Kitchen equipment is not only very expensive, but also important to running an eatery, restaurant, food truck, hotel, cafeteria… in fact, anywhere there’s need for the preparation and consumption of meals.
The key to making them last long and keeping your clients’ business is by ensuring that they are in top shape all the time. This is why you need to consistently carry out routine maintenance.
Neglecting routine maintenance will not only cost you your equipment, it can also cost you your entire business. Here’s how:
Visits from the Safety Organizations Could Shut You Down
Not only is this embarrassing, it can also be very costly in terms of winning old customers back, and keeping new ones. Not just that, if there are severe safety violations, you may have to pay a severe fine as well as replace any equipment the safety inspectors say you should change.
Even then, the inspectors and safety officer would determine when they have the time to come around and declare your kitchen as meeting safety standards. Unfortunately, this means that your business could lose a huge chunk of its customers.
Now, all of these can be avoided by simply taking all precautionary measures and adopting a healthy routine maintenance schedule that will keep your business open at all times.
Not Spotting Damages Early Enough
Most of the time, spotting the damage or problem in the kitchen equipment early means that there would be little or no need to completely replace kitchen equipment as the problems can be fixed immediately.
But, if the damage isn’t detected early enough, you may need to completely change the equipment. For instance, having uneven floors can mean that your equipment would soon start wobbling and ultimately pack up far earlier than it should. Meanwhile fixing the uneven floor can prevent this.
Poor Cleaning Routines Pose Health Hazards
All kitchen equipments need to be deep cleaned once a month to minimize health hazards and prolong the equipment’s lifespan. Poorly cleaned equipments pose severe health risks to you, your employees, and the customers.
If you’re worried about the deep cleaning affecting your schedule, rotate equipments. This is what most commercial kitchens do to keep their doors open.
Blocked Vents and Filters Could Cause Equipment Overheating
This means that the equipments could pose serious fire hazards. In fact, kitchen equipments with such blockages are basically fire incidents waiting to happen. Vents and filters are essentially there to help heat escape and keep the debris/dirt out.
When the vents are blocked, it means the heat will not be able to escape as at when due. Eventually, the heat will need to escape somehow –usually in the form of the equipment either exploding or becoming engulfed in flames.
So, make sure that your vents are always cleaned and cleared of any debris. Keep your filters clear, too, so that they can collect the dirt
Damaged Gaskets hasten Equipment Degradation
Your gaskets are an important part of your kitchen equipment. You’ll find them on your dishwasher and refrigerator to mention a few. They are there to help keep these equipments tightly sealed when in use.
A weak or damaged gasket can drastically reduce your equipment’s lifespan if it’s not attended to very quickly as the machine would have to work extra hard to function optimally. This means considerably far more wear and tear. Routine maintenance will ensure that you spot the damages and replace it. If a new part is needed, online vendors like 24/7 Restaurant Parts sell new and used equipment for varied prices.
Also, adopting good cleaning practices such as using a soft brush to clean around the gasket or using powder detergent instead of chlorine, which can damage the gasket, will help it last longer.
There’s also the risk of personal injury. For example, weak gaskets in the dishwasher means water leakage onto the floor. An unsuspecting employee can slip in the puddle of water, breaking his or her arm in the process and filing compensation claims against your company.
If the injury is worse, you can expect a lawsuit. The point is that this could be easily avoided
Damaged Refrigerator Seals Predisposes Entire Kitchen to Pathogens
Every kitchen’s refrigerator should function at optimum levels to prevent the growth of pathogens and dangerous microorganisms that are readily present in perishable food items. This is why refrigerators are built to be sealed shut when they are closed.
They are meant to be airtight. However, if those seals are weakened or damaged, it further increases the risk of those food borne pathogens growing and poisoning the foods you prepare in the kitchen.
Unfortunately, disgruntled customers who suffer the effects of the food poisoning can file lawsuits against you, report you to the health board, or the necessary safety organizations. Even if you eventually get away with a slap on the wrist –which isn’t usually the case-, the compensation, reputation damage, and loss of clientele can do some damage to your business.
As a rule, refrigerator seals need to be changed every 6-18 months. So, check yours frequently. It’s always better to err on the side of caution than to suffer the often severe consequences that follow negligence and a lack of routine kitchen maintenance.
[Image via Google Images]