How to Take Care of Your Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Commercial kitchen equipment has come a long way. Sophisticated pieces of equipment, from grills and sizzlers, to ovens, to even refrigerators, have better safety mechanisms and environmentally-friendly features that are more accessible to restaurant owners than ever.

However, these appliances can still fail you and even cause potential hazards. Even though they are built to withstand frequent, prolonged use and have numerous safety features, poor maintenance can still shorten their lifespan and force you to spend on new appliances.

The good news is that this doesn’t have to happen. Many studies have shown that chains who have set in place standard procedures in taking care of their equipment spend less on maintenance and repair. Here are a few ways to take care of your commercial kitchen equipment:

1. Set up a proper maintenance program

Commercial stove ranges and ovens are two of the most prominent examples of sophisticated appliances that could rust or be rendered useless in a short time. However, the same could be said for any appliance in the kitchen.

Even though you think you’re going through every part of your business in thorough detail, chances are that you’ve overlooked one of the most important aspects in restaurant ownership: systems maintenance.

The reality of running a restaurant in Singapore is that maintaining your equipment and facilities is just as important to your guests’ dining experience as the actual preparation and cooking of ingredients. This makes a solid maintenance plan key to any good restaurant.

A solid maintenance plan includes both daily, weekly, and monthly checklists to make sure your commercial kitchen equipment stays in good condition, and is comprised of four parts: reactive workflow, preventive and routine program, tracking system, and finally, the contracted repairmen.

2. Assign the designated contacts and point person/s in case of repairs

This is the first part of your maintenance plan. As much as possible, everyone in your employ should know how to handle the Singapore commercial kitchen equipment appliances as well as briefed on tracking the information (e.g. the nature of the problem, how long did it take to get fixed, what needed to be replaced).

These measures, ranging from making the necessary emergency repairs to taking preventive measures to minimize the damage, to tracking information such as unit models, manufacturers, and repair costs, in a spreadsheet or management program, will be the saving grace of your restaurant.

When it comes to briefing your staff on how to handle emergency situations in the kitchen, be sure to include everyone in the practice drill. The briefing should also include the use of safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers and blankets, in the kitchen.

Having a list of emergency contacts is vital in any maintenance plan. This is because you may not always be there when an emergency arises, and even you as the owner may sometimes forget who to call or what to do.

3. Familiarize your kitchen’s layout and practice routine maintenance

Once your doors open for the day or night’s service, you will have very little time to Google “how to fix your fryer” or “emergency kitchen equipment repairman” simply because you don’t have the prior information or previous contacts.

For instance, when you do clean or defrost your refrigerator, be careful with the ice pick or sharp objects. As much as possible, avoid using them to remove anything stuck in the ice. The last thing you want is a very expensive repair job because the coolant has escaped the system.

You should also sanitize them at least twice a year. Even though the cold temperature prevents bacteria and mold from spoiling your meats and other ingredients, cleaning them should be routine.

4. Read the manuals

Don’t throw them away! As a restaurant owner, you should take the time to learn about how each one of your appliances from Singapore works. This is best explained by the manual, or if you ask early enough, your salesperson should be able to explain this to you in full detail.

Most suppliers will be happy to provide the manuals along with the appliances whether they are brand new or secondhand. As much as possible, contact your kitchen equipment supplier in Singapore and questions about how the equipment works and what should be done to maintain it.

5. Buy only from trusted dealers

There are different advantages as well as disadvantages offered by buying from different suppliers. For instance, buying your kitchen equipment secondhand allows you to save money and stay within your budget, which frees that certain amount up for something else that your kitchen needs.

Meanwhile, buying your equipment brand-new ensures that your stove, grill, etc. comes into your kitchen in peak condition and minimizes any chances of it not working once you install it in your work station for the first time. If you decide to do so, be sure to check if the supplier will also provide free delivery and installation, as well as a sound warranty.

Whether the disadvantage comes in terms of expense or the possibility of needing repairs and constant maintenance, what is important is that you know your kitchen equipment supplier and that the sales representative is willing to help you by providing much needed information.

Even though maintenance seems pointless at first, doing routine checks is much better than risking to break the bank for every emergency repair. The resulting longevity thanks to regular scheduled maintenance reduces the costs of upgrading them or even replacing them entirely.