The only way to get the most benefit and trouble-free service out of your restaurant equipment is to perform regular maintenance. Regular maintenance, which includes cleaning, will keep everything functioning in good working order and can catch minor malfunctions or worn out parts before they cause expensive breakdowns. Regardless of the type of equipment, there are 10 maintenance-related tasks that you need to do for every piece of restaurant equipment that you own.
- Reference the owner’s manual.
The first place you should look for proper maintenance procedures for your specific pieces of restaurant equipment is the owner’s manual, which comes with the equipment. Generalized tips from an article on the internet are all well and good, but the owner’s manual will tell you specifically what needs to be done to keep your equipment in tip-top shape. Most manufacturers’ websites have downloadable versions of manuals, and the manufacturers should have manuals for older or discontinued models, too.
- Fill out and return the warranty card.
The only way to gain the benefits of manufacturers’ warranties for new restaurant equipment, which usually include x-number of years in free parts and labor, is to fill out the warranty card and return it to the manufacturer. You usually have about a month after delivery to get the warranty card filled out and returned, so don’t put it off.
- Educate employees on the proper use of the equipment.
Misuse and abuse are among the leading causes of restaurant equipment malfunction, and most warranties will not cover repairs resulting from misuse. Teach employees how to properly use, clean and maintain your food service equipment to keep everything up and running and eliminate the amount of money you have to spend on non-warranty issues.
- Clean all restaurant equipment daily.
Daily cleaning is perhaps the most important maintenance tip for restaurant equipment. Daily cleaning prevents dirt, grime and food scraps from building up and causing damage to the machine’s components. Having clean restaurant equipment is something health inspectors look for, too. » Learn More about What Health Inspectors Look For
- Perform thorough cleaning on a regular basis.
Either weekly, monthly or semi-annually, depending on the piece of equipment, there are deeper cleaning procedures that need to be followed. The purpose of more thorough cleaning is to get those places that are hard to reach or to just tackle the grime that accumulates over time.
- Regularly inspect your restaurant equipment.
Any time you perform a thorough cleaning on your restaurant equipment, inspect any moving parts, utility connections and other components for wear, tear and leaks. Catching and correcting small maintenance issues early (like a water leak caused by a loose hose fitting) can save you from more expensive repairs in the future. You can even set up a service contract with a local manufacturer-authorized agent and have them inspect your equipment.
- Replace broken or worn out parts.
Over time, parts just wear out and need to be replaced. If something appears worn out, better to replace the worn out part soon before it causes serious problems. Contact a FoodServiceWarehouse.com Account Manager for assistance.
- Be careful with do-it-yourself fixes.
One way to save money on restaurant equipment repairs is to simply fix it yourself. If the equipment is new, fixing things yourself may void the warranty, so be sure to read the warranty and know what you can and cannot do yourself. Even if the equipment is not under warranty, overly complex repairs should still be performed by an authorized service agent.
- Follow chemical instructions.
Whether the chemicals you are using are meant to clean the piece of equipment or the equipment uses chemicals itself, like a commercial dishwasher, be sure to read and follow the instructions on the labels. Improperly mixing to the wrong chemical concentration can be dangerous to your employees and damaging to your equipment.
- Properly care for stainless steel.
Restaurant equipment is manufactured primarily out of stainless steel. Despite its name, stainless steel can become stained, tarnished or corroded if not properly cared for, so be sure to use mild detergents, soft cloths and wash with the grain when cleaning your food service equipment.