NYC Metro Area’s HVACR Blog

Commercial Refrigeration

Refrigeration Service Contract Pricing Guide

refrigeration service contract

It’s an understatement to say that a food service business relies heavily on refrigeration equipment. That’s why a refrigeration service contract is so beneficial: to keep your equipment in peak shape and prevent breakdowns that disrupt business.

However, when you shop for a refrigeration service contract you quickly realize there’s a wide range of prices as well as different types of contracts. It can be challenging to figure out which one is right for your needs.

That’s why we’ve put together this primer to help you understand the different refrigeration service contract types and what factors into pricing. Armed with this info, you can decide what level of coverage is important for you and be equipped to choose the right contract and the best price.Read more 

Commercial Refrigeration

How to Clean Refrigerator Coils in Commercial Kitchens

how to clean refrigerator coils

Have you ever dropped something behind or underneath your refrigerator and taken a gander at what lurks in your refrigerator’s recesses while retrieving the misplaced object? You probably were surprised and maybe even embarrassed to see the incredible amount of dust accumulated, so you can only imagine the dusty condition of the hidden refrigeration coils.

Though many of us pride ourselves in keeping our kitchens spic and span, the truth of the matter is sometimes those “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” things occasionally slip through the cracks. As the owner of commercial refrigeration equipment, the very thought of how to clean refrigerator coils might cause you to recoil. But have no fear, it’s easier than you think.

Let’s take a look at the simple steps involved in how to clean refrigerator coils.Read more 

Commercial Refrigeration

The Complete Refrigeration Preventative Maintenance Checklist

refrigeration preventative maintenance checklist

Nothing will stop your business cold like a refrigeration equipment meltdown. That’s why it is vital for you as a restaurant or food service owner or manager to be vigilant about refrigeration preventative maintenance. Having a refrigeration preventative maintenance checklist will help you complete routine commercial refrigerator maintenance tasks that will prevent untimely breakdowns and headaches.Read more 

Commercial Refrigeration

Preventable Causes of Emergency Refrigeration Service Calls

emergency refrigeration service

When things are running smoothly, it’s hard to imagine the equipment we rely on breaking down, especially at the most inopportune time. Though certain equipment failures can temporarily be resolved with backup equipment and other improvisations, unfortunately nothing will chill business quicker than a downed refrigeration system at your restaurant or food service business. So stop taking your refrigeration units for granted before a breakdown sends you into a panic mode and your customers out the door.Read more 

Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Why Combine a Refrigeration & Commercial HVAC Service Contract?

commercial hvac service contract | refrigeration service contract

While combining facility services under one contractor is not always the best approach, some combined services are as a natural fit as a burger and fries. It makes perfect sense to put a commercial HVAC service contract and a refrigeration service contract under the same contractor’s roof and can actually provide for a more efficient operation, reduce your costs and your stress level.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Owner’s Guide to Restaurant HVAC & Refrigeration Service

Like most business owners, you’re probably not an HVAC expert. Yet your restaurant HVAC is a mission critical system that your business can’t operate without. All year round, you depend on your heating and air conditioning system to keep your dining room comfortable for your customers, so they keep returning to your restaurant again and again. Your restaurant HVAC also keeps your kitchen and food prep areas comfortable for employees, which have specialized comfort and ventilation requirements in order to meet health inspection requirements.

The same holds true for your commercial refrigeration equipment. When your walk in freezers, blast chillers, low boy refrigerators and display cases are not working as they should, it’s a big risk to your business. If your food quality suffers, you could lose customers. In the worst case, you could be serving food that puts customers in danger of getting sick if your ingredients are not stored at the proper temperatures. The next thing you know, negative reviews start popping up on social media. And what happens if the health inspector shows up when your commercial refrigeration equipment is acting up?

That’s why we have put together this collection of essential information for the restaurant owner about restaurant HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment service: it’s everything you need to know at your fingertips. Get the answers to all your questions and concerns here! Plus we’ve added out best advice for restaurant owners, based on everything we have learned from serving the industry for 6 decades.

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Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

How To Save Money On Restaurant Refrigeration Equipment

It’s the middle of your dinner rush, with a packed house, and one of your line cooks reaches into a low boy to grab ingredients, only to find everything warm. What do you do? If your first thought is to chuck it and get to the nearest Restaurant Depot to replace it, then you have the wrong instinct. Treating your restaurant refrigeration equipment like disposable items can cost your restaurant a lot of money.

