, it's estimated you'll need about 1.5 cubic feet of storage space per every meal you serve on a daily basis). In fact, most walk-in coolers range in size from as small as 16 cubic feet to sizes as large as 400,000 square feet. You can even purchase multi-level walk-in cooler units for yet even more storage room, or have one custom built to fit specifically into a space within a supermarket, for example.

As you can see, in the right setting, walk-in coolers are a wise - and largely essential - addition to a commercial facility. Here's a further look at some of the key benefits of walk-in coolers so that you can judge whether or not one is suitable for your situation:

  • Purpose built: Walk-in coolers these days are built with industrial strength. Typically, they are manufactured with either stainless steel or galvanized aluminum (wall widths generally vary from 3.5 to 4 inches) and foam insulation is bonded in between the materials to prevent temperature loss from within. Cooler doors are also built to meet industrial standards, as this is the part of the cooler that receives the most amount of stress upon its regular use, particularly during loading, unloading and regular entrance into the unit to retrieve food items. Usually, walk-in coolers are built on a rigid, reinforced door frame and with heavy-duty hinges for premium durability. What's more is that these units are safe, often offering the likes of inside door releases and deadbolt locks in order to ensure that operators don't get trapped in and can restrict access to the cooler when appropriate.
  • Energy savings: If you need large-scale refrigeration, and are attempting to standardize consumer refrigeration to a commercial facility, not only are you likely sacrificing the performance of the equipment for its intended purpose, but you're also not doing yourself any favors as far as efficiency goes. Yes, for a commercial facility that needs a walk-in cooler, the costs to power the appliance are one of the facility's major expenditures. However, with an industrial-grade walk-in cooler, the appliance's internal components are designed to work better and designed to higher standards than standard consumer gear. Hence, you can also experience some noticeable cost savings compared to the alternative. So just what can you expect to pay in monthly energy costs for a walk-in cooler or freezer? For a 6 x 6-foot cooler, for example, it's an estimated $66 per month. For a walk-in freezer of the same size, cost is significantly higher at about $228. With this being said, there are ways to further reduce operating costs beyond what is estimated above. For instance, a walk-in cooler equipped with extruded polystyrene insulation is the best type of insulation there is and will likely reduce energy costs. Walk-in curtains also help minimize heat gain during loading or unloading of goods. Finally, regular maintenance of the unit, such as checking door sweeps and gaskets for wear, and replacing when necessary, can also help minimize energy costs.
  • Cooling power: To piggyback off the above point, just because walk-in coolers can save a facility money on energy costs doesn't mean that they lack in quality. Most small walk-in coolers are powered by a 1/2-horsepower compressor to cool the unit to around a 35-degree temperature. Walk-in freezers, on the other hand, will normally utilize at least a 1-horsepower compressor to keep temperatures as high as 10 degrees to as low as 0.
  • High tech: It seems that every major appliance these days can be designed and engineered to offer enhanced connectivity - today's more modern versions of walk-in coolers are no exception. Many of these units have begun integrating Bluetooth technology into their makeup, thereby enabling the unit to automatically alert facility managers if temperatures fluctuate beyond the normal settings. Many coolers also often feature interior, motion-detecting lights rather than light switches to further reduce power consumption. And finally, temperature recording systems are another attractive feature, and can help prove safety measures have been taken when it's inspection time.
  • Maintenance: Most walk-in cooler units need about as much maintenance as your standard residential or commercial air conditioning unit. Specifically, it's recommended that airflow and cooler ventilation is checked at least once a year, and that condenser coils are cleaned annually by a certified technician. Additionally, it's advised that the cooler walls are cleaned routinely as well. Stainless steel is easy to clean and maintain, while aluminum tends to dent easier and is somewhat more difficult to adequately clean.

While the aforementioned are some of the key benefits, there are also a few other things to know about walk-in coolers. For instance, when it comes to installation, these units can be installed on top of a solid concrete floor, as the flooring style provides adequate stability. With that said, it's still recommended that an insulation barrier is installed underneath the walls of the unit to minimize condensation. Insulation barriers are a necessity if the cooler is going to be installed over a wood floor, as regular condensation can rot the floor over time.

One potential drawback regarding walk-in coolers is their high cost. It's not uncommon for these appliances to cost several thousand dollars, perhaps even as much as $10,000. It's unquestionably a sizable investment - and not a price that everyone may be able to pay for. If you're uneasy about the cost of a walk-in cooler, however, there are alternative options. For instance, you can buy used, or put a bid on a used appliance in a qualified industrial goods marketplace.

For more information about walk-in coolers and acquiring them from a credible source such as Bid on Equipment, contact us today.

Email Listing Submission Form

Thank you for listing your used equipment with Bid on Equipment. Please fill out the information below and return with your photos to listing@bidonequipment.com.

