How can I can prolong the lifespan of my restaurant's equipment?
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To prolong your equipment’s lifespan, your best bet is to have a comprehensive preventive maintenance program. Initial equipment costs comprise a big chunk of the expenses to start up a restaurant. With such a huge investment, you want to make sure that your equipment works well for the longest time possible.
What is preventive maintenance?
Preventive maintenance (PM) is a general strategy that describes proactive maintenance. An effective PM program aims to service equipment even before a failure occurs. Typical PM activities include inspections, calibration, lubrication, and cleaning.
Employing a PM program increases the lifecycle of assets. Moreover, it is estimated to generate 12-18% cost savings compared to just relying on reactive maintenance.
How can I apply PM to restaurant equipment?
The concept of a PM program can surely be tweaked to suit restaurant equipment. For example, say that we classify your restaurant equipment as either cooking equipment or refrigeration equipment. Because of the differences in their main components, these two types usually require varied PM solutions.
Cooking equipment would include stoves, ranges, and combi ovens. For these types of equipment, typical PM activities would include general inspections for any cracks or dents. Components that are subjected to high temperatures or stresses are prone to these minor damages, so restaurant professionals should also perform a routine check.
Other general activities include checking for any unusual mineral buildup or corrosion. Restaurant professionals should also replace any consumable components that need to be changed out, such as filters and filter elements.
Refrigeration units have condenser coils that are prone to dirt or grease accumulation. Excessive buildup on these coils can overwork the compressor and potentially cause serious breakdowns. PM activities on refrigeration equipment focus on these components and ensure that they are clean and unobstructed.
Restaurant professionals should also regularly sanitize refrigeration units with direct contact to food supply. This inhibits the growth of harmful organisms and bacteria that could cause health concerns.
How can I track maintenance compliance of restaurant equipment?
While we can generalize the types of equipment in a restaurant, each individual unit can be extremely hard to track manually. A PM program only works if the maintenance activities are performed on a proactive, routine basis. It helps to have a computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) to ensure that maintenance needs are always up-to-date.
Some CMMS providers have maintenance software systems that are specially designed to cater to restaurant businesses. These would have the capability to schedule recurring work orders for the upkeep of restaurant equipment and facilities. These come in handy for general equipment maintenance, as well as for compliance with security and food safety inspections.