Restaurant Equipment Maintenance Guide That’ll Save You Time, Money and Sanity!

Published on:
April 1, 2024
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When you're just starting out in the restaurant industry, there are a lot of moving parts. One of those moving parts is making sure your equipment is in good shape. 

Making sure your equipment is in top shape is crucial to the long-term survival of your institution, regardless of whether you're employing a commercial kitchen or a commissary kitchen. 

The state of a restaurant's kitchen has a direct impact on the efficiency of the establishment and the level of pleasure its patrons get from their dining experience. If you want your restaurant to function smoothly and efficiently, it's important to keep up with periodic maintenance and inspections of your equipment. 

No matter how much or how little expertise you have running a restaurant, you will inevitably spend a lot of money on cooking equipment. You can't afford to ignore the need of restaurant equipment maintenance, regardless of whether you've bought new or old.

This will extend the life of your tools and keep your business going smoothly. The old adage goes something like, "a stitch in time saves nine." This couldn't be more relevant when discussing the upkeep of restaurant equipment.

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What is Preventive Restaurant Equipment Maintenance for Restaurants?

Preventive maintenance involves cleaning, maintaining, and scheduling service to minimize breakdowns and avoid unnecessary repairs. Implementing a preventive maintenance program requires identifying equipment with the highest maintenance needs to ensure optimal performance in your restaurant.

The Importance of Restaurant Equipment Maintenance

A "State of Repairs" survey was published in 2022 that found that restaurants throughout the country spend $35 billion year on new equipment and $28 billion on repairs and upkeep. 

A well-run kitchen relies on high-quality equipment that is always in excellent functioning condition. There are health and safety risks, as well as financial, emotional, and time losses, that may occur when appliances like stand mixers, dishwashers, and fryers break down. This is also true for rented equipment, since fixing damage beyond what is considered normal wear and tear is often a requirement of rental agreements.

Many people have the misconception that maintaining restaurant equipment is a difficult and time-consuming process. Maintaining a regular maintenance routine and streamlining your to-do list will allow you to devote more time to creating a menu that will make people drool. 

Scheduling Restaurant Equipment Maintenance

The long-term savings from increased uptime and general customer happiness are worth the investment in a thorough preventive maintenance program.

  • Back-of-the-house: These are typically restricted areas accessible only to staff, such as the kitchen.
  • Front-of-the-house: The dining room and the toilets are examples of customer-accessible locations.
  • Building Systems: This pertains to facility equipment not directly involved in operations, such as the building's electrical and HVAC systems.
  • The Building Exterior: This includes outdoor spaces like picnic patios, lawns, and parking lots.

Back of the House

Regular equipment maintenance at the back of the house usually focuses on making sure the storage and kitchen appliances continue to work properly rather than on making sure the space looks nice. When carrying out these duties, health and safety must also be paramount concerns.

The kitchen's daily maintenance focuses on the most pressing issues that affect staff efficiency, the proper functioning of equipment, and the tidiness of workspaces. Cleaning grills, taking temperatures in cold storage spaces, and emptying garbage cans are typical duties. 

Weekly responsibilities often take precedence over accumulation and other issues that would be unrealistic to address daily. Make sure the filters are in good working order and that the drain lines are clean and unobstructed. 

Regular maintenance inspections and thorough cleanings are usually done once a month. Workers in the kitchen descale coffee makers, clean stove tops and other appliances of grease, and inspect appliances for damage that could need repairs or replacement. 

Our quarterly back-of-the-house maintenance duties focus on the places that employees only have access to, such as the kitchen, storage facilities, and other high-impact locations.

Front of the House

To keep their restaurants functioning properly, owners usually invest a lot of money into maintaining an attractive eating room and other locations that customers can access. 

Making sure customers are safe and looking well are the top priorities for most front-of-house duties. Multiple times daily, staff members clean and disinfect surfaces, sweep and mop floors, and more. 

An end-of-day cleaning of the dining room and facilities is a typical part of opening and closing duties, as is dismantling and cleaning the front-of-house equipment, including soft-serve dispensers and soda machines. After letting the parts air dry during the night, they are usually put back together in the morning. 

Disconnect and clean the syrup connections on beverage dispensers and thoroughly clean other food processing equipment as part of the weekly or monthly routine maintenance behind the counters. Allow all components to dry naturally before replacing.

Interior signage should be inspected every three months and replaced if necessary. Make sure all furniture is stable. Verify that there are no tripping risks in the dining area, such as elevated flooring or curled mats. It is essential to fix or replace anything that might endanger the safety of the consumer.

Types of Restaurant Equipment That Require Maintenance

Almost all of your restaurant's assets and equipment need regular maintenance or at least an examination every so often.

In order to maximize the restaurant's equipment maintenance plan, it is essential to first establish a detailed inventory of all assets, including deep freezers and coffee machines, along with their maintenance needs and timetables. 

Some examples of restaurant equipment types that need servicing are:

  • Ovens
  • Ranges, griddles, and grills, plus ventilation
  • Commercial mixers and food processors
  • Commercial slicers
  • Knives and knife-sharpening equipment
  • Microwaves, toasters, and air fryers
  • Ice makers
  • Deep fryers
  • Coffee makers
  • Fridges and freezers (all sizes)
  • Steam tables
  • Catering equipment
  • Dishwashing equipment
  • Safety equipment
  • Computers and point-of-sale equipment

Benefits of Restaurant Equipment Care and Maintenance 

1. Save Money

The potential for long-term cost reduction is a compelling advantage of routine maintenance. Preventing unforeseen and costly repair expenditures is possible with routine equipment maintenance. 

