Used small wares have disappeared?

2,196
666
Joined Oct 31, 2012
      In years past restaurant equipment stores used to have a large selection of used small wares available in addition to the stoves, ovens, grills and other large items. Things like pots and pans, spoons,whisks, spatulas, strainers, various containers, tools, flatware, dishes, lids, etc. Basically all the detritus of failed restaurants. In my local area there were four or five places with tons of this stuff. You could buy it for pennies on the dollar and make it serviceable with a good cleaning. 

     Now it seems no one carries that stuff any more. Restaurants still close at the same rate they always have and there is just as much used large equipment around.

Where did all the small wares go? 

If this isn't the right forum, by all means switch it. 
 
5,192
296
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Down here before the recession the large restaurant auction houses used to separate the small, med, and large wares and usually have an outlet or website where you could pick up stuff cheap. Here most of them are gone. I assume it was a consequence of labor costs. The last auction I attended they offered the whole restaurant lot including small kitchen small wares, chairs, booths etc. I stopped going because I would usually go if I was looking for a specific item. There was a lot of parking lot deals going on after the auction but it wasn't worth it.

  Check your local restaurant auction sites. Some here have their own little ebay type set=up.
 
5,526
962
Joined Oct 10, 2005
I've got my own theories....

While I might not have come out and said it,  (though I'm pretty sure I have....) there is no love lost between me and the used food eqpt. dealers.  Every one I've ever dealt with has always marked up at least 300% on equipment.  I darn well near beat one over the head when he offered me $200 for a 2 yr old garland 4 eye/30" griddle and twin oven that I wanted to sell to get a larger unit.

My theory is that the dealers offer cents for inserts/hotel pans/smallwares etc.  Thing is, everyone, including you, Chefwriter are looking for these items for home/personal use.  If a place closes down, more than likely the owner will give away or sell the smallwares him/herself rather than get 25 cents for a deep full size hotelpan that will get sold for $10.00.

Then again, I have never, ever seen a kitchenaid mixer at a used food eqpt dealer's place.  Never, in all my 30 odd years, but every kitchen I've ever visited had a least one......
 
5,192
296
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Yea, you might be right, but by what means do they sell the stuff. Word of mouth?

I wouldn't buy used commercial for personal or home use. I like the shiny new expensive stuff for me/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

I can't agree more on the dealers. We are pretty fortunate that  most of the cold hearted, swindling, vultures that try to fleece a poor

owner that has to liquidate, have moved on or peddling something else.. We just a few auctions.
 
1,483
240
Joined Jan 31, 2012
Here in so calif there are still a few auction houses, open to the public.
you can also go in and buy during the non auction times.
but it is changing....a lot of small out of business restaurants are now
throwing all their stuff in storage lockers for a month and running criagslist
ads for it and selling to the highest offer.
 
455
315
Joined Sep 8, 2015
Seems completely reasonable that ebay/craigslist etc. is the new outlet for these items.  One of the many ways the internet is/has changed things.
 
5,526
962
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Internet?!

I scored a tabletop dough sheeter back in '97 from the classifieds in the Vancouver Sun.
People sold furniture, cars, and general stuff back then that way......
 
2,196
666
Joined Oct 31, 2012
     I'll check the internet some more. I did find a couple of auctions but won't be able to attend. Perhaps in a week or two.  

What I miss most is being able to sort through all the stuff and find hidden treasures for work and for home.

Ninth pans, spoons, spatulas, hobart attachments, sheet pans and much more. Finding it is great but I really enjoyed the search. It's a lot of fun for me just looking through it all. 

I once found a fine mesh chinois the owner sold me for eight bucks. They went for almost ninety dollars at the time. Looked brand new after a good cleaning.

     My most recent search is an attempt to help outfit the kitchen at the local community meals program. They have a variety of donated equipment but a fair amount is home quality. It never gets used and just takes up the limited storage area. So they need commercial size pots and pans, cambros, more commercial hand tools, etc. 

     After posting this I visited a local restaurant equipment store and found a small corner of the used equipment warehouse devoted to small wares. While I searched, the owner and I talked about what I was there for. After finding a used mandolin in perfect condition and several used cambros, he threw in brand new lids and donated all of it while telling me to make him a list and he'd keep an eye out for whatever we needed when it came in. This coming week my friend and I will be cleaning out the unnecessary equipment and getting the list together.

Then we'll both go back and do some more searching. 

There's another place still in business but it's about an hour away. So I guess it's time for a road trip. 
 
Top Bottom