Information requested in red is required to list your equipment. Everything else is optional but highly recommended. Please reference our guidelines for creating a listing here.


Item Name:

Serial Number:

Customer Reference Number:

Year Built:


Asking Price:

Opening Offer:


Shipping information (If your Item will require skidding or crating, please enter weight and dimensions as if it was skidded or crated.)

  • Height:
  • Width:

  • Length:

  • Weight:

  • Prep Fee:

  • Will this require a flatbed to ship:

If this Item is being shipped from a location other than your registered address, please provide the address here:

Thank you for the information provided. We will list your Item for you as soon as possible and send you a link to the Item page once it is listed. If you have any questions please give us a call at 847-854-8577 between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm CT Monday- Friday. We look forward to doing business with you.

Make Your Listing Stand Out

Thank you for using Bid on Equipment for your used equipment sales. We have more than 25 years of experience and would like to assist you in creating the best listing possible for your equipment.

Please see below for general guidelines in how best to list your equipment to reduce additional questions from interested Buyers and allow for higher offers and sale prices. These guidelines are not required to list your Item, but are suggestions in how best to interest Buyers. If you would like help organizing your information or for guidance, we will be happy to assist.

    • Make sure your Item is placed in the correct category. We will be happy to help if you do not know which category to choose.
    • Titles should include:
      • Brand name
      • Model number
      • Short description of dimensional or capacity details
        • Resina Model S-30 Capper set on 28mm caps
        • 150 Gallon Groen Model TA150 Double Motion Kettle
    • Full description which may include but is not limited to the following (where applicable)
      • Brand Name
      • Model Number
      • Serial Number
      • Year the unit was manufactured
      • Capacity such as:
        • Gallons
        • Minimum and maximum size limits
        • Chamber size
      • Power/electrical requirements
      • Speeds/production rate
      • Product the machine was running/used for.
      • Current working condition including descriptions of anything that has been refurbished or replaced and when.
      • When it was last in operation
      • Can you run this machine in its current condition and location for an on site inspection with an interested Buyer.
      • All size parts or add-on features that come with the machine
      • Any missing components required for operation.
      • Motor specifications including:
        • Phase
        • Cycle
        • Horsepower
        • Voltage
        • Amps
        • Type
      • If the unit is still installed and will require an additional fee for removal.
      • How many units do you have available and is the price for all or for each.
  • There is no limit to how many photos you can have on your listing. We recommend providing as many clearly detailed photos as possible including:
      • A photo from each corner of the machine making sure to show the entire machine in each photo
      • Photos from underneath the unit.
      • Photos of the inside and outside of the control panel (if applicable)
      • Close up photos of the operating parts of the machine
      • Close up photos of any valves or connections
      • Photos of the specification tags
      • Internal photos for items such as tanks or equipment with chambers
  • If possible, please include a video of the machine showing the parts moving and product running. Please make sure there is no identifying information in the video. If your video is on YouTube, you can include the link in your listing. Otherwise, please send your video file to listing@bidonequipment.comreferencing your Item# in the email.

  • Any available information from the manufacturer should be included. Specification sheets and the manual can be added to your listing by sending the files to listing@bidonequipment.com referencing your Item# in the email.
  • If available, please provide the shipping information as soon as possible. This will allow us to provide shipping quotes for Buyers more quickly so they can place their offers.


  • Information in your description is best viewed if written in bullet points or short sentences. Large blocks of text can be difficult for the Buyer to find the information needed. 


  • Review your opening offer. Buyers will be unable to submit offers below that amount. Bid on Equipment recommends pricing your Item to allow for offers that stimulate negotiation. You are not obligated to accept any offer below your asking price and you will have the opportunity to present counter offers for the Buyer’s consideration. We highly recommend that you regularly review your asking price and opening offer, they can be changed at any time (unless there is a current valid offer on your Item).


  • Items you have multiples of that are the exact same can be listed in the same listing specifying how many units you have available. Items you have multiples of but are different in any way should be listed in separate listings (unless being sold as a lot).


  • Please advise us if you have listed units in separate listings but were used together as we can link the listings. For example: if you have a line of equipment but have listed the pieces separately, we can reference the other Items in each listing.


  • If you have a large quantity of items to list, please contact us for a bulk upload form to assist you in making the process easier. 


  • Changes in description, price and title can be submitted through your MyBidon portal at any time. Additional photos, videos or files can also be added at any time by sending them to listing@bidonequipment.com referencing your Item# in the email.


We appreciate you listing your equipment with us and are looking forward to doing business with you. If you have any questions or would like assistance listing your machinery, please give us a call at 847-854-8577, between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm CT Monday –Friday.

Industrial Tank Basics Buying Guide

Tanks are commonly used in many industries. No matter the type of tank whether it is for storage, cooking or processing, there are questions that need to be asked before purchasing a tank.

