Procuring the right restaurant equipment serves as the backbone of a restaurant’s success. According to research by the National Restaurant Association, efficient equipment is the key to significant savings. However, regular maintenance of restaurant equipment is mandatorily recommended to avoid last-minute emergencies. Operating a restaurant without regular equipment maintenance in the long term adds to the overall costs, decreases equipment utility, leads to wastage, decreases profit margins, and ultimately results in higher costs and losses. A survey by an industry association suggests that restaurant chains who have set up formalized processes, people, and technology to manage equipment repairs spend up to 50 percent less than the industry average.
In this article, we have provided a detailed explanation of why restaurant operators in Saudi Arabia must consider regular equipment maintenance and some equipment maintenance best practices they must follow.
Why Is There A Need for Proper Restaurant Equipment Care And Maintenance
Here are some of the most significant reasons as to why you must maintain your restaurant equipment.
Regular check-ups and timely equipment maintenance prove to be pocket-friendly in the long run. One can easily spot and fix minor faults and damages by maintaining the equipment regularly. Even though standard maintenance costs are an additional expense, in the longer run, damage to a higher degree is avoided.
Regular maintenance increases the kitchen equipment’s shelf life, so the cost of buying new equipment is also deferred. The cost of food wastage decreases as the wastage due to poor machine performance is also eliminated. Moreover, equipment warranties cover only the first few years where the chances of a serious breakdown are less. Using these warranties on a regular basis further makes the entire process of equipment maintenance cheaper.
2. Help In Maintaining The Speed Of Operations
Depreciated equipment often results in slower preparation time, is time-consuming to operate, and is prone to snags that can adversely impact sales and customer experience. To ensure that this does not happen, regular equipment maintenance checks are a must.
3. Increases The Equipment Life
When equipment is brought into use regularly, normal wear and tear are a given. Regular maintenance will make sure that there is no extra damage apart from the anticipated depreciation of the machine. Proper equipment maintenance also ensures that the equipment damage does not lead to its premature breakdown. This way, equipment life increases as the effects of regular depreciation are substantially decreased.
4. Promotes Hygiene & Reduces Fire Hazard
Proper equipment maintenance includes regular sanitization and promotes better hygiene. It also ensures that the health of customers and restaurant staff is not compromised. Most fire outbreaks in the restaurant kitchens are caused due to equipment breakdown. Regular kitchen equipment maintenance ensures that there is no risk of a fire hazard.
A Comprehensive Restaurant Equipment Maintenance Checklist That Operators In Saudi Arabia Must Follow
Here are some proven equipment maintenance practices and tips that restaurant operators must follow.
1. Vent, Hood, and Duct Cleaning
The vent, hood, and duct should be cleaned regularly to remove vapor grease from the structure. The cleanup must be done by a qualified contractor, at least once every six months. Between this six-month service period, your staff must clean the visible parts of the equipment.
2. Grease Filter Cleaning
Grease filters collect grease from the vapors traveling to the duct. While it makes duct cleaning more manageable, the filters themselves must be cleaned regularly or there may be a severe fire hazard. The filters must be cleaned at least once a week and more often if the cooking involves more greasy food.
3. Deep Fat Fryer Inspection
The fryer must be maintained as per the manufacturer’s guidance and should be cleaned daily. You must get the fryer inspected by a qualified commercial cooking equipment contractor at least 12 months prior to its use. The inspection is essential as it typically includes items that are inaccessible and potentially dangerous to untrained staff.
4. Automatic Extinguishing Systems Service
In the case of a fire outbreak, the automatic extinguishing system must be ready to work in an instant. Remember to get the system inspected by a qualified contractor, at least once every six months.
Useful Tips For Restaurant Equipment Maintenance
Here are some general tips for the regular maintenance of your restaurant equipment.
- Always turn to the manual for the correct maintenance procedures.
- Go through the warranty details and fill out and return the card in time for the warranty to be applicable.
- Train your employees in proper equipment etiquette. Not only must they know how to use the equipment but also how to leave it after use and clean it at the end of the day.
- Create a schedule of restaurant equipment cleaning and stick to it. While all pieces of equipment should be wiped clean daily, as far as deep cleaning goes, for the equipment that you have to maintain yourself, create a schedule in advance. This schedule will be based on the maintenance needs of each restaurant equipment and should ideally follow a cyclic pattern.
- Do not try to ‘fix’ the restaurant equipment yourself. In case you feel something is broken, call an expert, no matter how redundant it may seem. You may unknowingly cause more considerable damage which will be extremely expensive to fix. Remember that most warranties are deemed null in case self-repair is attempted on the product, so no matter how tempted you may be to take a look yourself, do not do so.
- Always follow chemical instructions. A chemical that may work wonders on one piece of equipment may just corrode another. Train your staff not to use the wrong chemical accidentally, or the material may only get damaged beyond repair. This is especially true in the case of stainless steel, out of which most restaurant equipment is made.
Restaurant equipment maintenance may require additional expense and efforts, but ultimately increases the efficiency of a restaurant. Utilize these effective tips on maintaining your restaurant equipment to improve your kitchen equipment’s shelf life and provide the best quality food to your customers in Saudi Arabia.