How To Create a Restaurant Equipment Maintenance Checklist

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Warren Wu

Making a restaurant more efficient is a continual effort, fortunately, creating a restaurant maintenance checklist is one of the most cost effective ways to do it!

How do I create a restaurant equipment maintenance checklist?

Making a restaurant more efficient is a continual effort, fortunately, making a restaurant maintenance checklist is one of the less labor-intensive ways to make your business more efficient. When you add a checklist as part of your maintenance strategy, you make it less likely that the budget will be sabotaged by making repairs in reactions to breakdowns. Breakdowns that were likely preventable had there been a checklist of tasks in place and those tasks were done correctly on schedule.

Why do I  need a restaurant maintenance checklist?

Having a maintenance checklist, especially one within a CMMS or computerized maintenance management system, can be helpful because it allows everyone that is part of the organization to easily know what needs to be done at a moment's notice. No longer are there arguments about when tasks were last done, it’ll be right there on your phone or computer. Also, a computerized maintenance checklist using a cloud-based CMMS software can allow everyone to understand exactly what and when a piece of equipment needs attention. Another reason to have a restaurant maintenance checklist is  to allow your company to make informed decisions about the various systems and equipment in place.

What should be on my restaurant maintenance checklist?

1 - List equipment.

The first step to ensuring that your maintenance checklist is complete is to take all of the various different equipment in your restaurant and make a list. You can do this by walking around the restaurant and checking to see what equipment you have in your restaurant. This can be a great time for condition monitoring or checking the state of the equipment you have in service at your restaurant and make note of what might need attention. Taking time to do some preliminary maintenance planning at this step will be helpful in ensuring that you are able to do the steps immediately following this. After you’ve done a thorough review of all the different equipment and systems in your restaurant, try and take the time to enter them into your maintenance management software to make the rest of the checklist planning easier.

2 - Prioritize equipment.

To prioritize equipment you need two of the following three things: warranty information; your in-service systems and equipment list; and the date items were purchased. Once you have at least two of these data points, you can begin to put your equipment and systems into a list by priority. If you take the time to enter this information into a CMMS software, it will be easier to add warranty expiration dates and equipment ages to assist in prioritizing the equipment. Priority can be determined based on one or many of the following factors: usefulness, need, age, condition, and warranty expiration date. Using the data you have obtained, as well as your knowledge of the need and usefulness of the system or equipment, you can begin to prioritize.For example, if you are a restaurant that is known for its award-winning fried fish, the fryer will take a higher priority than your grill. If your fryer has the same importance as your grill set priority on the machines based on the warranty timeline and the required service needs. The great thing about maintenance checklists is that you can change your priorities based upon the needs of the business.

maintenance checklist

3 - Predict breakdowns.

The purpose of a checklist for your restaurant maintenance program is to perform preventive maintenance and schedule tasks to keep your restaurant equipment and systems working in proper order for a long time. Predictive maintenance planning is part of making sure your restaurant maintenance checklist is useful and keeps your equipment in working order when you need it most. This is why predicting breakdowns is important. While prioritizing, you should consider the state of the equipment that you observed while listing out your equipment as part of the prioritization criteria. The state of your equipment, as well as the age, and use, will help predict breakdowns. If you use your ovens sparingly, breakdowns will not occur nearly as often as they would for an older, heavily used, ice machine. By taking into account the use, condition, and age of the equipment, you can predict what will breakdown sooner. If you have kept data on repairs you can predict what repairs are happening often.

4 - Create the checklist.

Finally, create the checklist by analyzing the data taken together from all the past repairs, age, condition, and priority. It is important to include minor maintenance needs along with more major preventive maintenance measures. Include the daily cleaning of the soda machine along with the semi-annual professional vent and hood cleaning. This will allow you to have a complete overview of what preventive maintenance tasks are needed for your restaurant.

Managing your restaurant operations.

Equipment maintenance is a key part of restaurant management, but for the back end of your operations - but to run a successful restaurant you have to consider your entire technology suite, from inventory management software, to POS systems, to employee management and payroll solutions!

It can be a lot, so we created a downloadable guide to help you navigate restaurant technology from the ground up.

restaurant equipment checklist

AUTHOR BIO: Warren Wu has years of restaurant experience of being a waiter at Common Theory Public House in San Diego, California. He is now the Head of Growth for UpKeep, a software company that helps companies streamline their maintenance process.

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December 2020


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