Used vs. New Oven

Hello everyone, this is a great discussion forum with valuable insights, especially for people like me who are new to the Pizza business. What’s the opinion on used deck ovens, my cusion who has 4 locations suggests I minimize my investment and find a used 120,000 BTU unit. My wife and I are planning to open our pizzeria this summer.
I would appreciate your perspective. Thanks

Questions pop into my mind as you ask this:

  1. style of pizza, pan, screen, think, thin, etc.
  2. market area (culture of customer / competition)
  3. the identity of your restaurant. What do you want to be known for?
  4. delivery? Dine in?
  5. anticipated volume?
  6. Menu? Broad? Narrow?

Personally, I have been a long term fan of the conveyor oven.

  • simplicity for training and operations
  • speed of service
  • safety

The good news for you: Pizza Expo right around the corner in Las Vegas. All the latest and greatest equipment will be there along with vendors who have 100% refurbished equipment and sell with warranties. The opporunity to gather information there will be worth every penny if you are planning an opening in summer.

Over the years, new pizza companies who started with the latest technology and offered premium pizzas baked much more quickly kept raising the bar for service standards. If you identity is to kick it up a notch vs. others in your community with new ovens, your competition will hesitate to replace their ovens to keep up. Might give you an advantage. (Some day, can we deliver in 15 minutes as a standard?) :slight_smile:

All depends on you, your vision, your identity.
I will say in the pizza business, your oven is your work horse. When the oven goes down or unable to perform to expectation, the rest of your business will suffer.

Thanks a lot and your perspective is well thought out. It’s a brand new location in a upper middle-high income demo and four existing pizza competitors (3 independent and 1 regional chain). The key differentiator to our concept is pizza (NY style), selling by the slice and exceptional service. Very limited seating but strong delivery and takeout business.
I realize the role ovens play in our business but wanted to get a view from those who’ve been at it longer.
Very much looking forward to the expo.

A used deck oven would be my choice in your situation. Selling by the slice is easier with a deck and the investment is so small up front. As soon as you are sure you will do well go for the new one. The tax advantages will then help you.

We bought 2 used conveyor ovens after months of comparing and coming to forums like this.
If your going to do primarily take out and delivery you can’t beat a conveyor for volume, simplicity, and
consistency. That being said - they can be expensive to repair if you buy a used lemon. Do your homeowrk to find a reputable dealer for a REFURBISHED oven and you’ll save nearly half of the brand new price tag. A refurbed oven from a reputable dealer will come with a warranty and a guarantee of perfect working order upon receipt. If they don’t offer a full warranty for at least 90 days after purchase they do not stand behind their work. Stay away from those guys.

I have always worked with Greg from AMS Enterprises out of Tennessee.

I would agree with tastycrust about using a conveyor oven for volume and needing one that won’t break down regularly and cost you an arm and a leg. I went with brand new ovens from Edge and probably spent less than an equivalent set of refurbished Middlebys. These came with a two year warranty, and have had no problems in the 6 months I have had them. As a bonus, I’m using about 25% less gas than I did with my old ovens.

Every food service owner or operator wants to save money. Money saved is money added to your bottom line. But sometimes, saving money in the short term will cost you money in the long term. Buying used equipment instead of new equipment will always save you money in the short term, but make sure to think ahead. With many pieces of equipment, the money saved by purchasing used is not worth the risk it entails. However, in certain cases, buying used equipment is a smart way to save some of your capital.