The National Restaurant Association 2018 show is in Chicago for their annual conference in May. During this conference, facility professionals and vendors get together, share their industry knowledge and build relationships.

Restaurants rely heavily on maintenance vendors to stay operational. However, the maintenance process must be effortless, timesaving and reliable to run a lucrative restaurant with service providers. Facility managers and store personnel should take the following strategic steps to manage their restaurants.

Find a Provider to Guarantee a Better Quality of Service

Streamlining your operations is important when managing restaurants. Malfunctioning equipment and complex responsibilities in the front of house and back of house creates needs that a facility manager can’t ignore. Recruiting one qualified vendor as the sole service provider for multiple trades can create an efficient and beneficial maintenance process. When there is one point of communication and all of a restaurant’s asset data is in one place, managing a restaurant gets easier. More control over your operations can lead to fewer roadblocks.

When it comes to relying on multiple vendors, it can be difficult to stay up to date on contractor insurance and qualifications. An uncertified technician might make rookie mistakes that could result in more repairs later down the line. An uninsured technician could cause injuries due to improper practices during a service, leaving the restaurant accountable.

Double-checking insurance and certifications in the beginning of a partnership can help avoid maintenance risks, which is why teaming up with one provider is worth it. One vendor with a national network of technicians that are certified in different trades can provide quality and consistent work across large restaurant chains.

Save Time by Communicating Efficiently

Naturally, completing services take less time when a facility manager only has to communicate with one service provider. A technician that works consistently with a restaurant knows what is expected of them during a service. Teaming up with a service provider and agreeing on a procedure that encourages technicians to provide service details can reduce return visits.

Creating a procedure where technicians follow up after a service can keep the facility manager aware of the health of the equipment in their restaurants. A communication procedure also enables new relationship dynamics and helpful opportunities between the technician and the store personnel. For instance, if a technician is providing a recurring hood cleaning, but notices that the exhaust fan is rattling, the technician will know:

  • Who they can report the problem to
  • If they should tend to the problem immediately or if a new work order is required
  • How to document all the work they provided in a report if they tend to the problem

Service details also allow a facility manager to see the costs associated with services and understand what piece of equipment is costing the most money. With that information, a facility manager can quickly decide whether replacing the equipment or repairing the equipment is better for the bottom-line.

Put Plans in Place to Simplify the Maintenance Process

Working with a sole service provider and establishing structured communication enables the facility manager to take more proactive steps. Implementing preventative procedures can make a restaurant’s maintenance plan simple and organized. Scheduling regular services to maintain an asset will decrease the number of emergency requests. Rather than store personnel reacting to maintenance issues, proactive action leads to work order avoidance by reducing the fluctuation and frequency of service requests.

Require technicians to check up on equipment and provide preventative services like:

  • Scrubbing the grease containment systems, traps, hoods and fryers
  • Tightening and replacing the screws in exhaust fans
  • Cleaning the evaporator coils, condenser coils and blades in refrigeration systems
  • Checking up on the refrigeration drain pan, drain line and trap

Properly maintaining grease hoods, ducts, exhaust fans and refrigeration with preventative maintenance can solve the most common kitchen inefficiencies, avoid headaches and save costs.

How Can a Quality Vendor Help My FM Program?

Quality service providers can help your maintenance program get better, faster and simpler. However, it is important to know how your restaurants are currently handling their maintenance needs to make the necessary improvements.

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