It’s true that heavy repairs can be pricey. So what’s the alternative? Properly maintained restaurant refrigeration equipment won’t need repairs. Best of all, with proper care your fridges and freezers will last much longer and save you the cost of replacing them entirely.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Commercial Refrigeration

Restaurant Customer Retention in NYC: Turn New Diners Into Regulars

There are about 24,000 restaurants in New York City alone. Restaurant customer retention can be difficult to manage in that kind of climate. With all of those choices, how do you motivate your customers to keep coming back for more?

Luckily, Restaurant Week will be stirring up some fresh interest in the local dining scene and hopefully drive some new business your way. You want to make a good impression, so what’s a good way to turn them into repeat customers? Make their experience stand out, and offer something better than the rest. Here are some great ways to boost restaurant customer retention.

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Commercial Refrigeration

NYC: 12 Tips To Get Ready for a Restaurant Health Inspection

Your NYC health inspection is one of the most visible (and powerful) forms of promotion about your restaurant. After all, your rating is plastered right there in your front window, where every customer and passer-by can see it. All NYC ratings are also published in the New York Times. That’s why, if you do poorly on your restaurant heath inspection, at best it’s a PR nightmare. And in the worst case, you could be facing fines and even a shutdown.

The health inspector rarely announces himself in advance. So how can you be sure you’ll have all your ducks in a row when he shows up during a busy lunch shift when you’ve just accepted a large delivery? It’s about being prepared at all times.

Here at Arista, we have been servicing NYC restaurants for decades. We’ve seen how to most successful NYC restaurants are doing it right. Here are 12 of our most useful restaurant health inspection preparation tips.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Restaurant Event Planning: 7 Tips for NYC Restaurant Week

With NYC restaurant week coming up, there will be lots of restaurants gearing up to put their best foot forward. How do you stand out in the crowd? Add entertainment to the menu. Restaurant event planning is a big deal for a reason: it draws people into your restaurant and greatly increases the chances of them having a memorable experience. Check out this list of ways to ensure a successful event.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Make Restaurant Comfort a Priority (It is for diners!)

Here’s one fact you probably already know: the success of your restaurant is about much more than the food. Restaurant comfort is a big issue for diners, and a prime reason they will choose to frequent your establishment, or not.

Yet (as you probably realize since you’re reading this blog!) getting restaurant comfort right it not as easy as it seems.

Just think about your own experience. It’s probably something like this: your patrons are constantly complaining about being too hot or too cold, or being bothered by drafts from your AC blowing directly on their food. And making it too loud to carry on a conversation. At the same time, your kitchen is sweltering to the point that people are ready to pass out from the heat. Even worse, you might have kitchen odors migrating to the dining room. That’s not a pleasant experience for your diners, either.

We’ve heard lots of stories like this from the many New York City restaurants we have serviced over the years. Certainly you’ve experienced your staff fiddling with the thermostat in a desperate attempt to improve your restaurant comfort. It’s even worse when you catch your customers doing that!

Read on to learn more about why restaurant comfort is a tricky issue. Then we’ll reveal how the right combination of specialized equipment, HVAC system design and maintenance can improve environmental temperature control and solve your problems once and for all.

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Commercial Refrigeration

Restaurant Refrigeration: 4 Lessons From Frosty the Snowman

Don’t you just love the holiday season? There’s no other time of year when you’re actually encouraged to eat cookies and milk and watch animated holiday shows on TV.

In case you need any more convincing to participate in these holiday traditions, there’s an additional benefit you may not have considered. Those holiday shows can be surprisingly educational! Here’s an example: if you’re in the restaurant business, Frosty the Snowman can teach you some important lessons about restaurant refrigeration. If you want to keep your commercial refrigeration equipment running reliably, read on to find out what you can learn from Frosty.

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Commercial Refrigeration

Commercial Refrigeration Service: Must-Do for the Holiday Rush

Halloween is almost upon us; time to start thinking about the holiday season! It’s no joke: in the food service business, we’re coming up on one of the busiest times of the year. Are you ready for the holiday rush?

