OPINION: Is your kitchen equipment slowing down your monthly turnover?

Commercial kitchen

Commercial kitchen specialist David Teasdale, general manager of Dishwashers Direct, shares his best-practice tips for ensuring equipment is maintained and kept running efficiently so that operators are not wasting money on needless repairs.

Though reasons behind restaurant’s cash flow problems are not always clear, a kitchen which isn’t running at its optimum levels could be a major contributing factor to why a business ultimately fails. So how can you ensure your business efforts don’t end up down the drain?

Repair costs: A big mistake people often make is buying something of high value without a warranty to match. The higher the relative value of the equipment the greater the confidence of the manufacturer should be, meaning the sale should come with a longer warranty than standard.

Commercial dishwashers, for example, should come with at least one years parts and labour warranty and if it costs more than £5000 then a five-year warranty should be standard, though many often don’t and leave owners with hefty repair costs that eat into profits. If you reach a time when doing a repair to keep your unit running has cost you more than getting a new one would have, it could be a sign your initial equipment choice wasn’t right for your business.

Inefficiency: The lifespan of each piece of restaurant equipment is unique and directly correlated to how you maintain it. Simply buying your equipment isn’t the only task you need to complete. Keeping an eye on your commercial equipment effectivity, including cost to run, could determine if you are wasting money away on unnecessary bills.

Getting old: Nothing lasts forever. Even if you think you’re meticulous about maintaining your kitchen perfectly, there comes a point where a replacement is inevitable. Maybe your commercial refrigerator isn’t sealing properly, or your cooker has gathered rust, equipment that is passed it could not only be slowing down your operations but putting you at risk of safety issues too.”

Top 5 tips for an efficient kitchen

  1. Shop around for equipment that is suitable for your needs. Commercial equipment is very different to domestic equipment and should be built to deal with the demands of a busy kitchen.
  1. Think about your existing space and how your appliances should work alongside your current layout. There are many options available to suit smaller spaces including units that fit underneath surfaces, which will increase your kitchen’s efficiency and speed.
  1. Consider leasing equipment. Leasing options may make long-term sense for your business as they allow you to upgrade with the needs of your business and often come with a maintenance package ideal for any repairs needed.
  1. Look after your kitchen. As well as keeping your business working efficiently, you should also make sure you are making decisions that keep it to a high level of safety and cleanliness. Do not overload your equipment more than the recommended as this can damage the product or prevent it from cleaning correctly.
  2. Ask about your warranty. As previously mentioned, high value equipment should come with a meaningful warranty package. For example, you should be demanding a 5-year warranty when paying £5000 or more for a passthrough dishwasher.
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