Restaurant maintenance and repairs do not have to lead to a loss of working hours and revenue when your business utilizes proactive management strategies. A planned approach to routine tasks will save you both time and money in the long run while improving the performance of your equipment.
Many of the basic steps to improved efficiency can be tracked through a spreadsheet-based program, such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, particularly if you only manage maintenance for one or two facilities. As your portfolio grows, however, specialized hospitality maintenance management tools can help boost your productivity while keeping costs down. For example, computerized maintenance management systems help multi-site restaurants streamline a variety of functions.
Look at the Big Picture for Repair Costs
Accurately tracking costs as they are accumulated at the unit and item level helps establish areas where your business is hemorrhaging cash for regular repairs. At the item level, you can determine if the cost of routine heating, ventilation and air conditioner repairs for an aging unit would be better invested in the purchase of a new unit with a warranty and fewer maintenance requirements. The maintain now to avoid repairs later principle applies to any major equipment purchases at your facility.
Analytical tools also help your business determine if a particular restaurant site is encountering unusual maintenance costs. An investigation may reveal the need for improved electrical wiring, better proactive management of the property’s equipment or a theft issue. Without the ability to review spending trends and discover large issues, little charges can significantly impact the bottom line for your business as expensive repair calls stack up.
Track Compliance to Meet Regulations
Maintenance issues can quickly turn into health issues in the restaurant industry. A comprehensive plan helps keep your restaurant in compliance with local health codes while keeping customer safety concerns front and center.
For example, a refrigerator may develop a cooling problem while still working to some extent, but the rising temperature can lead to problems with the health inspector when your chicken and beef or other perishable items are too warm. A proactive maintenance plan can include regular checks of the temperature level of your coolers, routine defrosting of refrigeration units and filter changes for HVAC and water filtration systems.
A maintenance game plan has the added benefit of keeping your equipment investments in top shape and working at peak performance throughout their useful life.
Coordinate Routine Tasks for Slow Periods
Non-daily cleaning requirements, such as floor waxes and full scrubs of bulk food storage areas, and repairs that will interfere with the customer experience, like HVAC improvements, need to be scheduled for slow business days or during a regularly scheduled closure whenever possible. A streamlined management system allows you to see upcoming needs and submit work orders for in-house maintenance teams or third-party construction crews in advance to minimize the impact on diners at your business.
As you streamline actual tasks in your maintenance management system and stop problems before they start, costs and work hours should decrease. You will also benefit from an improved workflow for repair issues because management is centralized to a district or regional level.