The core of consistently good restaurant food comes from its equipment in the kitchen. It helps cook, store, and keep the restaurant going. However, after years of use, it can also breakdown or malfunction. When this happens, it can cause a lot of problems for the restaurant. This article will discuss some of the most common causes of restaurant equipment failure and a few tips on how to prevent these failures from ever happening in your kitchen.
Reasons For Equipment Failure
There are several things that can cause any commercial kitchen equipment to fail. Some of the most common causes include:
1. Improper installation
If the restaurant equipment is not installed properly, it can easily malfunction and possibly cause equipment failure. Improper installation can also lead to safety hazards in the kitchen. However, this can be easily avoided by hiring a professional to properly install your restaurant equipment.
When installing any commercial kitchen equipment, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are not too familiar with how to install the equipment, it’s best to consult an expert to do the job for you.
Restaurant equipment is designed to handle a predetermined amount of volume. Equipment is considered overused when it is working harder and longer than it was engineered to perform. Overusing equipment without regular preventative maintenance and replacing “wear” parts care can easily add to the equipment’s cost of ownership.
To prevent this from happening, make sure and consult with an equipment specialist who can match the right piece of equipment with your anticipated volume.
3. Poor maintenance
When kitchen equipment is not regularly and properly serviced it will be much more susceptible to unnecessary wear and tear. Issues such as carbon build up, grease migration, excess motor or compressor run times are common when a regular service program isn’t scheduled.
There are a few ways to avoid this:
- Have a regular cleaning schedule of all equipment, including the backside of the cookline.
- Regularly replace wear items such as gaskets, o-rings, blades, belts and filters.
- Schedule a regular Preventative maintenance program on all key equipment by a trained service professional to identify any potential issues before they become a problem. A comprehensive PM program can drastically reduce the likelihood of “down equipment” in your kitchen.
4. Years of Use
Every piece of restaurant equipment will eventually wear out. As the equipment ages it becomes more susceptible to damage and failure.
The best way to maintain the quality of your equipment is to regularly have it inspected by a qualified technician. Similar to your car, regular scheduled service will extend the life of your equipment and allow you to budget for upcoming expenses of equipment repair.
5. Environmental Factors
Extreme temperatures, humidity, poor ventilation, and grease migration can also cause rapid deterioration of any restaurant equipment.
Maintaining not just your equipment but the supporting systems such air conditioning, exhaust hood ventilation and returns and drain systems can be impactful as well.
6. Electrical Problems
Electrical issues can impact equipment by over supplying or under supplying the necessary voltage and amperage to your equipment. Too little power can cause motors to work harder than designed and too much power can short controls, switches and motors. Having an electrician identify the actual voltage in your kitchen will provide you with a better understanding of what you can do to ensure the longevity of your equipment.
7. Improper Use
Plan for regular training with staff on the proper use, cleaning and maintenance of your equipment. With today’s current turnover in kitchen staff this can often be overlooked but proper training can prevent unnecessary expenses for repairs.
Keep all manuals and procedures in the same are or near the equipment for easy reference.
These are the most common causes of restaurant equipment failure. Always remember that when in doubt, call an expert to help you with your kitchen woes.
At DSL Northwest, we are always ready to solve your restaurant equipment problems. We are a full-service company that provides repair, installation., and maintenance services for restaurants in the Northwest. Our technicians have years of experience and are qualified to handle any problem that you may encounter with your restaurant equipment. For inquiries and concerns, let us know through an email at [email protected] or call us at 877-665-1125.