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.