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A guide to commercial noodle machine costs

Read this article to find the best noodle machine for your business 

Over the past 4 decades of helping customers choose a commercial noodle machine that would actually help their business grow and solve problems they struggle with, one of the most asked questions we get from our potential customers has been: How much does a Yamato noodle machine or a commercial noodle machine cost? Although this is a very difficult question to answer without knowing what the customer wants to do, I’ll try my best to explain some general pricing guidelines for those who may be interested in using a restaurant noodle machine for a business.
By reading this article, you can learn the costs of a reliable commercial noodle machine used for a small business (limited up to about the daily production capacity of 2,000 servings of fresh noodles), what the other costs that you need to consider when purchasing a noodle machine, and what kinds of questions you should answer before making a purchase decision.
So, this article should serve as a buying guide for you to avoid making a wrong decision for your business.

howtostartusing

The purchase of a commercial noodle machine for your business is much like a purchase of a vehicle for your business use. There are many options. Depending on what you are intended to use the machine for, price ranges dramatically.
Just as a basic car starts around USD20K-30K with just a basic package, once you start adding other options, such as a navigation system, surrounding monitor-cameras, refrigeration/freezer systems, etc., it adds up to the final amount. And if you want more horsepower, the speed, or even cool or sturdy appearance (to align with your brand image), you may be looking at USD50K or more. (This discussion is limited to a small commercial vehicle like a Yamato noodle machine, which is designed for restaurants and small-scale production like a central kitchen and small factory)
And, of course, there are other choices like 2nd hand ones, cheaper alternatives (like ones starting from a few thousands of US dollars), or you may get lucky and get a beat-up vehicle from a friend or someone else.
The idea is same with a commercial noodle machine. If you want a bigger production capacity, faster production with less labor, capability to produce more types of noodles, a great appearance that you may want to showcase to your customers, it costs more.

Questions we should ask and answer ourselves

To select one that is best suitable for our needs, we should ask ourselves some core questions to see what are critical for our business when investing in equipment. For example, we should ask ourselves questions like;
What are the 3 most important things we need when it comes to choosing the equipment?
Do we want the equipment to be durable and reliable?

Do we want an equipment that is easy and simple to use with a little training?
Do we want an equipment that is affordable for us to just get started?
Would we need follow-up and after-sales support that help us stay up to date on the technology, industry trends, great recipes, etc.?
Do we need a good training on the equipment so that we can draw the maximum values from the equipment?
These are probably some basic questions we may want to ask ourselves when evaluating the alternatives, we have. Depending on our answers, how much we pay initially and later on would be dramatically different. Because the purchase of a commercial equipment or noodle machine for our business incurs not only the initial investment but also other costs that are going to be associated with use of the machine, we should consider them in advance before making a decision.
Because nobody wants to make a painful mistake of purchasing a wrong product and have regrets down the road, we want to spend as much time as we can on comparing as many of the competing products as we can. 

In addition to the initial cost of getting the noodle machine, there may usually be 3 types of costs that incur after placing a purchase order. (installation, operational, and maintenance costs)

Installation costs
Installation costs would vary, depending on the size of the machine (how much space it takes up), how complete the assembly of the machine is on delivery (if some assembly is necessary for us to start using the machine properly), how the machine is packaged when delivered, and other conditions of the premise where the machine is installed and operated.
We should ask the manufacturer the following questions to figure out how much it`d cost us to complete the installation.
How is the machine packaged? If the machine is heavy and packaged in a wooden crate, we may need some special equipment, such as a forklift to get the machine off a pallet in a secure manner. Properly disposing of the packing materials may cost some money in your area as well.
How is the machine delivered to our place? Will there be some assembly needed on our end? If so, is there going to be some expert skills required, for example, some machining skills needed, securing an electrical connection, or other tasks that require some specialist we would need to hire to complete the installation.
What are the measurements and weight of the machine? Would there be any special equipment necessary to carry the machine into the premise? And would we need to do preparations to move the machine into the installation/operation spot of our premise? If the machine is operated in a basement and if there`s no elevator but stairs to access, that would mean we would need to hand-carry the machine down the stairs. If the machine is heavy, we may need to have a few guys with big muscles available when carrying in the machine. Also, we should ask if the machine is easy to move around, for example on casters. Otherwise, we may want some equipment that help us carry the machine with ease.
What`s important is that we should visualize how the installation (from delivery) of the machine goes beforehand, so we can be prepared for any bad surprises we might encounter on the installation day.

Operational costs
These costs are in other words, running costs. Basically, we are talking ultimately about how much it`d cost us to produce one serving of our noodles (times the total number of daily production volume). Typically, the types of costs involved here are, labor, raw material costs (ingredient costs, other materials like packaging, etc.), and utility fees. If we are leasing the machine, we may need to pay for a monthly leasing fee. For more details of how we can calculate the operational costs, please check this page. And we can actually help you calculate yours based on your numbers.
How much does it cost to produce one serving of fresh noodles? Please check this article.

maintenance costs
Once we start using our noodle machine, there may be some costs associated with these costs that are necessary to keep the machine running properly. Some types of noodle machines may require a good amount of money for these costs. The tendency is that these costs increase over time and life of the machine as we use the machine more. Because all the equipment wears and tears over time of use, we need to keep maintained routinely by properly cleaning and applying lubricants to necessary components. If you take the labor costs that incur in cleaning and other maintenance activities, we can figure out the labor costs. Other costs like costs of lubricants and other items needed for routine maintenance activities, parts we need to replace periodically, etc., we need to consider as these costs.
As for any type of equipment, the more (frequently) we use the machine, the faster we may need to do the maintenance activities, thus costing us more. What we should check when deciding on which machine to purchase is the proper usages that the manufacturer recommends. Operating the machine beyond these recommendations should inevitably lead to higher maintenance costs and other costs that we would like to touch on next.

