Wen't to restaurant equipment supplier and he said..


I’m trying to open up a hole in the wall pizza take out/delivery service in the Toronto area and will be asking for advice frequently if I can’t find answers.

Right now I’m in the planning phase. I have the capital saved up and would like to buy used equipment and then rent a space for the business. No renevations, no dining room, maybe 2 people on payroll at maximum. This setup is very common here up north.

I went to a used restaurant supplier and he had stuff that he basically gets off auction. Some of the equipment, very, very old looking. And they had a guy full time just cleaning the grime off it. Caked on like I’ve never seen before. They had an oven looked like it was dipped in tar. No joke. He had Hobart mixers that were like tanks. Taller and older than even me.

He only had two pizza ovens. One was a Bakers Pride. Very old looking. Dents… looks like it’s been through 10 restaurants.

He said that ‘all people want is electric ovens because they are more consistent’. He kept stressing that they were much more consistant than gas ovens and that people don’t want them anymore.

But I didn’t see any gas so he might have been trying to sell me on stuff he had in stock. The prices where very high considering what you guys can get new in the US for a few thousand.

There’s also the ventilation setup. He mentioned about 10k to setup the ventilation hood. That’s funny becuase I see them for $800 range online and the blower seems to be a couple of hundred. So I don’t see where 10k comes into this.

They had a VERY used deep fryer for $750 but I see them new for almost that much online.

I don’t want to be taken to the cleaners on the restaurant equipment and I have a feeling around here the business might be a bit shady (like used cars).

I have all the capital here waiting to be spent but can’t afford to pay $5000 for a 30 year old used Hobart Mixer when brad new ones of other brands are online for much cheaper.

Is there any advice on the oven?

Or finding a good source to get get used equipment?



There seems to be lots of used equipment on Craigs List these days

As far as hood set-up…You need to study the building code requirements…In some places it could be the most expensive part of opening up…George Mills will be able to give you some advice but the codes in Toronto may be way different…

As far as ovens, if you read through the archives here there is tons of information…But generally a new oven is way more efficient and consistent than an older oven…New ovens can pay for itself very quickly in labour savings alone…But it may be hard to swing a lease so many folks get “stuck” with a poor used oven…

Try Butcher equipment in Brantford, There is another big outlet in Mississauga, Nella Equipment in Toronto. All three are huge and deal in used equipment. $750 is to much for a used fryer. You can buy them new starting at $1,000 from any of the three names I gave you. As far as high prices compared to US, welcome to Canada. You will find less to choose from and it will be more expensive. Hoods in Canada go for around $200.00 a foot, then depending on how complicated your venting is will determine your labor costs for putting it in. $10,000 is about right unless everything is very straight forward. Butcher and Nella for sure also sell and install hoods. As far as ovens go, it depenss on what you will be serving and your bankroll. In my place I have a double stacked Garland gas oven. It’s used and I paid $2,000 for it . But at this time we only sell slices. My ovens can handle that, but we have to add if we want to sell full round pies and trays. But for now these will work. Hobart is a great mixer, but not one 30 years old. Again check with the equipment dealers.We don’t have a mixer. We have our dough made for us from a local bakery. It’s our receipe they make it to our specifications and we pay $.90 a pound. You will get great advice from the people on this site with regards . There are quite a few operators from Canada. Really no question is to dumb . . it’s only dumb when you don’t ask.

Good luck

Hi Crush;

Stay away from used equipment dealers, find a good equipment reconditioner or rebuilder.

Used equipment is mostly stuff some major operator replaced with new because it was becoming to expensive to maintain or it was dragged out of some dump that went broke and probably got the equipment used themselves. Once in a while some very good equipment comes on the market but that’s not the usual.

Reconditioned equipment has usually ben disassembled cleaned and inspected. All defective and any suspect components are usually replaced and the equipment is in good operating condition.

Rebuilt equipment should have every major operating component replaced with the up graded latest components now being used in new equipment.

The reconditioned oven should come with a list of parts replaced with new and a one year warranty on those new parts. all other parts will usually have a relatively short warranty

A rebuilt unit should have a one year parts warranty.

Gas fired equipment is best who ever was telling you other wise was incorect.

George Mills

Hey thanks guys for the help.

I’m giong to check out some more places this week and figure out what I’m going to do about the ventilation costs. I do have access to another $10k but then I’d be in debt which I kind of didn’t want to do as there’s a good chance of failure. I can have the best pizza and do a major deliver campaign but just may not get enough orders no matter what I try.

For my budget i’d like to keep it at $15k for everything including refidgeration, hood, fryer, mixer, oven. Even the prep table I don’t mind using metal bowls on a stainless table.

For freezers I would just use home deep freezers. So that’s the type of shoe-string setup I’m takling about.

I plan to have the best wedge fries, pizza, poutine, and philly cheese steaks in Toronto a the lowest price I can give with minimal staff and overhead. Delivery/pickup only.

I would also like to spend a few thousands on a good flyer and ad campaign.

Is that feasible?

