Ready or not, it’s 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.
Why you can’t skip regular commercial refrigeration service
Properly functioning refrigeration equipment is essential for keeping your food service operation running smoothly. When you neglect commercial refrigeration service, here’s what that is costing you:
Breakdowns at the worst possible time
Restaurant refrigeration equipment has to do an important job, often under extreme conditions. If you want it to operate reliably without breakdowns, it needs commercial refrigeration service on a regular basis.
Think about it this way: what if you drove your car 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in hot and polluted conditions and never had it serviced? How long do you think it would last without breaking down?
Your refrigeration equipment takes a beating day in and day out, in the same kind of extreme conditions. Without regular commercial refrigeration service, dirt and grime impairs function and parts break down due to wear and tear, eventually causing your equipment to fail. And that’s the last thing you need during the busy holiday season.
Health regulations require you to keep your refrigeration equipment at precise temperatures. It’s all too easy for your boxes to begin running too warm due to neglected commercial refrigeration service. For example, when kitchen grease and debris build up on the refrigeration coils, it becomes harder for the unit to maintain temperature. Also, failing (or dirty) door gaskets can let in warm air from the kitchen.
Before you know it, your refrigeration boxes are too warm and you must throw out food that hasn’t been held at the proper temperature. Even if you don’t have to throw it out, food will spoil faster.
Think about the consequences of equipment breakdowns and even your boxes not keeping food cold enough. If you have less product to sell, or customers are disappointed, you’re going to lose business.
What if someone actually gets sick from tainted food you’ve served? Before you know it, your mistake could be shared all over social media and review sites like Yelp. It only takes one incident like that to so serious damage to your reputation. Especially if the health department gets involved.
Commercial refrigeration service keeps your equipment doing its job reliably, to preserve the freshness and quality of the food you serve.
The cost of commercial refrigeration service does more than just pay for itself; it actually saves you money.
For example, replacing worn parts during a service call often costs much less than repairing the major damage that results when you wait for the part to fail. You’re also saving the overtime charges that go along with emergency repairs. Don’t breakdowns always seem to happen at night and on weekends, when service rates are at a premium?
Also, don’t forget about energy expenses. When your equipment is dirty or otherwise not running efficiently, it has to work harder to reach and sustain the set temperature. If a unit is constantly running, due to low refrigerant, a failing motor, or even leaky gaskets, it can use as much as 35 percent more energy.
Multiply that times the number of refrigeration units in your restaurant, and you can see how much money you stand to save with commercial refrigeration service.
Commercial refrigeration service: DIY tasks
To keep your refrigeration equipment working at its best, here are a few simple maintenance tasks you and your staff can tackle on your own.
- At least weekly or even daily depending on the load of your kitchen, thoroughly clean each unit inside and out.
- Use mild soap and hot water, never harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers that can cause damage.
- Never use water around the electrical components, just wipe with a cloth.
- Remove clutter, debris and storage items from around your refrigeration units to increase air flow.
Inspect each refrigeration unit weekly for signs of problems, including:
- Not maintaining set temperature
- Water leaks
- Condensation inside the unit
- Noisy motors or compressors
- Loose hinges or gaskets that don’t seal properly
Trust the experts for these commercial refrigeration service tasks
Call in commercial refrigeration service experts to handle these tasks that require specialized procedures and expertise:
- Remove debris and grease from equipment parts
- Clean fan blades & check operation of fan motor
- Check drains & pans for clogs
- Check refrigerant levels
- Clean ice machines
- Clean gaskets & door seals
- Check hinges and latches
- Calibrate thermostats
- Clean coils
- Inspect electrical components
- Check condition of all parts & look for signs of impending problems
- Replace worn parts
Here’s something you may not know: all commercial refrigeration service contracts are not created equal.
What’s needed for your business may not be the same as the restaurant across the street. The tasks will depend on your equipment, the food you’re preparing and serving, your volume, and even the way your kitchen is organized. The commercial refrigeration service frequency you need can also vary.
In addition, contracts can be customized depending on your budget and the schedule that works for you. This helpful guide provides more information and guidance for getting the contract that’s right for your business: Refrigeration Preventive Maintenance Contracts: How to Find the Right One for Your Food Service Operation.