What size tank do you need?

Tanks are measured by the amount of product they can contain; in the US most tanks are measured by the number of gallons it holds (other countries may use liters, imperial gallons, and cubic feet). To determine the capacity of a tank, first measure the inside diameter of the vessel and the straight side (length of the cylinder).

When purchasing a tank, make sure you buy something a little bit larger than the actual number of gallons you intend to use. Keep in mind, if you are going to use a mixer you may have to account for vortexes and splash. Hopefully your business will grow and buying a larger tank will give you some time before you need to upgrade.

(When looking at purchasing a tank you will have to ship double check the circumference. Anything at 102 inches or below can be shipped standard.  If it is above that you may need special permits or routing. )

What kind of composition should the tank have?

Stainless steel is most often used for holding product that has to be kept in sanitary environments. It has a smooth finish, so as not to allow product to accumulate in its walls. Stainless steel is resistant to corrosion and is quite durable.  Most often used in the food, pharmaceutical & chemical industries stainless steel is extremely versatile. Stainless steel will most often be from the 300 series.  304 or 316 are the most common. Because of the chemical makeup of 316, it can be used in more corrosive environments. To learn more about the different types of steel Click Here

Steel is considered Carbon Steel if it contains less than 2.1% carbon and has low alloy. Over time carbon steel will corrode. Carbon steel can be pitted so product can become trapped in the tank.  Carbon steel tanks are usually not considered sanitary and will primarily be used for chemicals or waste water.

Note: Tanks made of either stainless steel or carbon steel are measured by their gauge. The smaller the gauge the thicker it is.  This chart refers to the thickness in inches and weight of the gauge. If your product will require a higher pressure or even the ability to handle internal reactions, the wall thickness will require a heavier gauge.

Plastic and Fiberglass tanks are used for corrosive material such as gasoline or vinegar.

What are your process requirements?

If your product needs to be heated or cooled you may need to consider a jacketed tank. Jacketed tanks possess an outer shell from the inside of the tank that allows steam, hot water, or hot oil to circulate in order to heat the product inside of the tank. Cooling tanks are also jacketed and use mediums such as glycol or other forms of coolant to ensure the contained product remains at a cooler temperature.

If you need to prevent the temperature from rising or dropping too fast, an insulated tank is often used.  If a tank contains a product that is hot in temperature, the insulation will prevent a person from burning themselves. Insulated tanks are usually cheaper and if you don’t need to heat or cool your product but need to minimize temperature changes this may be a good alternative.

For reactions, using a glass lined tank is often times the best choice. A glass lined tank will have the entire interior lined with glass. Glass lined tanks are exceptionally strong and are often used as reactors in chemical and pharmaceutical processes.

There are times when a product may need to be mixed inside of a tank and an agitated tank will provide this ability. Mixers come in all shapes and sizes from a simple propeller type mixer to a large, heavy duty, sweep agitated mixer with single, double or even triple motion agitation.

  • Propeller Type Mixers are usually driven by an electric or air powered motor that is connected to a stainless steel shaft with a three blade rounded propeller clamped to the other end.
  • A Turbine agitator is similar in that it has a motor at the top and a shaft but there are usually four rectangular blades connected to the other end.
  • Single Motion Agitators always spin in one direction and usually run along the bottom of the tank and often have arm extensions up the side walls sometimes with scraper blades attached.
  • Double Motion Agitators are similar to the single motion but they have two shafts that counter rotate causing a much more volatile mixing of the product.  More agitation can be added to make a triple motion agitation by simply adding a third blade running at a different RPM.

Covers on tanks are typically either a dome top or a flat top. The cover can be welded on or remain open top with hinges or flip up. If they are welded they might have a manway on the top. A manway is a hole between 18-20 inches so that a person can get inside the tank to clean. A cover may also have a site glass, a port(for things like mixers, or an infeed for product to enter.

After you have finished storing or mixing your product, you will need to drain the tank.  Tank bottoms can be cone, dish, flat, convex or a slant and usually have an outlet either in the bottom or in the side near the bottom.   A tank with a cone bottom will have much more positive flow while a tank with a flat bottom may not drain completely.

At the bottom of the tank there will be an outlet for drainage.  Outlets require a fitting in order to attach a valve.  If you need to keep things sanitary, make sure to ask about the valve because not all valves are considered sanitary.  If your product requires a sanitary valve, you will need either a Tri-Clamp Fitting or Sani-Thread Fitting to connect the valve to the outlet.  If you do not require the outlet to be sanitary then you can also use a non-sanitary threaded fitting.  Valves are what allow the product to either stay in the tank or flow from the outlet at the bottom.  Ball Valves, Butterfly Valves and Gate Valves are three styles that can be used to allow product to flow after it is ready to move on to the next part of your manufacturing process.