Getting prepared means doing everything you can to make sure your restaurant is at its best. You can’t afford problems with your refrigeration equipment to derail your plans for a successful and profitable holiday season. Take action now: invest in commercial refrigeration service to keep everything running smoothly.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

How to Cut Downtime & Get Better Restaurant Equipment Service

In the food service business, every hour that you’re open and operating is critical to your bottom line. So what happens when you’re open but not operating (or not fully operating) due to maintenance issues? Chances are, you’re losing money. Here are some (probably all too familiar) examples:

  • The HVAC is out, your kitchen staff is ready to pass out and customers are walking out due to the heat
  • Your walk-in freezer is down, the ice cream is melting, and you have a delivery coming in an hour
  • It’s Fried Chicken Friday, and your deep fryer is on the fritz
  • The health inspector is due, and the dishwasher just stopped working

Read more 

Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

Top 10 Restaurant Kitchen Design Ideas & Tips

Looking for restaurant kitchen design ideas? You’ve come to the right place.

Arista has done restaurant HVAC, refrigeration and kitchen repair for many years (decades, really) so we’ve been involved in countless restaurant startups and renovations. In the process, we’ve learned quite a few useful tips. Here goes!

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

10 Restaurant Kitchen Design Mistakes You Must Avoid

Restaurant kitchen design: planning is everything

Your kitchen is the heart and soul of your restaurant. Getting your restaurant kitchen design wrong can be a huge disaster. Design impacts the success of your restaurant in many ways:

  • the efficiency of your food prep
  • the ability of your staff to follow safe food handling practices
  • cleanliness of your restaurant
  • whether you’re meeting all applicable codes and standards (if not, you could be shut down or your opening could be delayed)

As a provider of HVAC, refrigeration and kitchen equipment maintenance to NYC restaurants for decades, we’ve been involved in lots of restaurant renovations and build-outs. Over the years, we have learned a thing or two about what NOT to do when creating a restaurant kitchen design. Whether you’re remodeling or opening a new establishment, avoid these bad practices that can cost you big time.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

Restaurant HVAC: 7 Ways to Find a Better Service Provider

If you’re in the food service business, you know that maintaining comfortable conditions in your restaurant is a must.

It’s never okay to allow your dining room to become too hot, cold or humid. You also can’t have too much equipment noise disturbing your customers. Then there’s the problem of drafty conditions or even kitchen smells being pulled into the dining room by a poorly-functioning restaurant HVAC system. Any of these problems can cause you to lose customers and impact your bottom line.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Refrigeration

New HVAC refrigerants: Could CO2 Replace R-22?

If you’ve been following our HVAC blog articles, you probably notice that they’re usually very practical. We offer guidance about issues that are on your mind and provide information that’s immediately helpful. Once in a while, though, we like to talk about something just because we think it’s interesting and enlightening. This blog about new HVAC refrigerants is one of those posts. We hope you’ll find it interesting and enlightening, too!

The true story behind HVAC refrigerants

Refrigeration was originally invented because we wanted to make our food last longer and prevent waste from spoilage. We learned that keeping it cool accomplished that goal. Isn’t it ironic that the chemical HVAC refrigerants we developed to chill our food (as well as cool our living and working spaces) are some of the worst contributors to the greenhouse effect and global warming? That’s right: as we chill our food to preserve it, we’re heating up our planet and destroying it.

Read more 

Commercial Refrigeration

Refrigeration Lessons from Frosty the Snowman

Isn’t it the most wonderful time of the year? When else is it perfectly acceptable (even encouraged!) to eat candy canes, wear ugly sweaters, and sit around watching animated holiday TV specials?

We’re offering today’s blog just in case you needed any additional justification for that last holiday activity. Did you know those holiday specials can be surprisingly educational? Here’s a case in point: if you happen to be in the food service business, Frosty the Snowman offers some important refrigeration lessons that can help you keep your commercial refrigeration equipment running reliably.

Read more 

Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

3 Tricks to Getting Fast Restaurant Emergency Refrigerator Repair

When you are in the food service business, your refrigeration equipment is your lifeline. You depend on those blast chillers and display cases and low-boy refrigerators and walk-in freezers to keep your ingredients and your product both fresh and safe to consume. The problem is, when any one of those units breaks down, you have a serious problem on your hands.

If you’ve been in the restaurant business for a while, you’ve probably experienced the panic that sets in when you unexpectedly need emergency refrigerator repair. And it always seems to happen during your busiest time! You may find yourself throwing away thousands of dollars in wasted product and losing significant business in a very short period of time. Not to mention the repair bill, which can often cost you double if it happens at night or a weekend.

