We all know that even the most organized commercial kitchens can be a chaotic, stressful, and fast-paced environment. Since the top priority is serving your patrons, often times this leads to mistreatment of equipment. Your commercial kitchen equipment is well-built and resilient, so it might seem indestructible! But just like with anything else, misuse and neglect can cause significant problems over time. Here are a few equipment TLC tips to help you avoid this.
Tip 1:Make sure your staff is educated and properly trained to operate the equipment they are working with. A well-trained staff is one of your best defenses against costly service calls and downtime. What’s more, manufacturers may decline coverage for misuse and abuse on a unit still in warranty, leaving the operator 100% responsible.
Tip 2: Double-check equipment connections before calling in for service. First thing is first: check to see that the unit is plugged in and all wiring is connected properly. Sometimes equipment can become unplugged and wiring can get disconnected while cleaning or sweeping behind it. This happens more often than you might think.
Tip 3:Regularly cleaning and replacing HVAC/R air filters is an easy way to stay vigilant at a minimal cost. If filters are not cleaned or replaced regularly, they can cause equipment to fail. This is something you can handle in-house!
Tip 4: Have the right cleaning solution (manufacturer approved) on hand. Grease and other contaminants from cooking and food handling can be a challenge to clean, and removal can become a massive task for your staff, especially as it builds up over time. It is common to hurry through a closing-shift procedure, which includes cleaning or wiping down equipment. If the wrong solution is used, stainless steel and other materials can be worn down and the residue left behind can cause build up, ultimately damaging the equipment. Taking a few extra necessary steps to clean equipment with care will go a long way.
Tip 5:Keep refrigerator doors closed when not in use. When the doors aren’t completely shut, the unit has to work twice as hard to maintain the proper temperature, using more energy, which can cause equipment to wear out faster.