Hey, I have also been doing research into buying pizza equipment. I have found several leasing options out there so if you don’t want to jump into buying crappy used stuff and there just isn’t any companies selling used stuff out by you then perhaps look into leasing, im sure you could do that with even a US company and they would load up a semi or small truck and deposit the stuff for you on location or a nearby storage facility.

Anyway just get the math down of what you want. As in oven temp, oven capacity, mixing bowl capacity, and so on then do all ur shopping online thats what i would do. As you said ur self better quality used equipment seems to be online. Lot cheaper than that scam artist is asking for.

It doesnt sound like ur going to, but whatever you do just dont buy a pizza place that someone is selling. It may sound like a good deal to get a location and equipment off a distressed business being sold but its far more expensive.

Tho the cost may be prohibitive, I have 2 older Bakers Pride deck ovens w/new non-cracked stones…I moved into a new spot & brought my conveyors w/me…$4,500 USD - would ship from Fla - You might consider UShip.com as a shipping option - also, I’ve got a GREAT ventless fryer that will blow your mind - an oldie but goodie - can pressure fry or fry open basket style - no need 4 hood, as it already has one built-in $3K - w/deck ovens, I think you can get by on a less expensive hood system - ask the other Canadians 4 sure…

Hey, I am not too sure how things are priced up in canada, I live in chicago my self so its one of the most expensive areas to live in the USA (10.25% sales tax and super high property tax to boot). But if you plan on getting started with 15k its doable from what i have researched but just barely. However if you mean that you want to only spend 15k total to get ur business up and running and you dont mean 15k just for kitchen equipment, i am pretty positive you will most certianly be funding a failed business.

If you dont want to turn ur hole in the wall into a glorified “stroage rental” filled with assorted comercial kitchen appliances, you will need to at the very very least to cover 3 to 4 months operating expenses completely out of pocket. Plus you will need to do a decent yellow page listing (if you have that up there) and some form of advertising. You should drop 1-2k on neon lighting to go in ur windows to draw attention to the place, the more the better, people love neon lighting its like bug zappers for humans.

Crush you might want to check on whether or not you can use non commercial freezer and/or coolers…It some places the health inspectors will not allow them…No dough in a Coke cooler for example…

What model are theose BP ovens? That could be a SWEET deal for someone, even with shipping.

Nick - I think they’re like your old oven - baking deck is 3’x4’…stones hardly used @ all - can’r see a info tag - they look decent tho…

The numbers you got from online are just a box and fan. You’re probably going to need make-up air and it will probably need to be tempered. It looks like you’re going to have a fryer and range too, which means you need a fire suppression system. A good estimate for a Type 1 hood is about U.S. $1,000 to U.S. $1,500 [i]per foot[i]. A Type 1 hood is much more advanced than you’re probably thinking.

Even the prep table I don’t mind using metal bowls on a stainless table.

There’s no way that’s getting past the health department. You don’t plan to refrigerate your toppings?

For freezers I would just use home deep freezers.

Also probably not getting past the health department.

Is that feasible?

Like several people said in your other thread, it probably isn’t feasible with your budget. I can’t envision many scenarios where you can open a new pizzeria with $15,000, regardless of how “hole in the wall” it is.

Welcome to Canada: to start your operation no matter how small you will need:
Hood with return air vent: new $200. per foot . Used without air vent around $150 per foot. Fan starts around $300.00 We bought one for a hood we just had installed it was $585.00 Suppression System starts around $1500.00 Canadian. I just bought a system for a 6’foot hoot with 3 nozzles with tax and installation $2500.00. No matter if you buy new or used, you won’t get away from installation charges unless you know someone. There are few installers and they charge. For one thing you need engineer drawings before the city will give you the permit… Your installer does all that.

You will need 3 sinks. One with a sprayer setup. (mandatory from Health Dept)
Make sure if you buy them used they have working taps. Most you see won’t. You can buy the sinks from $700 and up. Taps you are looking at $150 per sink You can use home type freezers in Ontario, but your health inspector will tell you to have a commercial temp gauge that they can read every time they inspect. If your home freezer has any ice build up or is not up to temp, they will make you toss everything in the freezer. But you can use them, we did at first. You will have to have separate coolers for: Sodas, Meat & Veggies. You can find used coolers anywhere from $500 up. New they start around $1800 plus taxes. If you buy used you should have a good refrigeration man on call and you will need separate gauges in each. But like George said, stay away. I bought 4 used coolers 4 years ago the worst looking one lasted the longest about 3 years the rest went within 2 years. In my other thread I mentioned fryers and ovens. You still have a mixer, small wares, containers and supply purchases.
15k for everything? You’ve got your work cut out for you.

Another option you can look at is buy a takeout that went under. Sometimes the landlord ends up with equipment in place of rent owed and by paying back rent you can get a shop that’s already in place but again obviously that has its pros and cons as well. .Another way is to look for a small shop that wants to get out of the business and will hold paper. You can use part of the 15k for a down payment and leave yourself some working capital

Good luck


This is exactly how it was done in Ottawa (my hometown) and exactly what I was planning to do here! Hahah… too funny.