So when that happens (and it eventually will), you need to know that you can get fast emergency refrigerator repair when you need it. You may already know from experience that you’re unlikely to get fast service if you cold-call just any emergency refrigerator repair company you come across on the Internet.

So how can you find a company you can count on to fix your emergency refrigerator repair problems before your profits melt away like the ice cream in your broken freezer? Read on for three little-known strategies.

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Commercial Refrigeration

Restaurant Refrigeration Installation: Get It Right the First Time

What’s the worst thing you can imagine happening right before the grand opening of a new restaurant:

  • An invasion of ants taking over your kitchen?
  • A sink hole opening up right in front of your restaurant?
  • A freak tornado hitting NYC in December and specifically your block?

Seriously, other than losing your chef to the competition, one of the worst things that can happen is having problems with your refrigeration equipment. After all, if your refrigeration installation goes badly, ALL your cold food storage equipment could be affected and fail to hold the correct temperature. And that could mean you can’t store all the product and ingredients that are being delivered, your staff can’t practice their prep techniques and recipes to get ready for the grand opening, and you can’t prepare any food that’s safe to consume. How are you going to open?

That’s exactly what happened to the owner of a New York City restaurant group when he hired to wrong people to do the refrigeration installation for a new restaurant.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Refrigeration

5 Ways to Stop Negative Reviews of Your Restaurant

Negative reviews of your restaurant can be a frustrating problem to deal with. Especially when you have gone to the trouble to find a great chef, pay him as much as you can afford, and you know the food is good. From what you see and hear every day, people love the food. Yet there are still people writing negative reviews and giving you only a couple of stars on Yelp.

What’s going on? And how can you put a stop to it?

Here’s the problem that may be behind those negative reviews: many restaurant owners are very conscientious about the quality of the food (and rightly so), yet don’t pay as much attention to the dining atmosphere. This is a mistake, especially in New York City, where there is so much competition; it doesn’t take much for an unhappy customer to choose the restaurant around the corner next time.

The truth is, a great dining experience is not only about the food. There are many additional factors that can make or break a customer’s experience. And they are the kinds of things that it’s easy for an owner to overlook; you spend so much time there that you tend not to notice. But if you want to put a stop to those negative reviews, it pays to fix these issues once and for all.

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Commercial Refrigeration

6 Ways You’re Jeopardizing Your Restaurant’s NYC Health Grade

As a restaurant owner or manager, you’re proud of your “A” NYC health grade. It’s a sign for all your customers (literally, right there in your front window) of the superior quality of your food preparation. You know that diners are confident of getting a great meal prepared safely when they see that NYC health grade.

Because that “A” is so critical to the success of your business, we’re betting you go to great lengths to make sure you maintain your NYC health grade: training and reminding your staff about proper food handling techniques to prevent contamination, being vigilant about cleaning and preventing pests, and constantly checking the temperature of cooked food.

Yet there is one aspect of preparing for inspections and maintaining your NYC health grade that you might be overlooking: maintenance of your refrigeration equipment.

Read more 

Commercial Refrigeration

Bacteria in Ice: Think Your Restaurant’s Ice Is Safe?

Have you been regularly cleaning and servicing your ice machine? If not, you’re putting your customers at risk for illness by ingesting bacteria in ice, and your putting your business in jeopardy as well.

In a 2013 study of ice cleanliness at British food service establishments, 6 out of 10 restaurants were found to be serving their customers bacteria in their ice. In 60 percent of those restaurants, researchers found higher levels of bacteria in the ice than in their toilet water. Experts attributed this finding to the likelihood that the toilets were regularly cleaned, whereas the ice machines were not.

This is not an isolated incident. There’s another 2011 study of Las Vegas food establishments that uncovered alarming results about bacteria in ice as well, including the presence of heterotrophic bacteria that exceeded EPA limits, with more than 72% testing positive for “presumptive coliform bacteria presence.”

Related article: Your Ice Machine: the Most Dangerous Item in Your Restaurant.

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Commercial Refrigeration

One Simple Way to Avoid Industrial Refrigeration System Downtime

So many aspects of our lives depend on refrigeration: it’s vital for food, medicine and the manufacture of many things we use every day.

Refrigeration is even more vital if you operate any type of food service business: your livelihood depends on its reliable operation.

