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
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!