“Calculating Commercial Rent & Understanding Lease Types” by Brandon Stewar is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit:

Leasing is a convenient and flexible option used by businesses and residential consumers alike to acquire new, high-involvement purchase items like cars, homes, furniture, electronics, appliances, etc. The flexibility of leasing assists restaurants and other commercial foodservice establishments in several ways. For instance, it greatly reduces the figurative gut punch associated with stomaching a high capital expense all at once. 

The route of payment is often determined by individual comfort levels. There are benefits and risks to everything. Central offers a variety of flexible options to help our customers get the equipment they need to run an efficient business without depleting their savings. These are especially handy when it comes to the unexpected need to quickly replace a refrigerator or other equipment item that stopped working without warning. Different options greatly reduce the shock of unexpected expenses, creating a layer of security and peace of mind. 

At Central, we offer leasing to own programs. Many customers opt for because it allows customers to pay in full between one to five years with a minimal buyout option at the end of the term. There are pros and cons to this. “[Leasing] is best suited for existing restaurants,” explains Product Consultant Greg Otterman. “They want to upgrade their equipment and avoid a major expense all at once. Leasing to own is a great idea here because it allows them to get energy efficient equipment that will save on utility costs while minimizing impact on their bottom line.” 

Keep in mind that not all lease agreements end with you owning the product. Leasing and lease to own are different and it’s important to know what you’re getting into.

Upfront Costs and Freeing Capital 

The cost of restaurant equipment quickly adds up and businesses don’t always have all the money required upfront. Even if they might, costs to running a commercial business never cease and the budget reserved for new equipment could be rerouted to another cause. Another common circumstance: sometimes establishments opt for the lower quality item that isn’t as expensive upfront but proves far less reliable in the long run. An age-old case of getting what you paid for.  

You don’t buy a new piece of equipment for the sake of buying it. You buy it because you need it. Your revenue depends on it. This is where leasing can help. “When equipment is leased, in lieu of exhausting cash accounts on fixed assets, it frees up capital for other expenses,” reiterates Missy Ball, Lease Coordinator & Credit Analyst.  Central is partnered with North Star Leasing. Together, we strive to give that personal touch and get to know our customers and their business needs and goals.  

Getting Started 

The lease application can be found on our website under the green finance tab.  Once a completed application is submitted, it is reviewed by our exclusive partner, North Star Leasing. The decision is usually made within 24 hours. Leasing is subject to credit approval, and the upfront cost and interest rate depends on creditworthiness.  

If you’re considering leasing, you can use this leasing calculator to figure an estimated monthly payment. You can begin the application process here

Lease to Own: The BuyoutLease to Own: The Buyout 

While terms for buyouts may vary, all programs through Central’s partner are a $1.00 buyout and have no penalty for prepayment. Simply stated, at the end of the lease term, you have the option to purchase the equipment for $1.00. Carefully read your lease agreement prior to singing to avoid hidden fees that some vendors may charge!

Additional Benefits to Leasing

There are a few other benefits unique to leasing. 

  1. Better terms. Leases can usually be extended at fixed rates over a longer period than conventional bank financing without the large down payment.  
  2. Cleaner balance sheet. Lease payments may be entered as footnote items on a balance sheet and may not increase your liabilities like a standard loan would. This is an important consideration to building additional credit. 
  3. Competitive rates and terms. Some programs include seasonal plans, deferred payments, 12-month leases and custom programs structured to meet your unique situation.  
  4. Conserves credit lines for other uses. 
  5. Overcome budget limits. Since a lease is generally treated as an expense rather than a capital expenditure, it’s easier to create room for monthly payments. 
  6. Bank lines remain untouched. A lender will usually refrain from reducing credit when equipment is leased. However, when it is financed, it consumes available credit. 
  7. Tax advantages. Lease payments are typically considered a pre-taxed business expense and qualify for the Section 179 deduction.  
  8. Start-up businesses are eligible.
  9. Easily add on to an existing North Star lease hassle free 

For more information about Central’s payment options, click here or call 800.215.9293. 

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