Restaurants, bakeries, convenience stores, hotels, catering facilities, cold storage facilities, food products manufacturing, supermarkets, and even medical facilities all require a dependable industrial refrigeration system. When a piece of refrigeration equipment goes down, the clock starts ticking, and if the problem is not solved in a matter of hours, you’re going to be throwing out a great deal of valuable product.

Refrigeration downtime is a complicated problem, but there is one simple way to prevent it: regular maintenance of your industrial refrigeration system.

In your home, you’re probably accustomed to doing routine maintenance to keep things working as they should, from servicing your heating and air conditioning system to weeding your garden. Yet we don’t think about maintaining our home refrigerators and freezers beyond cleaning. An industrial refrigeration system is different. Not only because it gets more usage and endures more wear-and-tear, but because there is a lot more at stake when it fails.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Refrigeration

Restaurant Air Conditioning: Are Comfort Issues Driving Diners Away?

Restaurant air conditioning.

As a restaurant owner, you’ve probably invested quite a chunk of change in décor and lighting to make your restaurant’s atmosphere inviting. But have you paid as much attention to your restaurant air conditioning and the temperature of the dining room?

Without a doubt, restaurant air conditioning is a hot topic among diners (pun intended!). Air temperature is an important part of every diner’s experience, and if your customers are sweating or shivering through their meal, they are not likely to return for another one. Especially in New York City, you have competitors on every block, and customers will quickly find another restaurant where they can eat in comfort.

When your dining room feels like a sauna or an icebox, you’re losing more than the customers who don’t return. These days, it’s likely that those disappointed customers will share their uncomfortable experience with everyone they know on Facebook, or worse, post a negative review on Yelp. Both word of mouth and bad online reviews can do some serious damage to your restaurant’s reputation. When diners feel like you’re skimping on restaurant air conditioning maintenance, they may wonder (our loud and on social media) whether you’re also cutting corners on food handling, kitchen cleanliness, or quality of ingredients.

Also, don’t forget that your employees will be more productive when the temperature is comfortable.

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Commercial Refrigeration

Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance: Summer Tuneups Prevent Meltdowns

The food service manager’s nightmare

It goes something like this:

Your commercial kitchen is bustling, yet you have this feeling of impending doom.

You look around for the source of the problem, but everything looks normal.

Then you suddenly realize… your refrigerated display case was making funny noises yesterday. You head over there at a run.

The light is out.

There’s no more funny noise; now it’s deathly quiet.

And your buttercream is drooping and melting like an ice cream cone on a hot day. NOOOOOOO!

Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Commercial Refrigeration

It’s Not Easy Going Green: PlaNYC and Doing Your Part to Save Energy

All New Yorkers face impacts from climate change

According to the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), New York City faces significant risks from climate change by the 2050’s. Mean average temperatures will rise by as much as 6.5 degrees, annual precipitation will increase up to 15 percent, and sea levels will rise by as much as 31 inches. Noticeable increases will occur within the coming decade. These are some of the impacts New Yorkers will see as a result of climate change:Read more 

Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

Ice Machine Cleaning Checklist for Restaurant Refrigeration Service

In a 2013 study by the Daily Mail of ice cleanliness at British food establishments, 6 out of 10 restaurants were found to be serving ice that contained higher levels of bacteria than the water in their toilets.

Experts attributed this finding to the likelihood that the toilets were regularly cleaned, whereas the ice machine cleaning was neglected.

Have you been regularly cleaning and servicing your ice machine? Do you know how to clean an ice machine the right way? If not, you’re putting your customers at risk for illness, and your restaurant at risk as well.Read more 

Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

This Ice Machine Cleaning Checklist Could Save Your Restaurant

Food safety has to be a primary concern on the mind of every NYC restaurant owner. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t stay in business very long. The consequences of serving potentially dangerous food are serious, not only to your patrons’ health, but also for your business:

  • poor health inspection grades
  • negative reviews on social media and in the press
  • lawsuits and even financial damages

Read more 

Commercial Refrigeration

How to Clean Up Your Commercial Refrigeration and Nail that ‘A’ Grade

How to Clean Up Your Commercial Refrigeration and Nail that ‘A’ Grade

If you own or manage a restaurant in New York City, you probably have nightmares about the health inspector. You know the one we mean, where he comes in wearing a diabolical grin and slaps a C grade on your front window.

