Equipment Repair and Upkeep for Restaurants

Don’t Forget About Kitchen Repairs and Upkeep

In the back of the house, quick-service restaurants must focus on data-driven preventative maintenance strategies. This is a critical, make-or-break change in your operations to keep you one step ahead of a breakdown that might cost your company a lot of money.


During peak hours, the walk-in cooler stops cooling, the fryer fails, or the HVAC gives out. Rather than assisting the line, serving customers, or providing support to employees, you must find a quick solution to avoid losing inventory, unfilled orders, or an even hotter kitchen.

Customers demand a speedy and consistent experience in quick-service restaurants. Safety, quickness, and convenience are more important than ever to keep customers coming back.

Consumer behavior and preferences changed dramatically as a result of COVID-19. Contactless pickup has becoming the norm. The drive-thru continues to reign supreme. Innovation is still fueled by technology.

In today’s competitive landscape, embracing technology to optimize the front-of-house experience is critical to preserving brand loyalty and addressing consumers’ requirements. Back-of-house (particularly, repairs and maintenance) receives far less attention and optimization than front-of-house, despite the fact that customers want a quick, convenient experience. It is, nonetheless, equally important.

Quick-service restaurants must focus on data-driven preventative maintenance strategies to avoid a nightmare scenario in the middle of peak service. This is a critical, make-or-break change in your operations to keep you one step ahead of a breakdown that might cost your company a lot of money.

Developing a Preventative Maintenance Strategy

Understanding which areas of your kitchen are most in need of attention or would benefit the most from easy preventative maintenance is the first step toward creating a preventative maintenance (also known as proactive repairs or scheduled maintenance) strategy that actually works.

While preventative maintenance may appear to be time-consuming, the price of emergency repairs much outweigh the time invested preparing ahead. Restaurant repairs can cost up to 1.5 percent of sales in 2020, according to the National Restaurant Association, while other estimates suggest it can cost much more, ranging from 2 percent to 6 percent.

Planned maintenance eliminates the need to dispatch a vendor outside of business hours or replace worn-out equipment on the spur of the moment. Most of the time, you’ll be able to properly troubleshoot and repair before replacing with well-done preventative maintenance.

It is critical to create and keep to a timetable. Many preventative maintenance tactics can be implemented once or twice a year, or every 30/60/90 days. You should think about your restaurant’s specific schedule, as well as seasonal menu changes or significant promotions that boost sales and cause equipment wear and tear.

Don’t Forget The Cooling Equipment

Quick-service restaurants prioritize their cold side, which also happens to be the source of their most common equipment repairs. According to data from more than 7,000 service incidents collected by 2020, cold side equipment accounted for 35% of all incidents, with walk-in coolers, reach-in refrigerators, and walk-in freezers being the most common. The average cost of these accidents was $668.30.

The average temperature for a walk-in cooler should be between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the model. Your product is at risk if it exceeds this sweet spot.

Follow these helpful hints to do preventative maintenance on your walk-in cooler:

  • Turn off the breaker for one minute before turning it back on.
  • Examine the evaporator for ice or frost buildup and, if necessary, defrost the device.
  • Compressed air or a wet vacuum can be used to clear the drain pipe.

These will help you notice any issues before they become a full-fledged breakdown or necessitate a vendor visit.

Preventative maintenance will save you and your staff not just time (which is more important than ever), but also inventory and revenue. Equipment repairs are unavoidable, but proactive, data-driven facilities management may help you save time, money, and energy by maximizing the time, money, and energy you have to deal with last-minute errors and get through the day.

Consider accepting solutions that streamline your back-of-house procedures as technology evolves and enhances the front-of-house experience. It may seem impossible to improve efficiency in the elusive repair and maintenance process, but with the correct tools, you can plan, troubleshoot, and strategize to improve your organization.

Above all, smart repair and maintenance allows you and your team to concentrate on what you do best: feeding hungry clients.