As anyone who has been in the catering industry for any length of time knows, it’s a false economy to keep using equipment without maintaining and servicing it. Just waiting for things to go wrong before taking any action is not only foolhardy but often very expensive and inconvenient in the long run.
Working in a catering kitchen can get pretty busy and regular maintenance of your catering equipment is easy to overlook. However, catering equipment maintenance is not only vital to the overall performance of the kitchen, but also to the quality of the food you can produce and ultimately, to your business’s reputation.
Maintenance isn’t just wiping down with hot soapy water at the end of the day, proper commercial catering equipment maintenance requires so much more. You’ll need to check your appliances and make any repairs where necessary and conduct a full clean down regularly to maintain the health and safety of your working environment for staff and customers alike.
What is Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM)?
A planned preventative maintenance plan is designed to give you peace of mind, ensuring that your commercial catering equipment stays in tip-top order. It means a professional engineer will visit regularly to inspect your ventilation and extraction systems and other vital catering equipment such as cookers, fridges, freezers, dishwashers, ovens and fryers. All your appliances are regularly checked to keep them working efficiently, ensuring the productivity of your kitchen can continue uninterrupted.
By implementing a PPM for your catering equipment maintenance, minor problems or worn-out parts can be replaced before they create an inconvenient breakdown. It also will help to keep the working environment of your commercial kitchen clean and hygienic and prevent the risk of fire if food or grease build-up catches on fire.
Why a properly functioning kitchen is so important
Apart from avoiding the frustration caused if your kitchen is not functioning properly, there are several great benefits of maintaining a good running order:
- Performance and reputation. It is important that your kitchen appliances can perform to their maximum efficiency to continue providing the high-quality food you want your business’s reputation to be built on.
- Longer lifespan of the equipment. Commercial catering equipment needs to be robust, as it works far harder than any domestic counterpart. It therefore needs to be routinely maintained in order to prevent it needing to be replaced sooner than it should.
- Cost-efficient. No one likes to waste money. New equipment will cost far more than a regular maintenance plan. A well-maintained appliance will also cost less to run, as it will be more energy efficient.
- A kitchen with a planned preventative maintenance plan is a safer kitchen. The function, electrics and moving parts of all your appliances will be regularly checked, in addition to your grease filters being regularly cleaned to reduce the risk of fire or other accidents. A safe kitchen makes for happy staff and customers.
- Avoiding downtime. Planned preventative maintenance will reduce the potential for appliances breaking down. Spotting parts that need replacing and regular cleaning of filters will prevent equipment from malfunctioning and holding up your customer service.
- Compliance. There are quite a few legal requirements to be met for commercial catering equipment and gas and ventilation appliances, in order to make sure that your kitchen is providing a safe and healthy workplace.
Five ways you can help to maintain your equipment
1. Daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning routines
Some items should be cleaned between every usage, such as utensils and surfaces, in order to ensure that there is no cross-contamination. Other items need cleaning at the end of each day, such as cooking appliances, grease filters and floors, whereas other items will need cleaning frequently but not every day. Keeping to strict cleaning routines will help to prevent the build-up of contaminants that could cause bacteria that could lead to food poisoning. It will also help to reduce the risk of fires or the complete breakdown of your kitchen appliances.
2. Vent and duct cleaning
Kitchen extraction items need to be cleaned at least every six months, but this is best done by a qualified contractor to ensure that they are still regulation compliant.
3. Visual inspections of appliances and fixing broken parts
All staff can make regular visual inspections of appliances to keep an eye on anything that doesn’t seem to be functioning as normal. This kind of vigilance can help to spot a problem before it becomes a breakdown. If a part does become broken, it’s vital to arrange for it to be fixed quickly and keeping appliance warranties up to date will help.
4. Floor maintenance
The floor of your kitchen and restaurant or café is the largest appliance of your working commercial kitchen, and its importance shouldn’t be overlooked. Any spills or hazards need to be removed and any faults spotted and fixed swiftly to prevent slip or trip injuries. Daily cleaning is a must to maintain health and hygiene.
5. Fire extinguishers
Current regulations stipulate that you have the correct fire extinguishers in your commercial kitchen. These need to be regularly maintained to ensure that they’re in full working order in case they need to be used. The type of fire extinguishers you need will vary depending on the size of your kitchen.
How Abraxas can help
Making sure that your commercial catering equipment is properly maintained can seem like a daunting task. While you have a business to run, with ordering supplies, staffing, customers, menus and more to think about, it can seem like a tall order to have to remember how and when to maintain all the appliances in your kitchen.
Abraxas has been leading experts in the field of designing, servicing, installing, and commissioning commercial kitchens since 1998. We have a team of highly qualified engineers who are ready and able to manage your planned preventative maintenance with one of our PPM or service plans. All members of our team are F-Gas and Gas-Safe trained and DBS enhanced cleared to work in any setting, from schools to care homes. They are also all trained to make sure your catering equipment meets current DW172 and TR19 regulations.
We arrange all our visits for times that suit your business, avoiding busy periods of high footfall in order to create the minimum of potential disruption, whilst offering the maximum peace of mind. With many of the most common spare parts carried by our team in the van, we can frequently sort out a service or a repair on the spot, removing the necessity of a return visit.
Get in touch today to find out how Abraxas can create a bespoke PPM for your business and budget.
areas we cover
We are a company with proud roots in Worcestershire and we provide our service, maintenance and gas safe services throughout the Midlands. Our design, installation and project services are provided across the whole of the UK, take a look at the map to see just a few of the projects we have completed.
Abraxas specialise in commercial kitchen and servery counter design and the supply of commercial catering and foodservice equipment. We are a family run business based in Kidderminster, Worcestershire and employ our own engineers. We take a genuine pride in the services and products we provide to all our clients from a County Council to a small café.
We design kitchens that are efficient, well organised and cost effective, tailor-made to your needs.
Kitchen extraction is imperative for employee & customer safety and is a legal requirement.
Every installation fully project managed ensuring your kitchen complies with all necessary regulations.
Bespoke servery counters
Bespoke servery counters, working to your exact requirements and specifications.
Servicing & Maintenance
We can service, repair and maintain your catering equipment to ensure your kitchen runs efficiently.
We understand the meaning of a Gas Safe Kitchen & can make sure you meet all the necessary regulations.