7 Proven Tips for Maintaining Restaurant Equipment & Appliances
If you hope to keep your restaurant’s kitchen running smoothly, it is vital that you carefully maintain all essential equipment and appliances. By doing so, you and your personnel can maximize the lifespan of expensive equipment, minimize disruptions to business continuity and ensure food safety.
Maximizing the longevity of restaurant kitchen appliances is particularly important, as the typical facility contains tens of thousands of dollars in equipment.
To help you accomplish this goal, here are our seven proven tips for maintaining your restaurant equipment and appliances
1. Regularly Inspect Gaskets and Seals
One of the simplest ways to maintain your refrigeration units is to regularly inspect seals, gaskets, and other rubberized components. Seemingly minor cracks or splits can allow cold air to seep out, which causes the cooling system to work harder than normal.
If you discover any damaged gaskets or seals, it is important that you promptly replace them. Ensure that you order replacement parts from a reputable manufacturer that designs commercial-grade fluorocarbon products.
Fluorocarbon is considered a universal material for seals as it can withstand temperatures ranging from -13 to +446 degrees, ideal for many appliances in restaurant kitchens.
2. Check and Clean Filters
It is essential that your team inspects and cleans filters on devices such as refrigerators, coolers, and ice machines. If these filters accumulate too much grease, the machine will not be able to function properly.
Dust can easily be removed using a commercial vacuum, whereas grease can be wiped away with a degreasing solution.
3. Thoroughly Clean All Coils and Drain Pans
Drain pans and coils are some of the most frequently neglected components of commercial refrigerators. Over time, drain pipes accumulate sludge, dust, slime, and other debris.
Once a drain pipe is completely clogged, the device may freeze or water might leak into the refrigeration unit. Ensure that drain pipes are cleaned out at least quarterly to prevent this serious issue.
In addition, your restaurant staff should clean all evaporator and condenser coils. These coils can be cleaned using a shop vacuum and a soft-bristled brush or broom.
4. Keep Refrigeration Units Dry
If a clogged drainpipe or other issue causes water to spill over into your refrigeration unit, it is important to clean up this moisture immediately. Wet floors in a walk-in refrigerator or freezer can create a serious slip and fall hazard. Excess moisture also increases the chances that coils will freeze up.
5. Routinely Inspect and Clean Grease Filters
Your restaurant’s grills and ranges are probably some of your most important pieces of equipment. As such, they must be routinely inspected. Your staff should ensure that all grease filters are thoroughly cleaned during these inspections.
Grease buildup can minimize the airflow of overhead exhaust units, which may shorten the life of the devices.
6. Cleanse Combustion Fans
Another essential maintenance practice involves cleaning combustion fans on all commercial fryers. These fans should be cleaned monthly at a minimum. If fried foods are staples of your restaurant’s menu, more frequent cleaning may be necessary.
7. Monitor Gas Lines
Finally, you should carefully inspect all gas lines for leaks every four weeks or so. Always be aware of the signs of a gas leak, such as unusual smells near food preparation equipment. One simple way to check for gas leaks is to spray your supply hoses with a mixture of soap and water. If any bubbles form, then there is likely a leak.
Gas leaks and grease buildup pose some of the greatest risks to your restaurant. Not only can these occurrences diminish the life of expensive equipment, but they can also increase the risk of fire and endanger your staff.
According to data collected by FEMA, 59 percent of restaurant building fires are related to cooking. FEMA also found an average of 5,900 restaurant building fires in the U.S. each year, which cause a total of $172 million in property damage.
Proper Maintenance Will Keep Your Kitchen Running Smoothly
Follow these handy tips and you should stay ahead of unforeseen maintenance issues and get the most of your equipment’s full usable lifespan.