Hidden (unforeseen/unexpected) costs of choosing a wrong noodle machine for our business:

We also not only have to look at how much we are paying for the initial investment but also at the costs associated with use of the equipment down the road. We all had a fair share of painful experiences of unreliable equipment causing problems in our business operations. Sudden breakdown. Malfunctioning. Not being able to produce noodles to the desired quality because a person who usually operates the equipment took a leave of absence today and someone else who’s not familiar with it had to make the noodles. These are unforeseen costs that we might have to pay by investing in a wrong equipment.
Sudden breakdown: We have to understand that all equipment breaks down at some point in their lives just as we all human beings die eventually. Especially for a commercial equipment which may be used heavily, this is inevitable. But equipment that break down all of a sudden without having given us any signs despite our routine care and maintenance are unreliable ones.

various ramen noodles
Developing unique craft noodles with local ingredients is a fun venture that we can provide a full support for your business.

This sudden breakdown probably happens for 3 reasons.
We used the machine for purposes other than they are designed to do – improper usage. For example, we used a pasta machine to make ramen noodles. After a few months, the machine broke. Or we operated the machine 24 hours, 7 days a week for months. And the machine went silent. We cannot blame the noodle machine because we used it in a wrong way.
It may break suddenly because we haven’t maintained the machine for a long time. If we don’t do proper maintenance, such as cleaning and lubricating routinely, then the machine may break faster than if we do it. Again, it is not the machine’s fault, but we are the one we should blame for not providing proper care.

Another reason may be that the noodle machine is not designed to last. Some of the noodle making machines on market are designed to produce good fresh noodles but prone to breaking fast due to poor design, construction, or materials used. They may not be designed for a commercial purpose. Even if they are, they may not be designed to last longer than other noodle machines.
When our noodle machine suddenly gives up on us, we are in a trouble. We all of a sudden face a crisis because we have to shut down our business temporarily before we can get the machine back up again or find an alternative. This may result in a loss that’s equivalent of revenues we could earn for a few days or even more significantly damaged reputation of our business, which could have a long-term effect. So, we need to make sure that we are investing in a noodle machine that we can rely on and expect not to give up on us without any warning.

struggle
The fastest way to solve a problem or struggle you're facing may be ask an expert

Malfunctioning may occur in a noodle machine sometimes again just as we human beings have ups and downs in our health and abilities to perform. From small things like the machine does not portion some of the noodles to the mixer unit not operating. When this happens, it would not affect our business operation as much, but it would definitely be an annoyance to the operator and perhaps a sign that the machine needs a care just as a guy who caught a cold needs a medicine to get better. The important thing is that we have a number to call, email address to write to, and someone who responds fast to fix the problem. If this drags on for weeks because we cannot get a hold of this someone from the manufacturer or agent, we may experience the bigger trouble we talked about in the sudden death case. So, we want to make sure that we would be well taken care of when things happen before making the investment. When talking with a manufacturer, it is a good question to ask “How would your noodle machine be serviced?”

machine demo
Remotely demonstrating a Richmen type 1 machine from our HQ office in Kagawa, Japan

Ease of use will save you a lot of money and hassles

Also, another cost we should consider before making the investment is whether the machine is easy to use for anyone in your company. If production of your craft noodles on this noodle machine requires a certain level of skills and experiences, we can train one person or a few to operate the machine to make noodles to the desired quality that satisfy our customers. But if this one person leaves our company or takes a day off without a notice in advance, all of a sudden, it is difficult for us to make and serve the same noodles to our customers. If there’s no time to train another person to do the same, we would be in trouble. We may lose customers who are disappointed in the quality of noodles different from what they usually buy from us. So, before making the decision, we need to make sure that the noodle machine is easy enough for anyone in our company to use so that anyone can make the same noodles at the same quality consistently.

Conclusion
Making a mistake in deciding on a commercial noodle machine for our business may be painful in a lot of ways. (If we pay less for the initial investment, we may suffer later or vice-versa)
To avoid the mistake, we recommend that you ask yourself questions and do necessary checks before making the decision. Some of the questions are What`s important for our business? Would we be prepared for those unforeseen costs or surprises down the road after we start using the machine? What benefits are we expecting to gain from this investment? Would those benefits be worth the investment?
Lastly, Yamato noodle machines may be a big investment and not be suitable for everyone. Whether or not a Yamato noodle machine may be suitable for your business depends on what`s important to your business, what benefits you`d like to gain from the investment, and your business goals. Because we at Yamato believe in and strive to help achieve customers` long-term successes. If you value a long-term relationship that builds a sustainable business growth for a long time, we may be a match for your business and worth your time discussing your needs with us. If so, please feel free to contact us for a private meeting or demonstration.

ramen noodles produced on a ramen machine
Our customers in Finland just received their Yamato noodle machine