But things changed a lot in the last 20 years with laws and gov’t union expansions accross the board so nothing at all suprises me anymore. Next thing we’ll have union workers seeing how we dress our pizza’s.

I’m sure in some city somewhere that they wants to see your menue and approve it. That’s got to be somewhere hehe.

Welcome to Toronto :smiley: But we have health care . . .just don’t cut or burn yourself you’ll have a 6-8 hour wait in the emergency room :frowning:

There’s nothing that justifies $1000 a ft for a hood. The gov’t regulates these things and the prices jump sky high because of it.

When I was planning my wedding every vendor was insisted that my flowers would cost in the $5k range. Even on the forums. Then I did my research, found out the true cost of the flowers, what’s involved, and where they get them from, understood the margins, and got them all for $900. It took a lot of searching but I found someone who charges fair prices. She did a 50% markup. Happened to be a Korean lady actually. The flowers were to specification and exactly what we wanted. We just dealt with the right people.

It looks like I’m going to have to do the same with this hood if it becomes a problem becuase there’s no way the hood is worth $10k and I’m not spending that much on something that has a real value of $1000 tops incl. blower. I’m looking at new ones for less than $1k online.

If not putting a fryer under the hood will get me out of jail than that’s what I’ll do and figure something else out with the fryer.

As far as the metal bowls, we have a large, large fast food chain called Harvey’s over here. They use metal bowls for all their topings so I don’t see how that wouldn’t pass inspection. I could put them in the fridge when it’s not busy and them them out before rush.

Here’s the way I’m seeing it:

I’ll have a shiny box and flyers like everyone else. The customer gets the pizza delivered. The product itself (the pizza) will be the best in town. The customer does not know what type of hood I’m using or whether my equipment is used or new. All he knows is that the flavor of the sauce is really good and there’s tons of cheese. He doens’t know if I’m using metal bowls or storing pizza dough in a coke fridge (standard practice in ottawa).

My kitchen will be hidden well away from customers seing as it’s only take out and delivery.

Now, if the business folds because I chose the wrong neighbourhood (a major concern here in Toronto as a large demographic do not order pizza), then I’m not out that much money. I can resell what I have and life lesson learned. But, if business thrives, then I can afford to get better gear in the kitchen… like a walk in fridge and double stack XLT oven and cold prep table.

Fridge, Fryer, Mixer, Oven, Hood, Table. All thoes items easily are less than $15k combined so I dont see where all the problems happen. My main focus was on the marketing and recipes actually. I wasn’t expecting the gov’t to take such an intrest as to the exterior looks of my fridges that will be holding the dough.

Thanks for all the info Sammy. Your prices made me feel a lot better. the sink was a sprise though its further regulation that adds expense to my startup costs.

I was looking at a fridge like this for the dough. Also there is the coke 3 sliding door that I would also like. He could give me a deal for both maybe $1800 which is within my budget.


I cannot afford new until the business is proven to be succesful. The toronto market is very hit and miss because you could have huge population and sprawl of ‘people who don’t order pizza’ as I like to say. If I went to the US I’m sure I would look around say ‘Oh my God, everyone here is a potential customer!’. Things do NOT work like that around the GTA so neighbourhoods have to be chosen very carefully because you can have the best pizza, give away wedge fries and wings with the best sauce and best packaging, and people still wont order pizza becuase the ‘people who order pizza’ make up only 20% of the demographic.

This one American told me not to worry about customer profiles because ‘everyone eats pizza!’. Yeah… I wish I could go back to those days. In your city they most likely they do. It doesn’t work that way in the GTA (and parts of BC I assume). Take a whole neighbourhood, then cut your potential customers by 80% because they never have, and never will order pizza.

So me opening up a shop with my life savings is a real, real gamble with a high chance of failure so that is why I’m being very cautious with my upfront expenses and who I’m giving my money to as there’s a chance I’ll fail anyhow. I hope people can understand where I’m coming from. I was in the US or another city I might be more gung-ho about up front costs and more willing to go into debt. I have $15k and can access another $10k to go into debt so I feel that should be enough to get me up and running judging from prices on various items.

One of the costs of the hood is cutting holes in the roof and building curbs to put the exhaust fan and the make up air fan on. More than likely you’ll need to pull permits to do this and at least where I am, codes enforcement won’t allow an unlicensed person to do the install. There definitely is a fair amount of labor involved with hanging a hood in a place that hasn’t already had one.

Be REALLY, REALLY sure you are comparing hood type to hood type. Type I and Type II hoods are radically different. The biggest cost in the kitchen ventilation system is going to be the installation. If you have a grease hood, and it needs fire retardant wrap on the ducts . . . get out the $$$. That need is dictated by the place you are installing and building code. Stainless steel, the fire batting and the hours and hours and hours the guys spent intalling my hood really did justify the expense to me. Sure, I might could have hung the hood in the ceiling, but the entire project took 4 men a full 12 hours to install completely.

Nick, could you be a friend and edit your post so that quote isn’t attributed to me?

Crush, I wish you the best of luck. You seem to know better than everybody here.