Once you set up your restaurant, you’ll be responsible for the safety and satisfaction of everyone dining there. Part of keeping customers happy and satisfied goes beyond the taste of the food and the stellar service you offer; it also emphasizes how the food is prepared and the cleanliness and sanitation of the kitchen and service areas.
Food safety is imperative in the food industry, as neglecting it can result in illness and possibly bankruptcy for an establishment. Contaminated and incorrectly prepared food, and those stored at an incorrect temperature, may all result in a foodborne illness. According to Statista, about USD$110 billion or NZD$178 billion globally are lost in productivity and medical expenses in low and middle-income countries due to this.
In managing a restaurant, you don’t only look at what’s happening in front. You also must constantly check the back of the house and be meticulous with your observations. To have an easier time with this, most managers provide a checklist for their team to cover various areas of the restaurant. Typically, the map divides the restaurant into the following sections:
- Front of the house
- Back of the house
Zoning the restaurant makes it easier to monitor and check the cleanliness and organization of each area. The list would be very detailed and provide instructions for each task. Another critical aspect of managing day-to-day operations is ensuring all equipment and tools are functioning well and are clean. To give you an idea, here are the pieces of equipment that should be on your checklist:
Many restaurants have walk-in refrigerators and freezers, and some have under-counter refrigerators. In one restaurant, there could be at least five different sizes of refrigerators and freezers, and all these need to be cleaned daily and some maintenance tasks to be done weekly. In part of your training with your team, it would be best to discuss easy fridge cleaning steps to ensure your refrigerators are immaculately clean and have the right temperature.
Cleaning and maintaining refrigerators are vital because you store all your ingredients here. If the ingredients are held at the incorrect temperature, they will spoil; once you incorporate them into your dish, anyone might fall ill. If your refrigerators fail the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principle, you might be penalized or even shut down.
Another vital piece of equipment in the restaurant is the dishwasher. It wouldn’t be enough even if you washed the plates and cutleries. It would be best if you ran it into the dishwasher to expose it to a temperature that will kill the bacteria.
You must also check if the detergent and the drying chemical are enough so the dishwasher will run smoothly. It’s best to clean the filters every end of the business day to remove food particles that may cause blockage on the equipment. The spray arms and other removable parts are cleaned weekly to ensure that lime deposits and scales are removed to prevent accumulation.
3. Ice Machine
Many restaurants prefer to have their ice machine instead of buying ice from a supplier to ensure the purity and safety of the ice. If you own a mostly beverage business, your products will suffer if you don’t have an efficient ice machine.
The ice machine needs to be cleaned and maintained weekly. The coils are to be checked, and the large bin is washed with a soapy solution and rinsed with warm water. The water hoses must be removed and cleaned using a rounded brush and soaked in warm water with the appropriate cleaning solution.
Because the unit is dark and damp, slime and mold may accumulate. You’ll notice this if the ice it produces has a tinge of brown. To prevent this from happening, you also need to run it with an ice machine cleaning agent for several minutes so the solution reaches all the hoses and crevices you can’t get. It’s best to dispose of the five batches of ice it will produce to ensure no traces of cleaning solution are left on the batch. Lastly, you need to measure the size of the ice, as this could affect the quality of your beverage.
4. Espresso Machine
If you offer coffee beverages in your restaurant, you’ll have an espresso machine, which also needs regular maintenance. The portafilters must be washed and scrubbed to remove the coffee grounds.
The inner portion where you clasp the portafilter must be cleaned using a wet towel. You also need to pay attention to the steam wand. If you prepare a handful of lattes and cappuccinos daily, hardened milk will accumulate on the wand, and this needs to be purged, and the tip scrubbed clean. If you fail to do this, it will not only affect the texture of the milk you will aerate and steam but may cause illness.
5. Kitchen Stove
This equipment could be the dirtiest in your restaurant, but it doesn’t have to be. Reminding your staff to practice cleaning as you go or CLAYGO will ensure that the stoves and grills look clean and presentable. So, anyone wanting to take a peek in your kitchen will see that you prioritize cleanliness.
The kitchen stove will be very greasy at the end of the day. If not cleaned daily, the oil and grease collecting on crevices may cause grease fire and damage. The burner parts must be removed, washed in soapy water, and dried thoroughly before returning them.
Having a restaurant may be your dream coming to fruition. Managing it well will ensure the equipment’s longevity and endurance, especially in this highly volatile economic situation and changing preferences of the world you’re in. Moreover, ensuring your customers are happy, satisfied, and safe should be part of your mission and promise. And the maintenance of your kitchen equipment plays a vast role in that.