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8 Restaurant Maintenance Tasks You Can’t Afford to Overlook

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Managers and restaurant workers have already put their best effort into keeping a clean venue. The expectations set by health and safety laws outline what’s best for restaurant businesses, but you can do a few other things to avoid potential problems. 

Add these restaurant maintenance tasks to your to-do list and your team will avoid costly mistakes.

1. Degreasing Drip Trays

Restaurant workers use the kitchen grills daily, meaning oil accumulates on the built-in drip trays. If no one cleans the trays, grease piles build and pose a significant fire risk.

Cooking fires cost $494 million in property loss annually, but they’re preventable. Closing staff or anyone operating the grill should clean the drip trays daily to prevent the oil from catching fire. 

Older trays may also need replacing if they’re difficult to slide in and out of place. Even if they function properly, a warped tray caused by scalding oil could leak and increase a kitchen’s fire risk.

2. Testing Refrigerator Temperatures

Industrial refrigerators have built-in thermometers so food never spoils. It’s easy to assume the singular thermometer is correct, but a significant warming issue could occur if that’s the only way people maintain the fridge.

Use a mobile thermometer to check various spots around the refrigerator and the temperature on each shelf. The reading should always come back as 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to prevent bacteria from growing.

Sometimes, warm spots can occur far enough away from the built-in thermometer that it never detects the temperature change. It’s one of the essential restaurant maintenance tasks that will save long-term revenue by ensuring the food will stay preserved. 

3. Replace Your Restaurant’s Air Filters

Air filters collect dust when drawing air through the restaurant’s ductwork. As that layer of dust thickens, the HVAC system has to work harder. The unit’s excess energy and daily work reduces its overall life span and could cause it to break down unexpectedly.

Schedule a professional inspection at least twice a year or as often as you’d like. A trained expert can look at the filter inside your HVAC unit and determine if it needs replacing. Other filters inside large air vents in the restaurant’s walls may need replacing every two months. It depends on the recommendation indicated on the filter’s packaging.

4. Emptying the Gutters

Every structure — commercial or otherwise — has gutters. They direct rainwater and snow melt away from the roof and foundation to prevent long-term water damage.

However, they can’t do that if they’re full of debris like sticks and leaves. A professional landscaping team or gutter installation company can remove clogs quickly. If the clogs remain, they could make water pool on the roof. Warped shingles, cracked roofing and mold growth are just a few ways damage could require a roof replacement.

The average roof replacement cost varies between $6,700-11,500 or more, depending on the restaurant’s size. Cleaning the gutters seasonally or after massive weather systems like a hurricane will prevent this costly damage from occurring.

5. Clean the Dishwasher Filter

When dishwashers undergo programmed cycles, the water washes through a filter and out the drain hose. The filter may not catch food particles if the restaurant crew is pre-rinsing dishes thoroughly, but filmy substances and microscopic food pieces will form a layer on the filter eventually.

Mold thrives on dishwasher filter debris, so clean it regularly with hot water and soap. Replacing it may be necessary if the mold remains, but the cost will be far better than what could otherwise happen. Water getting backed up in the dishwasher, flooding the kitchen or breaking the dishwasher would lead to much more costly repairs than replacing the filter every few months between cleanings.

6. Clear Grease Traps

Restaurant kitchens use grease traps in the plumbing to filter oil before water rushes to the local sewer system. It will eventually need cleaning or the sinks and toilets could get backed up. A professional plumber can handle this for you and schedule recurring quarterly maintenance.

It’s essential to keep an open mind to restaurant maintenance tasks like these. They may seem too time-consuming to handle right now, but staying on top of even minor maintenance steps is crucial. They’ll prevent costly repairs and even business closures.

7. Fill Parking Lot Cracks

Cracks in parking lots and sidewalks are inevitable. The pressure from vehicles and crowds causes minor fissures, which water fills when it rains or snows. Freezing temperatures make that water a solid mass, ultimately expanding the fissures bit by bit.

Growing cracks could render parking lots and sidewalks unusable. Prevent this problem by sealing cracks around the venue. The area will remain safe for anyone needing access to the restaurant.

8. Check for Rooftop Water Damage

Cleaning your restaurant’s gutters may not give you enough opportunities to spot roof damage. Whenever you’re outside the restaurant, quickly inspect all sides of the roof. If you see warped shingles or dark spots, that could indicate mold growth. 

A restoration or mold-removal crew can professionally inspect any suspicious areas and fix the problem before it becomes a significant health or safety hazard.

Remember These Important Restaurant Maintenance Tasks

Anyone can discuss these restaurant maintenance tasks with their team to make the workplace more efficient. You’ll avoid costly issues like roof warping, oil build-up and HVAC inefficiency before it’s too late. When everything’s running smoothly, everyone can focus on their daily work.

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