Weighing the benefits and negatives to buying used furniture is an excellent step in the right direction to outfitting your restaurant. It is important to keep a few things in mind before making this decision as it will significantly impact the look of your restaurant. One thing to keep in mind is your budget; how much are you willing to spend on each piece? If price is an issue, then used furniture might be the direction to go. It's also important to consider the style of the restaurant and what look you want to portray with your concept. The following pros and cons must be prefaced with both of these ideas in mind so that you can make the most informed choice.
Pros of Used Furniture
Compared to new furniture, used pieces will almost always be cheaper. If you have a tight budget, you have to consider the priority of furniture in relation to other costs that you might have to expend during the outfitting process. If the look and feel of your restaurant is a higher priority than something like buying brand new cooking appliances, then maybe used furniture isn't the option you want to take. However, if you don't have the resources to expend on lavish furniture, buying used or refurnished furniture might be for the best. This does not necessarily mean that your restaurant will suffer quality wise because of buying used furniture. It is very important to recognize that simply because furniture is used, that does not mean it is in poor condition. Used and refurnished furniture can be in a similar quality of brand new furniture. It's all about the outlet from which the furniture is purchased and your priorities as a buyer.
Regarding price, there is also the possibility that you could catch a great deal. When a piece of furniture is nominated as "used", it simply means that it has already been purchased and is being resold, but the extent of its use is not clearly designated by the term "used." A piece of furniture that was bought and immediately resold would be labeled as "used." In this case, you are basically buying new furniture at an exceeding discount. It's always a good idea to keep an eye out for deals like this when you are on your search.
Cons of used Furniture
One difficulties you will come across when buying used furniture is if you decide to make a bulk order. Oftentimes there will only be a small selection of the particular piece you're trying to purchase. This could be acceptable if you only need a few pieces to complete your restaurant. However, if you need 50-100 pieces, you will have a tough time finding enough used furniture of the same style. Of course, there is always the slim chance that there is an overstock of the exact pieces you need, but do not solely count on this when you are in your search for the perfect fit.
An obvious concern you might have when buying used restaurant furniture is the condition the pieces are in. The pieces could have a surface-level scratch or some underlying structural damage. A simple scratch could only require a quick refurbish, but structural damage may not be worth the cost. Consider both of these possibilities when you are on your search. If the idea of having to commit some extra time to routine maintenance is not an issue, then used furniture might be the best option here. New furniture would need routine maintenance as well, but the degree varies depending on the condition of the used piece. It's also a good idea to discuss each specific piece with the seller if you have any concerns of possible damage.
If you do not inquire on the condition of the prospective pieces, you could end up with furniture that may break down in a shorter time than expected. This situation would introduce the next con of buying used restaurant furniture. Used furniture will most likely not have any warranty or buyback policy attached. This is why it is of the utmost importance to look into the condition of the pieces you are buying, especially if you have a bulk order. New furniture will almost always have the option for a warranty on the pieces, you lose out on this benefit when you buy used. Look into each seller's policies regarding warranties and buybacks on their pieces as you do not want to lose out on budget just because you did not put enough time or effort into your search. This is where you must contemplate the value of time and price and how your own personal situation fits into your decision.
Buying used furniture comes with pros and cons. As a restaurant owner, you must weigh the benefits and negatives that come with the decision. Firstly, always consider your own specific circumstance and how that plays into what the best option is. Next, reflect on the style of your restaurant and contemplate what pieces you think would compliment the look and feel you want to give off to your customers. Then, the priority of your budget must be considered so you can decide whether or not used furniture would be best to outfit your restaurant. Remember, if budget is of no concern and style is a high priority, then new furniture will always be the best decision. Finally, evaluate the necessity of a warranty and if a no-warranty purchase would be a deal-breaker. If you have the means to refurbish or fix a piece that has broken down, then a no-warranty purchase would be something to consider. Always take great care in this decision as it will significantly impact the perception of your restaurant to customers.