The consequences of ignoring a little problem that might have been caught and resolved during a regular examination are much worse than the consequences of doing nothing at all. 

The sophisticated appliances used in commercial kitchens are an exception to this rule. A new, poorly cared-for piece of machinery will eventually give way to an older, better-maintained one. This way, you can prevent spending money on repairs too soon and put off buying new equipment altogether.

2. Increases the Life of the Equipment

Compared to equipment that is neglected and eventually depreciates, well-maintained equipment will surely endure longer. 

You should think of routine maintenance as an investment that will pay off in the long run by keeping your equipment running well. You can extend the life of your kitchen appliances by keeping them clean and well-maintained daily and by fixing little problems before they become major faults.

3. Bigger Resale Value On The Equipment

The longer you put into maintaining your restaurant's equipment, the more money you'll get when you sell it. When equipment is in good working order, buyers are willing to pay a premium for it. Therefore, to maximize your return on investment, service your equipment periodically.

4. Improve Speed of Operations

A commercial kitchen can't run well unless its appliances do their jobs. Maintaining equipment regularly keeps it in top shape and maximizes its performance. In turn, this speeds up operations, which means your kitchen's cooks can prepare and serve delicious meals faster, which means more satisfied customers.

5. Help In Maintaining The Food Quality

The state of the equipment used to make food has a major impact on the quality of that food that is served in a restaurant. Equipment that isn't well-maintained might ruin food by not heating uniformly, not cooking correctly, or not preserving ingredients at the right temperature. Keeping up with routine maintenance keeps your equipment running smoothly, which in turn keeps the quality of your food products high.

6. Reduce Fire Risk

The very nature of cooking makes commercial kitchens a prime candidate for fire hazards. Fires might break out in an oven full of fat or in a fryer that isn't working properly. By cleaning and inspecting equipment on a regular basis, you can identify and remove any fire hazards, making your kitchen safer for everyone.

7. Improve Healthy and Hygienic

Every food service facility must adhere to strict sanitation protocols. By keeping equipment clean and easy to sanitize, you can keep your restaurant in compliance with health and safety regulations and lessen the likelihood of food contamination. Always keep in mind that the cornerstone to a successful restaurant is a clean and healthy kitchen.

In order to keep from losing customers or having to spend a lot of money fixing problems, it's important to know the value of routine maintenance. The success of your restaurant depends on the efficiency of your kitchen and the satisfaction of your customers. To ensure both, it is important to establish a routine for equipment care and maintenance.

Implementing Preventive Maintenance

Create an Asset Inventory

Before you start scheduling repairs, make a detailed inventory of everything that needs fixing in your restaurant. For easy tracking, divide the inventory into sections according to location. Keep front-of-house, back-of-house, exterior, and building systems assets together.

Conduct Asset Analysis

Establish a maintenance priority list for your restaurant's equipment based on their importance to daily operations. Every interval should include a more thorough assessment of critical assets and equipment that pose the greatest risk, with the most thorough inspection being conducted every three months.

Create a Maintenance Schedule

Make sure you know exactly when you need to do each maintenance activity by creating a precise plan. Tasks that occur every day, week, month, quarter, and year should all be included in this timetable. In addition to identifying potential service call needs and assigning responsibilities, it should clarify which team or person is in charge of the scheduled activities.

Assign Responsibilities

Make sure that everyone in your equipment inventory knows who is responsible for checking and maintaining each item. 

For instance, it's common practice to assign daily and weekly back-of-house work to the kitchen and cooking crew, and front-of-house restaurant equipment maintenance responsibilities to the waiting and wait-support personnel. Both groups are expected to adhere to a regular cleaning schedule.

Because these chores are more specialized, they are often handled by professionals or facilities maintenance people on a monthly or weekly basis. All of your employees' work will be even more efficiently handled with the help of an automated software solution for asset management.

Establish Maintenance Procedures

Make a plan for every single maintenance job, no matter how little. To make sure the work is done consistently, regardless of who performs it, provide detailed directions. Make sure everyone has access to the appropriate safety gear and instructions.

Develop an Emergency Response Plan

Get your team ready for any emergency by outlining specific steps to take in the event of the most frequent safety incidents and equipment failures that restaurants face. In order to prepare for a fire, practice drills and make sure that all exits are properly marked. 

Make sure all employees are familiar with the location of the first aid kit and that it is always filled and easily accessible.

Integrate Technology for Maintenance Management

Use technology to its maximum potential to facilitate restaurant equipment maintenance by making scheduling and monitoring jobs easier. Reduced maintenance expenses and increased operational efficiency are two of the many benefits your restaurant can reap from using a restaurant facilities management system.

Xenia is your secret ingredient to take your equipment maintenance to the the next level! 

With a dedicated repository of evergrowing templates and checklists designed specifically for restaurants, giving you the edge in every aspect of management, whether it's front-of-house experiences or back-of-house operations. 

Toss out those old maintenance methods and embrace the future with our cutting-edge software solutions, making equipment upkeep a breeze while boosting accountability and efficiency. 


Everything You Need To Know About Restaurant Maintenance As a Business Owner

Regular and comprehensive equipment maintenance is essential in the busy setting of a commercial kitchen. 

A proactive strategy guarantees good food quality, safety, and efficient operations while saving money in the long term. In the long run, your equipment will last longer, your kitchen will be more productive, and your restaurant will be more successful if you invest in maintenance regularly. 

Keep in mind that if you take good care of your machinery, it will look after your company.

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