While restaurant owners spend a lot of time thinking about equipment purchases, the maintenance needs of that equipment are often an afterthought — until something breaks, that is. If you’ve been neglecting routine restaurant kitchen maintenance, it may be only a matter of time before this oversight catches up with you. Read on for a roundup of three commercial kitchen equipment maintenance tips.
1. Prioritize routine restaurant equipment maintenance with preventative maintenance checklists.
One of the simplest ways to support commercial kitchen equipment maintenance? Attend to scheduled cleaning and preventative maintenance. From productivity to efficiency to utility consumption, clean, well-maintained equipment functions at its very best.
Conversely, failure to clean and maintain your equipment is not only remiss from a performance perspective, but also from a safety one. For example, range fires cost restaurants millions of dollars every year, and, in the cases caused by factors like faulty electrical connections and grease buildup, can be avoided with proper attention.
Given the demands of the average commercial kitchen, however, can you really expect your staff to remember when commercial kitchen equipment maintenance is due? Enter preventative maintenance checklists for restaurants. While documenting a kitchen equipment maintenance schedule and creating a restaurant equipment maintenance checklist may seem like time-consuming tasks, they’re an investment in ongoing optimal kitchen equipment performance.
2. Don’t underestimate the value of routine professional service.
Certainly, your staff plays a role in the commercial food equipment maintenance process. But don’t overlook the importance of professional service when it comes to commercial kitchen equipment preventive maintenance.
In addition to cleaning, sanitizing and running diagnostic tests, service technicians can identify small and/or emerging issues before they develop into larger, more expensive problems. Not only does this spare your business avoidable deferred maintenance costs, but it also extends the life of ranges, ovens, fryers, steamers, griddles and other go-to pieces of kitchen equipment. This saves your restaurant unnecessary replacement costs while ensuring that you get the most bang for your buck.
3. Prioritize preventative maintenance to avoid breakdowns and downtime.
When a piece of mission-critical restaurant equipment breaks down, your kitchen comes to a grinding halt. Explains Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine, “Scheduling regular checkups on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis, helps prevent foodservice operators from placing those frantic phone calls to their service agents saying ‘my-refrigerator went down and customer service starts now’ or ‘I walked in this morning to find my cooler down and all the food spoiled.’”
In other words, the shift from routine maintenance of kitchen equipment to emergency repair can be detrimental to your bottom line across everything from loss of customer loyalty to after-hours service calls to food spoilage.
Still not convinced of the importance of maintaining kitchen equipment? Think of it this way: You don’t put off or ignore maintenance on your car, so why would you take a different approach when it comes to protecting your kitchen equipment? Implementing a proactive preventative maintenance plan for your kitchen equipment can help minimize stress and maximize your investment over the long run.