Preventative Maintenance: The Importance of a Regular Restaurant Equipment Check

Preventative maintenance involves functional checks, servicing, repairing, or replacing of necessary parts and equipment in a restaurant kitchen. These cost-effective practices keep kitchen equipment operational and restaurant operations running smoothly, reducing down time and increasing profitability.

What are the Common Preventative Maintenance Tasks?

Usually, there are routine tasks performed by trained technicians to ensure that all the pieces of equipment in the kitchen are working well. Depending on the size of your kitchen and the number of pieces of equipment you have, a regular preventative maintenance takes at least a few hours to several days. This involves a thorough inspection, testing, repairing and replacing wear items inside your equipment.

Here are the common tasks that your field technician may perform:

  • Checking door hinges, gaskets, and handles.

Whether its an oven, a freezer, or a grill, these pieces of equipment usually have doors or handles that are used frequently. Any damage, trapped dirt or grease can cause doors to close unevenly, overworking your equipment in the long run.

  • Cleaning or replacing filters, blowing out condensers

Any equipment that involves refrigeration in the kitchen should be thoroughly inspected and filtering/condensing systems cleaned at least every three months. Cleaning the filters can prevent grease and dirt build-up that may cause extra stress on condensers.

  • Fryer maintenance

Regular checking of high limit sensors, ignition sensors and gaskets as well as quarterly deep cleaning of the fry pot improves food quality, reduces stress on heating elements due to carbon build up and improves recovery time for oil

  • Running diagnostic tests

To prevent unwanted and unnecessary damages that may affect you during business hours, a professional technician will run a few diagnostic tests to guarantee that your equipment is running smoothly and identify any potential issues that you may wish to repair to prevent equipment failure during operating hours.

Types of Restaurant Kitchen Maintenance

We do regular maintenance on our home heating and cooling systems as well as on our vehicles, the same should be done with your kitchen equipment. A strategy and plan for regularly maintenance is an investment in lowering your cost of ownership and extending the useful life of your equipment.

  • Preventative Maintenance (PM Program)

A planned preventative maintenance program (PM) is a scheduled maintenance visit that can occur quarterly, semi yearly or yearly depending on the specific piece of equipment. The goal of a PM is to reduce the likelihood of breakdown which may limit the ability to serve parts of your menu for a day or days. These routine check-ups are aimed at detecting and correcting any possible signs of equipment failure before it occurs.

  • Reactive Maintenance

Reactive Maintenance is the costliest type of service on your equipment. Not only do you have the expense of the technician’s time, travel and parts, often you are losing sales while the unit is in need of repair and parts.

Why is it Important?

Regularly having your kitchen equipment checked by a professional significantly reduces the likelihood of breakdowns and downtime. When a piece of equipment stops working, part of your menu may be affected and sales will be lost. This is much more detrimental when a critical piece of equipment from the kitchen breaks as equipment repairs are much more costly and may take hours or even days to complete.

Having regularly scheduled preventative maintenance ensures that all kitchen equipment will be in excellent condition, ready to fry the next batch of fried chicken, grilled burger or produce the crowd-favorite ice cream for the next few months.

Looking for field experts for your restaurant’s regular preventative maintenance? At DSL Northwest, our primary goal is to keep our client’s businesses running and their customers happy. If you want to make restaurant equipment planning easy and hassle-free, send our team a message here, and we’ll be more than happy to discuss what kind of program makes sense.

The Ultimate Restaurant Equipment Guide

Opening a new restaurant requires a lot of planning on what restaurant equipment is needed for your business. This can easily add up to your start-up cost together with other expenses such as lease, licenses, labor, and marketing promotions.

Getting the right equipment is essential to have a fully functioning kitchen that efficiently serves your customers daily.

In comes the question: What restaurant equipment do you need in your kitchen? Here’s a list of the essential restaurant equipment that you’ll want to consider for a fully operational restaurant:

Big Equipment

  1. Ovens
  2. Grills
  3. Fryers
  4. Rotisseries
  5. Breading systems
  6. Display area
  7. Food warmers
    1. Counter warmer
    1. Holding cabinet
  8. Dump tables
  9. Beverage machines
  1. Carbonated beverages
  2. Juices, shakes, and smoothies
  3. Coffee maker
  4. Ice cream machines
  5. Freezers and refrigerators
  6. Prep counters
  7. Washing equipment
  8. Ranges
  9. Point of sale system

Medium-sized Equipment

  1. Storage rack and containers
  2. Food processors
  3. Mixers
  4. Microwave

Small Equipment

  1. Cutlery
  2. Cooking equipment
  3. Cleaning supplies
  4. Safety equipment

Things to Consider When Sourcing Restaurant Equipment

Industry Specific

The type of equipment you will need greatly depends on the type of restaurant you are opening. Are you running a bakery? If so, then your list will be different from a quick service concept or casual dining.

Also consider what your operational challenges will be and evaluate equipment that can reduce the number of staff on the line and improve ticket times.

Size of Restaurant

Another thing to take note of is the size of your restaurant’s kitchen. Study the blueprint and layout of your space. A well-thought kitchen will have enough room for people to move without bumping into each other. Workflow from one piece of equipment to another will maximize the efficiency and limit energy spent.

Equipment Quality

Quality is everything when choosing your restaurant equipment. When doing a quality check, consider the following: Which equipment will you be using the most? What is the expected wear life of the equipment you are purchasing? What is the cost of ownership for service and repairs?

Choosing the Right Supplier

How much can your supplier help you through your buying process? Do they cater easily to your specific requests? Don’t hesitate to ask a lot of questions regarding your restaurant equipment. Making sure you are in the right hands will put your mind at ease with all the planning.

Post-purchase Servicing

When the inevitable happens to your equipment, will your supplier provide you with post-purchase servicing? It is important to keep in touch with your supplier to make sure your equipment is always in top shape.

Pricing

Pricing is perhaps one of the most crucial things when it comes to buying your restaurant equipment. Make sure and understand that the equipment you are purchasing is capable of handling your projected volume. An equipment expert can match your estimated volume with the proper size of grill, oven, fryer, etc.

Another financial alternative is leasing your equipment. Instead of paying cash, leasing provides you with the equipment you need with a manageable monthly payment.

The Right Restaurant Equipment for Your Business

Getting the right restaurant equipment for your business is no easy task. It involves a lot of planning, researching, and budgeting. Make sure to evaluate your restaurant’s menu and your kitchen layout to find out which restaurant equipment works best for your business.

It will take time to cross-off items in your restaurant equipment list but having a well-planned kitchen with all the restaurant equipment that you need ensures the long-term success of your restaurant and keeps your customers coming back for more!

Remember, when in doubt, ask for advice from experts in the field of restaurant equipment. At DSL Northwest, our primary goal is to keep our client’s businesses running and their customers happy. If you want to make restaurant equipment planning easy and hassle-free, send our team a message here, and we’ll be more than happy to help you with your restaurant.