Every foodservice operator knows that one of the worst things they can hear an employee say is “the machine’s down!” Three simple words that weigh heavily on the day’s potential profits. Even just one piece of kitchen equipment down can cause a huge shift in what is available on your food menu. Worse yet, you risk the potential for a negative customer experience for the consumer who came in for that ONE SPECIAL menu item that you can no longer prepare with your machine down. The good news is, with proper equipment maintenance you can help prevent costly breakdowns, disgruntled patrons and lost revenue. Today we’re going to look at some pro-tips for equipment maintenance and share an easy guide for maintaining your MultiChef so you can keep your oven in top shape.
The most critical component to equipment maintenance lies in reading the material provided to you when you purchased your equipment. Most equipment comes with a user’s manual and installation guide. In the manual you should find a section on recommended equipment maintenance and equipment maintenance schedules. You need to treat these as law. If your equipment manufacturer recommends changing filters weekly: do it. If they suggest a full outfit cleaning once a month: make it a priority. No one knows your equipment better than the folks who manufactured it, so take their advice and follow the recommended maintenance schedule. Even when machines are at their peak condition, regular preventative maintenance is still vital to keep your machine working properly.
A second critical component to equipment maintenance is determining the level of cleaning required based on what you are cooking in your machinery. If you’re using a deep fryer for heavily breaded items, for example, you should filter your oil more frequently as the breading can destroy oil at a faster rate than regular fried foods. On the flip side, if nothing your fry is breaded, you may be able to get away with less frequent oil filtering. The goal is to find the schedule that meets your needs while keeping in line with manufacturer suggested program. Many manufacturers are even willing to assist you in determining frequency rates, so don’t hesitate to contact the expert for some additional recommendations.
Think of your kitchen equipment the way you think about your car. You get oil changes, rotate tires, change filters and have regular maintenance routines that you follow, right? Kitchen equipment should be treated the same way. So many operators overlook preventive maintenance as a way to cut costs and end up over using and abusing their machines. And while you may be saving money in the short term by not buying filters or new oil, in the long term when that machine does go down, the problem is likely to be an expensive one. And if your machine is down for a period of time you’re not only losing money on the cost of the repair, but also on all the food sales you could have been making if it had been in working order.
Ideally, your machine never breaks down, but even the best maintained machine will come across a hiccup in its life span and require some assistance. When it comes to making a service call, being prepared with basic machine information is essential to a quick repair. Before calling your service center, get your machine’s serial number, model number, date of purchase, and warranty information in order so you can be prepared to answer any questions the service person may have for you. As the store operator, you can even prepare a service call package, including the above information, and have it on hand for employees who may have to make that call on your behalf while you are away from your business.
In order to help you with your MultiChef maintenance routine, we’ve created an easy to follow pictorial guide for cleaning your MultiChef regularly.