There are plenty of competing demands on a restaurateur’s interest. Staffing. Food quality. Customer satisfaction. Profitability. Payroll. The list continues… Amidst so many details to monitor, it’s most likely maintenance isn’t always top-of-mind until something goes wrong. But there are some essential steps operators can take to help with preventative maintenance to help catch issues before they happen.
The implementation of regularly scheduled cleaning, repairs, lubrication, and parts replacement is also known as preventative care. Preventive maintenance is used as a way to prevent more costly, reactive, or breakdown maintenance processes. While there are many ways that a proactive maintenance plan can reduce costs and increase revenues, the five main ways are:
- Reduction of Emergency Repairs
- Improved Equipment Life
- Reduced Energy Expenditures
- Improved Health and Hygiene
- Increased Customer Satisfaction
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Reduce Emergency Repairs
Running your restaurant by way of a breakdown or reactive maintenance program will inevitably lead to costly emergency repairs. Imagine a vital item of gear, like your grill, stops working suddenly. To be able to take care of customer requests it requires immediate repair. Often restaurants in this situation will have to shut their doors for hours, or even days, losing out on tens of thousands of dollars of earnings.
When you add these lost earnings to the cost of emergency repairs and possible express shipping of spare parts, avoiding proactive maintenance tasks quickly becomes expensive. Implementing a preventative approach might have a high initial cost. However, it allows you to budget for maintenance rather than having to face a high repair bill for an unexpected equipment breakdown.
Improve Equipment Life
Proper preventative maintenance will add years to the life of your restaurant’s various systems and equipment. For a couple of minutes weekly, be careful to brush out the condenser coils of your walk-in refrigeration unit or replace HVAC system air filters. These quick actions will help your equipment operate at like-new efficiency. Greater efficiency will not only maintain high but allow for the addition of more useful years of life. This means that instead of replacing your commercial refrigerator in ten years, you can wait until you’re celebrating your 20th year in business. Imagine saving over $10,000 by spending less than an hour of labor cost per week each ten decades. Multiply that savings for every high-valued piece of equipment you have!
Decrease Energy Expenditures
Another way preventative care programs improve your bottom line is by reducing energy costs. While there are plenty of energy-efficient models of equipment and systems available, usually they are only as powerful as their system is healthy. In agreement with energystar.gov cluttered central ac coils will reduce the system’s ability to cool. This reduction will not only lower the lifespan of the equipment; it will cause the system to run longer to execute exactly the same amount of cooling as it did when it was clean.
Irrespective of how energy efficient your model could be, longer run times suggest a larger power bill. This, of course, extends to other equipment. Badly maintained ovens may not have correctly calibrated thermostats, meaning a dish that used to take an hour can take an extra 30 minutes. Don’t allow your gas and electricity bills grow on you. Take some chance to provide regularly scheduled maintenance and stop rising energy costs.
Boost Health and Hygiene
Cleaning is part of maintaining many sources of equipment. In addition, it is part of servicing your pest control processes. By keeping your restaurant clean through appropriate care, you can avoid health code violations which might be costly to a revenue stream in more ways than one.
By means of instance, in case you fail to properly take care of the grease build-up on your grill, you could attract rodents and other pests. This would lead to a serious health code violation and possible shutdown if it is being remedied. Immediately this will stop all sales and it will also tarnish your reputation reducing future earnings. However, pests aren’t the only problem badly-controlled grease can bring. A grease fire can damage your equipment, and worse still, it may hurt a employee. Restaurant hygiene could be significantly improved using a preventative maintenance program.
Boost Customer Satisfaction
A clean, efficient, and well-maintained space plays a significant role in building the brand image of a restaurant. Customers want good food. The only way to give that to them is to have a restaurant with properly working equipment. If a crucial piece of equipment for your restaurant goes down, including a deep fryer that accounts for half of your menu, your customers will be dissatisfied. They may leave a negative review on Yelp or Google because they couldn’t buy a particular food item. However, if all your equipment is reliable, you can focus on providing excellent customer service and excellent food to your customers. Do this and increase repeat customer visits.
The key point to consider preventative care is that while it may take some time to implement, nearly all the smaller tasks can be achieved as part of routine side work. It’s not hard to integrate a preventative maintenance strategy on your restaurant without an exponential growth in labor costs. The return-on-investment of a preventative maintenance strategy will surely be positive in the long term when compared with a reactive maintenance program.
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