Preventative Maintenance for Commercial Kitchens

By TriMark R.W. Smith

Commercial kitchen equipment is the backbone of any restaurant. However, frequent use and continuous operation inevitably lead to equipment failures and unexpected downtime, greatly impacting a kitchen’s productivity and budget.

Scheduling regular maintenance visits is an excellent and cost-effective solution to reducing the need for repairs. A maintenance program can help restaurant operators spot potential problems, maximize equipment efficiency and avoid the high cost of repairs and replacing spoiled food.

For a closer look into preventative maintenance, we chatted with Robert Canfield, Director of Business Development at R.W. Smith Design/Build. In our interview, Robert shares the benefits of routine commercial kitchen maintenance and sheds light on how our preventative maintenance program can help preserve your equipment.

R.W. Smith: Outfitting a commercial kitchen with the right equipment can be costly. How does investing in a preventative maintenance program extend the life of commercial equipment and create long-term savings?

Rob Canfield: Maintaining kitchen equipment can be compared to changing the oil in your car. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning, descaling of water use equipment and calibration of cooking equipment, can drastically increase the useful life of the equipment.

RWS: Equipment failures are disruptive and pose many operational challenges. How does regular equipment maintenance prevent failures and keep equipment running at maximum efficiency?

RC: One great example of this would be refrigerated equipment, such as walk-in or reach-in coolers. Regular maintenance of this equipment can prevent breakdowns and keep equipment running optimum efficiency. This includes cleaning of condensers and coils, calibration of thermostats and maintaining of proper pressure. Maintenance also helps prevent the costly issue of spoilage should the equipment breakdown during off hours.

RWS: R.W. Smith offers preventative maintenance programs tailored to individual commercial kitchen needs. Please share with readers some of the services featured in a preventative maintenance package.

RC: RWS covers all areas of a kitchen operation, including cooking equipment, refrigeration, steamers, combi-ovens and dish machines. The following is an example of the work we would cover for these types of equipment:

  1. Refrigeration: clean condensers and coils
  2. Cooking Equipment: clean burners; calibrate burners and thermostats on appropriate equipment
  3. Steamers and Combi-Ovens: de-scale boilers; calibrate unit
  4. Dish Machines: de-scale booster heater as well as interior of unit; calibrate all float switches; maintain all sensors

Many owners wish to focus on different areas, and our service can be customized to cover whichever areas of their kitchen they would like included.

RWS: What kind of training and certification does R.W. Smith require of its approved service technicians?

RC: RWS requires their service technician to be Commercial Food Service Equipment Association (CFESA) Master Certified Technician. CFESA is the trade association for the professional service and parts distributors in the food service equipment industry.

RWS: Does R.W. Smith provide kitchen staff with tips and procedures for proper care, cleaning and daily maintenance of their equipment?

RC: Upon completion of a project, RWS does a full training and start up with the operator and kitchen staff. This includes an Operation and Maintenance manual, as well as training for best practices for operating and maintaining the equipment.

Learn more about the importance of implementing a preventative maintenance program for your commercial equipment. Check out “Maintenance Matters: Avoiding Costs with Prevention and Replacements” by FE&S Magazine.


2 Comments on Preventative Maintenance for Commercial Kitchens

  1. Carolina
    January 2, 2016 3:17 pm at 3:17 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m from Baja fresh Irvine and would like to have an estimate on a salamander that is not working properly

  2. dan mason
    August 2, 2018 1:20 pm at 1:20 pm (10 months ago)

    do you svc chattanooga, tn?


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