Seriously, even if he comes in smiling pleasantly, your stomach probably does flip-flops. Having the health inspector turn up can be even scarier than having your chef call in sick. You immediately remember all the maintenance tasks you’ve been meaning to take care of, like the low-boy on your cooking line that’s been running too warm. Then you imagine the potentially catastrophic violations that could come as a total surprise: like having to throw out everything in your blast chiller because the temperature is too high. You might even face the closing of your restaurant because of a Condition V critical violation.

Some of the most damaging violations you can receive in an inspection come from food being stored or held at the wrong temperature.

Here’s how poor restaurant HVAC refrigeration service leads to dangerous temperature variations:

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Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

A Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance Checklist to Help You Stay Cool During Restaurant Week

New York City’s Winter 2015 Restaurant Week is almost upon us. You’re probably scrambling to get ready for the onslaught of New Yorkers and tourists lining up for a chance to sample the trendiest and tastiest fare the city’s restaurants have to offer. It’s one of the best opportunities to create a buzz about your restaurant and attract a host of new diners.

But if your refrigeration equipment fails, you’ll be sending all those potential new customers home dissatisfied or worse. So, in advance of restaurant week, we’ll be posting great tips and resources on how to keep your equipment (and your head) cool!

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Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

5 Reasons to Combine Your HVAC and Refrigeration Repair Services

If you are a facilities manager for a restaurant group or chain, you have a lot on your plate (pun intended). You can easily have a dozen people calling you every day with problems that need to be fixed, and you can’t possibly check them all out by yourself. You need to rely on service providers for information, assessments, and advice to help you make decisions.

Let’s say you’re overseeing 15 restaurants and you’re responsible for refrigeration and HVAC and commercial kitchen maintenance. If you have different vendors for each system and each location, you could be dealing with as many as 45 vendors! That’s definitely too many hands in the kitchen. Not to mention too much time on the phone and far too much paperwork with all those separate work orders, proposals and invoices. Make your life easier by building a relationship with one trusted refrigeration and HVAC service provider that can handle all your service needs.

Here’s what you stand to gain:

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Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

Neglected Commercial Refrigeration Equipment is a Recipe for Disaster!

In the food service business, you spend good money on the best ingredients, because your customers expect nothing less than the freshest fare. So much depends on the quality of your food. But if you’re storing that food in commercial refrigeration units that have not been properly maintained, you might as well be throwing your money away.Read more 

Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

The 6 Step Guide to NYC Restaurant Energy Savings

In the restaurant business, how do you keep your profits consistent when costs are continuously rising? Food prices, utility rates and wages are going nowhere but up. Especially in New York City where competition is fierce, you probably aren’t in a position to raise prices to offset increased expenses. So what can you do? You need to find a way to cut operating costs without impacting the quality of your product or the comfort of your guests.

A surprisingly effective strategy is to focus on energy efficiency. According to ENERGY STAR, the average restaurant uses 5 to 7 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings. If yours is a quick-service restaurant, you may be using up to 10 times more energy. That’s a lot of cash that could be going toward your bottom line. If you can save 20 percent on energy costs, that could increase your profit margin by as much as one-third.Read more 

Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Avoid Refrigeration Repair and Improve Your NYC Restaurant Grade

Want an “A” on Your Restaurant Health Inspection? Better Get Up to Speed on Refrigeration Maintenance

NYC Restaurant Letter GradesYou know that sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when the NYC health inspector walks into your restaurant? It’s kind of like a moment of imminent danger when your life flashes before your eyes. You instantly see all the things you’ve been meaning to take care of, like the low-boy on your cooking line that’s been running too warm. Then you imagine the potentially catastrophic violations that could come as a total surprise: like having to throw out everything in your self-serve display case because the temperature is too high, and facing a C grade or even the closing of your restaurant because of a Condition V critical violation.Read more 

Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Display Case Breakdown: Avoid Costly Commercial Refrigeration Repair

Cold Case: Display Case Gone Bad

For owners of New York City convenience stores, delicatessens, coffee shops and bakeries your refrigerated display cases are the lifeblood of your business. You’ve probably gone to a great deal of time and expense to choose the best commercial refrigeration equipment for your needs, and design a space that showcases your products in the most attractive and convenient way. And of course, you count on that equipment to work reliably 24 hours a day to keep items fresh for your customers.

