Making sure your restaurant is in good working order and running properly is vital to a good service. So what can restaurant managers do to ensure the best possible maintenance of kitchen equipment? Here are 11 restaurant equipment maintenance tips:
Top quality restaurants utilize the space available and install the best commercial catering equipment possible. An ample number of quality appliances allows chefs and sous-chefs to work efficiently and effectively.
Commercial kitchen appliances include:
Depending on the establishment, different equipment will receive different levels of use. A fryer in a Fish and Chip Shop, for example, will be very well-used in comparison to a fryer in a four-star restaurant.
Some establishments may not need all pieces of kitchen equipment and may rely on just a few. Most will require refrigeration units, a dishwasher and a commercial sink. No matter what the catering establishment though and the equipment it relies on, the key to its success is producing good food, quickly. All equipment in a commercial kitchen helps staff produce food- fast.
After all, in a busy restaurant, time is of the essence. The quicker chefs can get the meals out, the higher the profit. So when a problem occurs with any piece of kitchen equipment, this can cause HUGE disruption in the kitchen. Staff will have to re-organised food production, probably opting for a more time-consuming manual method. Engineers will need to be called in rapidly to fix the issue.
While some functional issues with kitchen equipment are inevitable, others can be avoided- such as blockages and breaks by force, for example. Proper maintenance of the appliances can reduce the risk of equipment faults and failure. So what can restaurant managers do to ensure the best possible maintenance of kitchen equipment?
Maintaining commercial ovens
The oven is at the heart of the kitchen. Without the oven, there is no restaurant. Keeping the oven cleaned and well-maintained is an important factor in avoiding major faults and failure.
1: Clean your commercial oven.
Your commercial oven should be wiped down daily to avoid a build-up of grease and grime. Wipe down the burners, grates and flattops, as well as the inside of the oven- using an oven-safe antibacterial cleaner. In a popular restaurant, the issue may arise that the oven is too hot to clean directly after service. In this case, the restaurant manager will need to direct staff to clean the oven at a suitable time.
Once a month, the oven will need to have a deep clean in order to keep it running at best possible efficiency.
2: Clean filters on overhead exhaust units
Blockages in the overhead exhaust units in the kitchen can cause interruptions to the flow of air. This will mean the kitchen will become uncomfortably hot for staff and the atmosphere less hygienic. The exhaust units help remove steam, condensation and smoke that comes from cooking food products.
Ensuring the filters on the overhead exhaust units are cleaned on a regular basis helps the exhaust units run more efficiently. The best way to clean the filters will be outlined in the owner’s manual for your commercial appliance.
Maintaining refrigeration units
Refrigeration and freezing are essential for food storage and should meet a certain standard to adhere to regulation. If a fault occurs in either appliance, stock can be wasted. Follow these restaurant maintenance tips to help prolong the life of the refrigeration units and prevent engineer call-outs.
3: Clean the coils in the unit.
Regular cleaning of the evaporator and condenser coils is fundamental for the maintenance of the refrigeration units. The best way to clean them is by using a brush and a shop vacuum, every three months. By cleaning the coils quarterly, you’ll be able to keep an eye on their wear and call in an engineer as soon as you see a problem developing.
4: Check the gaskets for faults and debris.
Any damage to the gaskets, like cracks and splits, can lead to air escaping from the refrigeration unit. This inevitably has an affect on the temperature and efficiency of the unit.
Gaskets should also be scanned for grease and dirt. Removing any debris is necessary to maintain proper refrigeration or freezing. Please note: Any debris on the gaskets should be removed IMMEDIATELY. Otherwise it will wear down the gasket.
5: Make sure drain pans and tubes are free of debris.
Similarly to the gasket, drain pans and tubes should be inspected for dirt and grime regularly. All types of refrigeration units are likely to gain a build-up of grime, which can then freeze and create a nuisance blockage and issues with the refrigeration system.
To keep the system running smoothly, tubes and drain pans should be cleaned regularly. If a blockage is found? Replace the part immediately to prevent a more serious and expensive fault developing.
6: Keep units (and the area surrounding the units) dry.
Any excess fluid around the unit can freeze up and cause issues with the refrigeration system. Not to mention the risk of slipping, tripping and falling on liquid or frozen substance!
Keep the unit and surrounding area dry for optimal maintenance and safety.
Depending on how heavily used the fryer is, it will require varying amounts of maintenance. In general, fryers should be cleaned daily. They will also need a monthly deep clean and the following maintenance checklist should be monitored:
7: Boil out the fryer regularly.
Boiling water in the fryer on a weekly basis can help clear out any fatty deposit building up in the machine. Carbon and fat can build up in the tank and on the heating element which could eventually cause problems if it is not cleaned off. Because this can be a potentially hazardous process, precautions should be taken to ensure staff carrying out the operation are safe.
The manufacturing guidelines to the fryer may provide further instructions on a weekly routine for the fryer.
8: Make sure the fryer does not have any gas leaks.
Monitor your fryer for potential gas leaks. Any leakage can cause significant danger for staff and will defy any regulation. Fryers should be checked for leaks every 4-6 weeks. If you can smell gas in the kitchen though, you should test the fryer immediately.
How to test the fryer for gas? Spray soapy water on the gas supply hoses.
9: Clean the combustion fans on the fryer.
The combustion fans should be cleaned at least once a month to avoid a build up of grease which can clog the appliance and even lead to the machine breaking down.
General commercial restaurant equipment maintenance tips
10: Check the air filters on kitchen equipment.
Ice machines, coolers, refrigerators and other commercial kitchen appliances will rely on the use of an air filter. Dust and grease can build up in the air filter, whatever the appliance, and cause a problem with the system. Your owner’s manual will detail any specific maintenance instructions for your machine. In general, a shop vacuum will remove any dust, while a de-greasing solution will get rid of any grease that has accumulated.
11: Make sure equipment is inspected and serviced on a regular basis.
Commercial equipment should be inspected regularly, at least annually, to keep an eye on its condition. This should be a key factor in your restaurant equipment maintenance. Catching any issues with the function of the equipment early can avoid any problems in future. This can, in turn, avoid health and safety breaches, as well as problems with the efficiency of the kitchen. Having a professional engineer service the machines can mean that parts can be brought in and replaced before major problems occur and your business suffers.
Replacement parts for commercial kitchen equipment from Direct Brand
Having an engineer inspect and service commercial kitchen equipment is fundamental to the success of a restaurant. If an engineer finds that a replacement part is required, Direct Brand are here to provide the direct replacement. The part will fit directly into the appliance, making the operations easy for the engineer and meaning the appliance is not “down” for too long.
We provide parts for commercial ovens, refrigeration appliances, food preparation equipment and more. If you are an engineer looking for a replacement part for commercial kitchen equipment, then browse our range of great value, quality parts.
We understand how commercial kitchens work and offer our parts at fair prices, with a fast and reliable delivery.