The Importance of Basic Maintenance on Your Kitchen Equipment
Benefits of Kitchen Equipment Maintenance
Commercial kitchen equipment is a hefty, but necessary investment for many food industry businesses. Like any investment, kitchen equipment should be well thoughtfully and properly taken care of. Make sure to schedule routine maintenance to avoid preventative issues ranging from fire hazard risks to expensive equipment repair costs.
There are many significant benefits of restaurant equipment maintenance including-
1. Higher quality products- The food service industry is extremely competitive and customers expect high quality food every time they visit your establishment. Proper cooking equipment is required for even the most talented kitchen staff in order to create the best quality food product possible.
Commercial cooking equipment can help chefs to create masterpieces in less time than ever before. Modern day commercial cooking requires equipment that can keep up with your kitchen staff.
However, even top of the line restaurant equipment is useless if it is not suitably maintained. Not only can a lack of regular maintenance result in low quality food products being served to customers, but it could even result in a dangerous food safety issue.
2. Better service- The main reason that restaurant equipment was originally developed and that it is constantly improved is in order to increase efficiency in the kitchen. With less time spent on menial tasks, your staff can focus on customer service and developing new menu items.
Well maintained commercial kitchen equipment can decrease the likelihood of equipment breaking down or becoming less effective over time, both of which can result in huge delays in serving times. Regular cleaning maintenance and equipment repair are required to maintain commercial equipment as well as your business's speed of operations.
3. Saving money- Preventative maintenance and routine maintenance can help avoid huge financial losses. When an equipment issue is not noticed or addressed early on it can result in a much more expensive equipment repair cost.
There are additional costs associated with malfunctioning or broken kitchen equipment to consider. For example, if refrigeration equipment stops working your business may have to toss out all of your refrigerated inventory.
In that situation, your business would not only be required to repurchase all of those lost inventory items but you would also lose the revenue you would've earned for any upcoming shifts until the replacement inventory arrives.
4. Fire hazard risk mitigation- A fire can not only completely shut down your business but it could result in a tragic loss of human life. Cleaning maintenance in accordance with a product's owner manual will mitigate preventable fire hazard risks.
Basic Kitchen Equipment Maintenance Tips
Basic kitchen equipment maintenance does not need to be overly complicated but it does require dedication and a bit of research. Understanding what regular maintenance needs to be performed to keep your products running safely and smoothly is well worth the time and financial investment. Below are some tips to help get your equipment maintenance plan organized and on track-
1. Owner manual review- Each piece of restaurant equipment should have come with a specific owner manual that provides details on how to operate the equipment as well as maintain it. If an owner manual is lacking any important information, contact the equipment provider for specifics.
2. Create a maintenance checklist- Once you have reviewed each owner manual you can create a maintenance checklist to keep your kitchen staff accountable. Make sure to note all important routine maintenance dates including preventative maintenance and cleaning maintenance dates.
It is helpful to separate your maintenance checklist by kitchen equipment product type. Ice machines require much different cleaning maintenance than a fire hazard prone stainless steel hood.
3. Designate a routine maintenance professional- Last minute equipment repair and replacement can devastate a business's revenue. It is helpful to establish a relationship with a licensed and experienced restaurant equipment professional and make routine maintenance appointments well in advance with them.
Not only does this maintain commercial equipment in the long run but it also develops a working relationship with a professional who is familiar with your specific business operations. In the event that a last minute restaurant equipment emergency does occur, your designated contact will be more likely to make a special trip to help you and not charge you an outrageous amount of money to do so.
4. Repair before replacement- Although regular maintenance can avoid preventative equipment repair there are certain situations where a repair is necessary. As soon as an issue occurs, contact a restaurant equipment maintenance professional to set up an equipment repair appointment.
Equipment repair is much more economical than replacing an otherwise perfect commercial kitchen product. A combination of kitchen equipment maintenance and equipment repair can keep your equipment running as effectively as possible in the long run while avoiding unnecessary equipment replacement costs.
5. Cleaning maintenance for staff- It is important that your restaurant equipment is clean and sanitized regularly by your staff. Regular cleaning maintenance not only decreases food safety problems but also keeps your kitchen equipment working as effectively as possible.
There are various cleaning and sanitation guidelines to adhere to depending on what commercial kitchen equipment you are using. For example, when cleaning stainless steel products make sure to use mild soapy water instead of harsher cleaning agents. If you are unsure what cleaning maintenance is required for a specific restaurant equipment item consult the owner manual directly.
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