If a display case breaks down, and you need commercial refrigeration repair, it’s a major headache and a major expense. You may be forced to throw out a lot of expensive product, not to mention the lost business while the unit is down. Then you have to fix or replace the unit in a hurry. Of course it will happen at the most convenient time, on a Sunday or a holiday when the service rates are at a premium. You may even have a health and safety issue if customers consumed food that was not kept at the proper temperature.Read more 

Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Blast Chillers 101: How to Avoid Commercial Refrigeration Repair

‘Just Me and My Blast Chiller’

If you run just about any type of food service operation, your blast chiller is your best buddy…or at least one of your most critical pieces of commercial refrigeration equipment. It increases the productivity of your kitchen by allowing you to make larger batches and produce more product during slow periods. It reduces waste since you no longer need to throw out leftovers every day. Most importantly, it preserves the flavor, aroma, color, texture, and nutrients in your food, improving the quality of what you serve. Use of blast chillers can even reduce your legal liability by ensuring that your food is handled in compliance with food safety regulations.

The best part is, your blast chiller asks for very little in return. These units are very reliable and can easily last 15 to 20 years. All you need to do is some simple cleaning and maintenance. What more could you ask from one piece of equipment?Read more 

Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

6 Steps to Maintaining Your Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

As a business owner, you probably know that preventative maintenance keeps your heating and air conditioning systems running reliably and efficiently. What you may not realize is that regular service is just as important for your refrigeration equipment. After all, these are mission-critical systems that can quickly cost you a fortune when they go down. Even when you think they are working properly, your refrigeration units can be consuming too much energy, which costs not only your wallet but the entire planet. Preventative care will save you some green and also help you do your part to be environmentally conscious.

Here’s what you stand to gain by scheduling regular cleaning and tune-ups for your refrigeration units:Read more 

Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

The Restaurant Owner’s Guide to Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance

New York City’s Restaurant Week is fast approaching. Each year New Yorkers and tourists flood the city’s restaurants for a chance to taste what might normally be beyond their budget or their pallette. If you’re a restaurant owner that could mean a huge boon for business. But if your refrigeration equipment fails, all those bang-for-your-buck meals won’t mean much. So, in advance of restaurant week, we’ll be posting great tips and resources on how to keep your equipment (and your head) cool!

As a restaurant owner, your refrigeration equipment is both your best friend and your worst nightmare. Without your coolers, chillers and freezers, you’d be serving lukewarm drinks, wilted salads and melted ice cream. Let’s face it, without them you wouldn’t be in business at all. And that’s exactly the problem: when they break down, your business quickly comes to a screeching halt.Read more 

Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

Commercial Refrigeration Troubleshooting: Find & Fix Your Leaks!

Do you have an older air conditioning unit with a slow leak? If so, you probably end up calling in your HVAC service provider every summer when the unit stops cooling effectively. They give you two options: find and fix the leak, which will take longer and cost more, or just refill the refrigerant, which is the less expensive quick fix. You may be tempted to go for the cheaper option. The building will be cool again faster, so why pay more?Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

What You Need to Know About F-Gases and HVAC Service

In today’s world, it would be very difficult to live without air conditioning and refrigeration, letalone run a business. But the refrigerants these systems use to preserve our food and keep us cool are doing just the opposite to our planet. When leaked into the atmosphere, older refrigerants like freon cause depletion of the ozone layer, and newer refrigerants called F-gases contribute to the greenhouse effect and global warming.

As long as these chemicals stay where they belong, inside your cooling equipment, there is no cause for alarm. The problem comes in when the systems develop slow leaks, or are serviced by technicians who don’t use the right equipment and techniques for working with refrigerants.

As a facilities manager, it’s your job to ensure the safe handling of refrigerants in your building. You could face hefty fines if found to be in violation of the EPA’s Clean Air Act. And as global warming increasingly wreaks havoc on the climate, our grandchildren will pay a much higher price.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

What You Need to Know About Refrigerant Safety and Your HVAC System

If It’s Bad for the Ozone Layer, It’s Bad for You.

If you’re a facility manager, you may think all you need to know about your air conditioning system is that it’s working properly. If the building is cool, why worry about how that happens?

The reason you should be concerned is that refrigerants, the chemicals in your air conditioner that actually do the cooling, can pose a serious threat to your building’s occupants (not to mention the planet’s ozone layer) if not handled properly.

It’s important to understand the potential dangers posed by refrigerants so you make sure to hire only qualified technicians to work on your air conditioning system, and so that you take precautions to prevent any accidents from occurring in your building.Read more