Running a hotel restaurant is a daunting task. With the exacting standards of guests, it can be easy to neglect a restaurant’s maintenance needs in favor of customer-facing areas like food and ambiance. Add to that the long operating hours of a hotel restaurant and it’s no wonder maintenance often falls by the wayside. However, by taking note of these four hotel restaurant maintenance tips, managers should never again have to scramble to repair avoidable breakdowns in equipment.
1Make Use of Hotel Maintenance Staff
Depending on whether a restaurant is hotel-managed or independently operated, the use of property staff for maintenance needs may be included in the contract. If so, managers should take full advantage of their service.
Hotel restaurants rely on equipment with varying maintenance needs. While daily cleaning tasks can be performed by restaurant employees, a skilled and knowledgeable maintenance tech should perform routine maintenance on this equipment. Having a skilled technician perform the recommended maintenance will help extend the lifespan of a restaurant’s equipment and decrease the likelihood of breakdowns and costly repairs.
2Create a Preventive Maintenance Plan
A preventive maintenance plan is a set of planned procedures that includes regularly scheduled cleaning, service, and inspections to keep equipment in peak working condition. To create a preventive maintenance plan, gather equipment manuals and information about the regular needs of the restaurant’s equipment. With this information, create a checklist of tasks that need to be completed on a daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annual, or annual basis.
The benefit of creating a preventive maintenance plan is that it will not only reduce restaurant operation costs over the long term but help to lengthen the lifespan of the equipment. For example, the average expected life of a commercial kitchen’s oven is seven to 10 years, but this can be extended to 20 years with proper maintenance. Preventive maintenance can also help reduce breakdowns, which are expensive to repair and can shut down operations.
3Keep Track of Warranties
A warranty is a promise from the manufacturer to provide repair services, maintenance, replacement, or a refund of the product for a specific time period. Provided restaurant equipment is properly maintained and used, warranties cover the equipment and its associated parts in the case of any defect. The length of the warranty will depend on the product and manufacturer agreement. For some companies, this may be one year or less.
By keeping track of warranties, hotel restaurants can place repair costs on the manufacturer rather than their maintenance budget. For instance, should a new fryer stop working for any reason, other than misuse or improper maintenance, the manufacturer will repair and make any replacements necessary to the equipment.
4Schedule Maintenance During Downtimes
Without a preventive maintenance plan, it is hard to know when a repair is needed, and therefore more difficult to schedule repairs around the restaurant’s schedule. Schedule maintenance tasks outside of normal operating hours, whether early in the morning or late at night, to reduce interference with serving hotel and restaurant guests. Furthermore, scheduling tasks in advance helps restaurants stay within the maintenance budget; emergency service on a commercial stove can cost double that of a scheduled service visit. Avoid this cost altogether by scheduling the task before it is an emergency need.