We are smack dab in the middle of the holiday season. For restaurants and bars the holiday season rush has begun. It's a time during which your customers want to have fun, get together with friends and family and of course eat a ton of food. Americans pay less attention to their waistlines during this season which means restaurant owners need to be paying a lot more attention to the way that they are running their eateries.
While you and your staff may take the challenges of working in a restaurant in stride, the busy holiday season is enough to make anyone question their sanity. Fortunately, with a little preparation and foresight, you can get your restaurant ready for the holiday rush and avoid disasters. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Schedule Commercial HVAC Maintenance
Dining out is so much more than just beautifully plated and great tasting food and drinks but it is also the aroma of freshly cooked food and music is that is floating in the air, overall it is about creating a memorable experience for your customers. Part of creating this experience is ensuring that the restaurant is comfortable. If your heating or cooling systems fail, you will have no choice but to shut your doors resulting in disappointed customers and loss of income.
Replace Broken or Outdated Kitchen Equipment
There is no piece of equipment that will last forever. And the holiday rush is not the time to overuse equipment that is already on its last leg. It is always better to replace that piece of equipment before the holiday rush.
Have a Commercial Kitchen Repair Equipment Company on Call
One of the worst things that can happen during the holiday rush is to have equipment breaking down. This is why it is important to have a reliable company that you can turn to when you need a repair or replacement.
Your repair company should be willing to work based on time and material and should be fully licensed and insured. High-volume contractors should have a signed Master Service Agreement with you. You simply cannot afford to shut down your restaurant during a busy time to scour Google for someone to fix your fryer because your repair company can't make it.
Schedule Kitchen Maintenance
As you are aware your restaurant's kitchen has a lot of moving parts which is why it is important that you set up a regular maintenance program. This involves creating a workflow which includes answers to the following:
What happens when a repair is needed?
Who needs to know?
Who is in charge of handling it?
Where do you track the information?
Will you hire a contractor for the repair or do you have a trusted go-to source?
Who makes the cost decisions?
Secondly you will need to create a preventative and routine maintenance program. Most warranties on equipment from your chillers to your HVAC units require a minimum level of maintenance to keep the warranty valid. You also have routing maintenance for hood vents, grease traps, and regular cleaning. Finally, you need to plan for upkeep like kitchen footing re-grouts, re-staining bar tops, re-carpeting, and re-painting.
Thirdly you will need a tracking system. This can be anything from a spreadsheet to a work order management tool. Whatever you decide to use, you should have a full list of the equipment and assets at your location—including each unit's manufacturer, model, serial number, and warranty information, as well as its number of repairs, the date of those repairs, the cost of those repairs, and any notes and communication regarding the repairs. A proper tracking system will be able to show you what's going on in each of your locations, as well as each location's history.
You have recipes for your food. You have processes for your service staff. You need to have systems in place to manage your equipment and facilities repairs, too. The better you prepare for a maintenance situation, the faster you will get your restaurant back to its full operating condition. Be prepared!
At Horizon, our comprehensive services are designed to keep your kitchen functioning at its optimal level. Give us a call today to learn more.