Checklist for Requesting Foodservice Equipment Quotes: Part 2 – Special Features, Tech and Logistics

By Paul Schick, Nutrition Advisory Specialist, Intalere

As we introduced in our last blog post, foodservice professionals are many times challenged with making sure to include all the important details when making a request either to purchase or lease any piece of foodservice equipment.

To make sure you get exactly what you need, we’ve put together a checklist of some of the things that the manufacturer/distributor needs (at a minimum) so that you get exactly what you want, and you don’t have any unexpected surprises upon delivery.

In our last blog post, we reviewed common attributes around power requirements and physical dimensions – that are sometimes not initially considered. In this post, we look at special features, tech features and logistics.

Special Features – Characteristics for Consideration

  • Do you need the equipment on castors or stationary legs?
  • How many shelves or compartments does it have or need?
  • Is a solid or glass door necessary? Consider if it will be in a display area vs. back in the kitchen.
  • Do you need locking doors or non-locking doors?
  • Does it need a drain with a removable plug or solid base?
  • Is a water line necessary or steam line? Remember to include temperature and pressure requirements.
  • Are there any sanitation requirements?
  • What type of material is the equipment made of (aluminum, stainless steel, power coated steel, mixed metals, plastic, rubber, wood, etc.) and does that require any special considerations?
  • Does the equipment need to be commercial or residential grade?
  • If stainless, specify grade finish, 18/10 for example, or gauge 12, 14, 16.
  • With flooring, what type – specify tile, concrete, poured, etc.?
  • For a dish machine – high or low temperature? If low temperature, determine chemical cost in project.
  • For refrigeration, check that whatever gas is needed is available on site in case the product needs refilling. (Gases have become cleaner overtime and some gases are not readily available.)

Technical Features

  • What tech features are necessary for the equipment to work effectively?
  • Can multiple pieces use the same software and hardware?
  • Can it run on a network?
  • Any security issues running on network, such as collecting patient data?
  • Does it need to run through an app?
  • Can it be programmed remotely?
  • Can it be monitored remotely?
  • Are there manual overrides if the app stops working or there is a power failure?
  • Is there IT support for the app and product?
  • Who loads the data, and what are the costs associated with that?

Logistics

Typically this aspect of an equipment purchase is often overlooked and assumptions are made that can cause unbudgeted expenses.

  • Do you have a standard loading dock, or do you need a liftgate truck?
  • Will the piece of equipment fit through all doorways with a clear path to the final location?
  • Are there any stairs or ramps that need to be navigated when delivering the equipment to its final destination?
  • Will the new equipment need to be tugged due to ramps or inclines during use?
  • Do you need an inside delivery? (Do not assume the driver will remove the equipment and bring to final location.)
  • Who will remove and install new equipment including making final electrical, gas and water connections?
  • Is the install during working hours or after hours?
  • Regarding training, who will conduct training? A factory representative or distributor? Is there a charge or is training included with the equipment?
  • Review the costs and benefits of standard vs. extended warranty.
  • Preventative maintenance – it can be worth including this in capital to extend the life of the product.
  • Include any inspection requirements both on the equipment and by local authorities.

As stated previously, staff and vendor representatives can assist you in explaining any particulars around these points, as well as developing specs and uncovering any others you may need. Always err on the side of overcommunicating and asking so that everyone has as much detail and information as possible up front so the end result will be the best fit for your needs.

We Can Help. Intalere provides resources that can assist in every aspect of your healthcare foodservice operations, as well as general supply chain, and many other areas of your healthcare facility. Reach out to see how we can help. Contact Customer Service at 877-711-5600 or customerservice@intalere.com or your Intalere representative.

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