Ethics question, I guess

We have finally gotten a lease on a space that’s been empty since January. Lots of equipment in there, tables chairs booths…make tables fryers flattop grilltop range…problem is we are not going to fry. And, the previous place didn’t clean anything. …oil left in the fryers, grills full of grease…nasty but its getting better every day.

we have been given the ok to put the things we don’t want in a storage unit (owned by the landlord also). My partner thinks we should simply shove the pieces into storage as is…full of grease and dead food. I feel we should do a little bit toward cleaning them. it will get really nasty in that unit otherwise. I’ve got two of the 3 fryers mostly cleaned out, but far from really clean.

I can’t boil them out because we don’t have gas service hooked up yet. I need to get these things out of the way soon.

Should I leave them as is or get them to a car wash? thanks!

I am assuming you paid some kind of security deposit upon moving in, and likewise so did the previous tenant. That being said, the landlord should have used that money to get everything cleaned up an in shape. If he didn’t, that is on him. I would make him the offer to clean it up for a portion off your first months rent. If he chooses not to, then I wouldn’t feel any obligation to clean anything.

Of course, if he is already doing a favor to you (great price on lease, leaving extras not included for your use, etc) I would clean it and consider it a trade off.

As long as the storage unit is far away from your store. That stuff will collect bugs. Also may I ask why you don’t want to use at least 1. Fries, wings, fingers, skins you can do so much with it.

I hate fryers. Messy, safety hazard, and we just don’t need them. We’re selling pizzas, not wings or fries. We’ll do ovenable appetizers, but wings is not what we want to be known for. I know, that’s against the trend. It makes for happier insurance agents and health inspectors, too.


I hear you Eupher. Its hard to draw the line on what you should do and what is extra sometimes. I was wondering why you didnt clean it and use it as well, but your explanation makes alot of sense. We’ve had the same arguments in my old pizzeria. I would clean as much as you can. It shows good intentions and is a great way to start your new relationship with your landlord. Just make sure to mention it in passing so it doesn’t go un-noticed.

We do oven-able wings. I would switch to a fryer in a minute. Unless you promote the heck out of your wings, you will be known as a pizza place regardless.

BTW, it is a business; it is about what puts money in the bank. There is a reason that those who have fryers available use them.

On your larger question, due care is expected in a business relationship. The condition of the equipment you are not using might not be your responsibility to improve under your agreement, but there is no doubt that you are obligated to not just shove them in a storage unit as is. I would suggest that you contact the landlord and explain that you are not planning to use these items but that they are not in condition for storage but that you do not see it as your responsibility to address the condition and ask him how he wants to handle it.

My guess is that your lease requires you to use reasonable care and protect the value of the facilities and equipment included in your lease. If these items are seen to be a part of your lease agreement and you have possession of them, you CAN NOT simply store them as is.

Both an ethical question and a point of contract law: I doubt very much you can just store them as is. At the very least, you must contact the LL about it.

the previous tenant should have ben responsible for them…but that’s in the past. Got them cleaned out and stored today. were I using them they would be cleaner…but my conscious is clear.

on to more cleanng and other silliness!

Get ride of them or get them cleaned. Do not take them to a car wash. Car washes are for cars. Think about the next car wash customer getting your greasy food all over their shoes and hands and even their car. If you clean them have them done professionally.

I own a car wash and would not hesitate to throw you out of mine if you started washing restaurant equipment there.

Fryers suck! We precook wings from fresh in a deck and have NO problems. As far as the fryers, I’d empty them into 5 gallon buckets and put them in storage. Good luck!

Steve, how are you making out with your move?..

No problems, Royce. The storage units are immediately behind the building, so it was just a matter of getting a truck (and cleaning the durned fryers…grr) There are a couple of pieces still to go, which I just didn’t have room to move that first trip. These can probably be rolled down there more easily than in a truck.

I was not paying attention to details…I thought you were moving from one location to another…But you are actually opening a new store…So I guess the question should have been, how is that going?..