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Should I Rent or Buy My Concession Equipment?

When to Rent or Buy a Popcorn Machine or Other Equipment

When you’re running a fundraiser or special event, there are a lot of balls in the air, and it’s up to you to juggle them all. From securing a venue to hiring help or coordinating volunteers, the decisions are endless. And then you have to think about how to obtain your food equipment and supplies.

Which option will be the most cost effective for you?

Questions to Consider for Concession Equipment Rental or Purchase

There are advantages to both buying and renting popcorn machines, cotton candy machines, and other equipment: the key is determining which will meet your particular needs best. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you consider your choices.

How frequently will I use the machine?

This is by far the most important factor in your decision. If you’re planning a single event, price alone makes renting the only reasonable choice. But if your event is semi-regular, you’ll want to weigh the cotton candy or popcorn machine rental cost over time against a one-time larger purchase.

For annual events, renting may still be the best choice. You’re likely to get a newer machine from the rental company after a few years, and you won’t need to perform any maintenance or store a rarely used machine.

But if your event occurs multiple times per year, investing in your own machine will pay off over time. Using the Ultra 60 Special Popper as an example, with typical rental prices ranging from $50-$70, if you hold your event monthly, your costs would be similar for one year of use, but the following year you’d incur no more costs and all your income, other than purchasing additional supplies, would be profit.

Who will be operating the machine?

If you know you’ll have a few reliable employees or volunteers consistently running and maintaining your concession equipment, purchasing machines could be for you. However, if the operators will change regularly, or if you’re concerned about dedication to cleaning and caring for the equipment, rental will be best.

With a rented machine, the rental company will generally handle all cleaning and maintenance – you simply use it for your event and return it. Most companies require you to wipe down the kettle and interior of the machine after use, but they will handle the actual cleaning with appropriate products.

How much support will you need?

If you’re looking to rent a popcorn machine for a party or small fundraiser, you’re probably thinking in the right direction. Rental companies will provide you the machine and a selection of supplies you’ll need, such as oil and salt kits and popcorn bags, and give you a basic rundown of how to use the machine. Then, you’re on your own at your event.

But if you’re running larger fundraisers or more complicated events, purchasing your own machine to gain expertise and get extra guidance from the seller or manufacturer could be worth it. For example, Gold Medal branches and dealers will be able to help point you in the direction of new flavors or recipes to help you add variety to your events, and can also provide valuable resources and ideas to maximize your profits.

Ready to rent or buy?

If renting is right for you, an online search for party rental or concession equipment rental within your city or region should yield plenty of options.

To purchase concession equipment, find the Gold Medal dealer or branch nearest you and schedule a personalized consultation today.