A few years ago, my wife and I celebrated our anniversary at our favorite restaurant. I was so excited—not just because we were celebrating our marriage, but because the restaurant was known for having the most delicious rack of lamb. When the waiter came to take our order, I very confidently ordered the lamb. In response, our server informed me that the charbroiler was not working and that I would have to order something else. Having not looked at the menu, I panicked and ordered the first thing I saw when I opened the menu—a salad. To ensure that no other poor chap must endure such hardship, I have put together this kitchen equipment preventive maintenance checklist for restaurant managers. My hope is that it will help you increase the uptime of your kitchen equipment—your carnivorous customers depend on it.

Reasons for Preventive Maintenance in Your Kitchen

Save Money

Regular preventive maintenance can really save you big bucks in the long run. Let’s face it, good restaurant equipment is not cheap, and you get what you pay for. When you invest in good equipment, you must also take on the responsibility of extending the longevity of the equipment with preventive maintenance. Because most big repairs are not covered under equipment warranties, the cost of these repairs comes out of your budget. Poorly maintained equipment also consumes more energy, which increases your energy bills each month. When you properly maintain your kitchen equipment, it lasts longer and needs to be replaced less frequently. In turn, this increases the ROI of your equipment investment. The saved energy is also an added bonus for your efforts. Kudos!

Improved Efficiency and Speed

Imagine this: it’s Friday night and your restaurant is packed. Your hosts are flying around trying to give each table prompt service and their best hospitality. New customers are waiting to be seated. But your kitchen is struggling to prepare orders in a timely manner. Most of your customers don’t seem too bothered by the delay, but one can only take in the ambiance of the dining experience for so long before they want to, you know, dine! Those at the end of the line have learned what the expected wait time is going to be and have decided to take their business elsewhere. Others are beginning to follow suit. This is not how Friday night was supposed to go.

When your kitchen equipment is not maintained properly, it can get in the way of serving customers in a timely fashion. Depreciating equipment also has the same effect. When you perform regular preventive maintenance, you delay the depreciation process and extend the lifetime of your efforts.

Maintain Food Quality

The restaurant industry is a competitive one. There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of places to grab a bite. That said, you need to bring you’re A-game for every customer if you hope for them to come back. When you perform regular preventive maintenance on your kitchen equipment, your food simply turns out better. After all, even the most skilled chef will struggle to prepare a solid meal with poorly maintained equipment. When you regularly clean and maintain your kitchen equipment, the quality of your food increases. And when your food quality is improved, customers return!

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Kitchen Equipment Preventive Maintenance Checklist

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Weekly Checklist

  1. Fryers- Boil out the fryer and scrub the frypot down with a brush for a deep clean. Replace fry oil every week. Dispose of old oil. Change the filter paper or clean out the built-in filtration system (contingent on model). Replace the fryer basket (contingent on model).
  2. Grills & Griddles– Apply vegetable oil to the hot surface to season.
  3. Oven & Ranges– Scrub down the interior walls and doors using a soft brush and manufacturer-recommended cleaning solution. Soak and scrub burner covers and knobs in warm, soapy water. Clean around your door openings. Scrub the gaskets with a soft cloth dampened in warm water and soap. Polish the stainless-steel exterior.
  4. Steamers & Kettles– Wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth and mild detergent or degreaser. Polish the stainless-steel exterior. Inspect and wipe down the gaskets using a damp cloth and soap.
  5. Ice Machines– Cleanse the exterior the machine and bin with a soft cloth, detergent, and warm water. Polish the stainless-steel exterior. Remove ice from the bin and scrub down the interior walls. Cover with manufacturer-recommended cleaner and sanitizer at least once every 14 days.
  6. Refrigeration– Inspect and wipe down the gaskets with a damp cloth and soap. Empty and clean overflow water trays. Remove interior shelves. Clean both the interior and exterior using manufacturer-recommended solutions. Polish the stainless-steel exterior.
  7. Beverage & Coffee Machines– Clean exteriors of coffee and beverage machines with mild detergent and a damp cloth. Clean or replace coffee machine filters at least once every 14 days. Clean syrup connectors on beverage dispensers by soaking them in a sanitizer solution.
  8. Warewashers– Clean and descale units once every 7 days. Clean and polish the stainless-steel exterior.

Periodic Checklist

  1. Ovens and Ranges– Using a stiff-bristle brush, remove any grease and dust exhaust and fan.
  2. Ice Machines– Remove the ice from the machine. Using a manufacturer-recommended cleaner and sanitizer, thoroughly clean the machine. This should be completed at least once every 60 days.
  3. Refrigeration– Thoroughly clean all drain pans and air filters. Check for dust and grease buildup on the condenser coil of your refrigeration unit. Clean these every 90 days or so.
  4. Beverage & Coffee Machines– Remove ice from the beverage dispenser bin. Thoroughly clean using a sanitizer approved by the device manufacturer. Descale coffee machines every 30-45 days.
  5. Ware washer– Replace the curtain every six months or so. Replace wash arm O-ring, floats, and nozzles every six months or so.
  6. Exhaust hoods– Remove and clean the grease traps. Soak them in warm water and a liquid degreaser. Remove and clean the filters. Clean the interior and exterior exhaust hoods with warm water, a liquid degreaser, and a soft-bristle brush.

Kitchen Equipment Preventive Maintenance with Equips

One of the worst things that can happen to your restaurant is a key piece of equipment breaks down at your busiest time. What drives restaurant managers crazy is when the fault could have been avoided with a little preventive maintenance. The Equips web application is the go-to place for restaurant preventive maintenance. Using our Preventive Maintenance Scheduler, you can schedule preventive maintenance ahead of time so you never forget. Simply set it and forget it, and we will dispatch your preferred vendor to come tune-up your equipment.

Equips does more than preventive maintenance. It connects you to the right people at the right time when you experience an equipment fault. Using Equips, you can place a service request in as little as 15 seconds so you can experience more uptime. That means more delicious meals and more happy customers. Best of all, your kitchen staff will thank you for giving them the tools to tackle maintenance. To learn more, book a demo below!

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