Regular equipment maintenance reduces downtime, increases selling opportunities.
Other Steps to Take
- Watch your water costs. “The cost of water has been rising for years—faster than inflation—and it’s only going to get more expensive,” says Young of the Foodservice Technology Center. So watch out for leaking sinks and toilets, he says, especially because commercial properties are billed twice for water: when it comes in and when it goes out.
- Don’t set your water temperature too high—110 or 120 degrees is sufficient.
- Insulate your pipes with 1-inch-thick foam or fiberglass, to retain heat.
- Change your microwave filter, if it has one, at least monthly.
- Clean fountain dispenser nozzles daily with hot soapy water, says Dunne of Restaurant City. “Syrup builds up and there’s less room for the liquid to come through,” he says.
- Wash meat slicers as often as possible, because specks of food can attach to them. The more expensive machines come apart more easily, so it’s best to buy a good one.
- Make sure you have surge protectors on all your compressor units, says Kincheloe of National Restaurant Consultants. “As the power goes up and down—which it does in most areas—it creates heat and affects the longevity of your equipment,” he says. “Surge compressors absorb the surge and the heat so equipment is not affected.”
- Utility companies often have free energy-efficiency walk-throughs. You can sometimes get rebates if you upgrade—mostly in Western states, but also Wisconsin, New York and the New England states.