Preparing Your Foodservice Equipment for Summer: Tips & Tricks
There’s no denying that summertime comes with unique challenges for grocery stores, restaurants and commercial kitchens nationwide. With school breaks, heat spikes and increased travel comes exponential strain on the labor force and equipment keeping these important businesses — like yours — up and running .
The easiest way to keep the changing season from impacting your bottom line and causing downtime? Knowledge, planning and preventative maintenance.
What types of foodservice equipment are most in need of summer maintenance?
During the summer months, certain types of commercial foodservice equipment require extra maintenance to prevent breakdowns and ensure optimal performance. These include:
- Refrigeration Systems. With higher ambient temperatures, refrigeration systems work harder to maintain desired cooling temps. Extra attention should be paid to fans and condenser coils during the summer months, as they are essential for maintaining efficiency and preventing overheating. Also make sure your units are set to the correct temperature, too — the FDA requires restaurant refrigeration to be set at or below 40°F, but it’s recommended to give yourself a few degrees of buffer below that.
- Ice Machines. Ice machines are in high demand during summer, making them more susceptible to issues that come from excess use. Regularly cleaning and sanitizing the ice machine and inspecting water lines are essential if you want happy customers with cool drinks. That said: It’s never a bad idea to prepare for a breakdown with a few bags of ice in one of the freezers.
- Frozen Beverage Machines. Restaurants, convenience stores, and bars tend to see heavy use of frozen beverage machines during the summer months. As these machines typically run 24/7, it’s important to ensure the condenser filter and condenser coil are kept clean and free of dust and debris. Also, make sure your beverage machine is placed in an area with adequate airflow for optimal performance.
Any tips for preparing foodservice equipment for summer?
Keep things cool with preventative maintenance.
When it comes to preparing your foodservice equipment for summer, there’s nothing more important than planned maintenance. By scheduling regular preventative maintenance checks from qualified technicians who can inspect and service your equipment, you never have to worry about losing customer rapport due to unexpected closures. Being able to notice problems when they’re small helps you avoid the hassle of what happens if they’re left unchecked.
Don’t forget about HVAC.
Maintaining your HVAC system is crucial for protecting your business during the summer as well. The HVAC system not only keeps the dining area comfortable for customers but also helps control humidity and air quality. Make sure you’re regularly cleaning or replacing air filters, inspecting ductwork for blockages, and ensuring proper airflow to prevent uncomfortable internal temperatures.
Stay on top of your cleaning routines.
Even though summertime can be busier than usual, it’s important not to neglect your cleaning routines. Clean equipment not only reduces the likelihood of breakdowns but makes it easier to guarantee employee and customer health. Here are a few tips:
- Follow manufacturer’s guidelines. Refer to equipment manuals for specific cleaning instructions and recommended cleaning agents. The manufacturer is going to know their product specs best, so it’s easiest to just trust them.
- Train your staff. Ensure your team is well-trained on proper cleaning procedures, including sanitizing surfaces, removing grease buildup and the importance of not neglecting hard-to-reach areas.
- Follow in-depth cleaning guides. Did you know we’ve written about how to clean your walk-in freezer?
When preparing your foodservice equipment for summer, all you need to remember are these three things: pay attention, be prepared and schedule preventative maintenance.
Smart Care can help with all three. Find a technician near you in just a few clicks.