For independent restaurants, unplanned kitchen downtime and repairs are a recipe for disaster. Unreliable kitchen operations lead to customer complaints and lost business opportunities. Add on the emergency service calls and repairs, and it doesn’t take long before this becomes a very costly business issue.
Fortunately, there are some simple, cost-effective ways to prevent downtime and protect the productivity, profitability, and future of your business.
1) Choose the Right Equipment
You don’t want to invest in equipment that is too small or underpowered to keep up with the volume of your kitchen. If you go too small, not only will you be disappointed in the drag on your productivity, but you’ll expose yourself to repeated mechanical and material failures due to overworking the units. Undersized equipment can stop a kitchen in its tracks.
Once you determine the right size and type of equipment for your business, be sure to choose a trusted brand that offers a warranty and service solutions. Investing in high-quality and reliable products that are built to last will go a long way toward keeping your kitchen operational.
BONUS TIP: You should also avoid buying equipment that exceeds your expected output. If you buy more than you need, you may end up spending more money, using more floorspace, and inflating utility costs.
2) Proper Training
Make sure your staff is trained on how to properly operate the equipment. Most manufacturers and distributors offer online and in-person training for equipment operators and it is definitely worth the time and effort. Improper use of the equipment can cause downtime as well as costly service issues. A well-trained staff is one of your best defenses against downtime.
3) Equipment Cleaning
Another common-sense way to keep commercial kitchens open and operating is through the proper cleaning and sanitization of equipment. Regular practices like cleaning refrigerator condenser and evaporator coils help reduce premature compressor failures; removing grease buildups on burners improve cooking efficiency; and deliming commercial dishwashers minimizes corrosion, prevents component malfunctions and maintains overall wash quality for dishes and ware.
By using best practices and outlining daily, weekly and monthly cleaning schedules, your kitchen equipment can continue to operate safely and efficiently for years to come.
4) Preventive Maintenance
Preventive maintenance is critical to avoiding unplanned kitchen downtime. It will help extend the life of your equipment, reduce unplanned costs, and ensure your machines are operating at optimal performance.
Consult the manufacturers recommended preventive maintenance guidelines and set up a schedule. Taking a proactive approach to maintenance will help you avoid critical equipment failure.
Be sure to partner with a trusted food equipment service professional for your equipment maintenance.
They will be key to preventing downtime and keeping your kitchen open.