One of the most overlooked expenses that restaurant owners can reduce is maintenance costs. However, lowering maintenance expenditures must be done intelligently. This is because neglecting equipment maintenance can become costly. Here are five easy ways that a restaurant can reduce their maintenance cost intelligently and efficiently.
1. Get a Computerized Maintenance Management System
Maintaining and repairing restaurant equipment can quickly become expensive. The most draining cost in a restaurant is a refrigerator or conventional oven that requires repairs repeatedly. While it may seem as though something is always in need of repair at a restaurant, it can be hard to keep track of maintenance issues when worrying about food costs, employee hours, staffing issues, turnover and inventory. With the right software, you can keep track of your restaurant’s equipment maintenance repair costs and more.
A Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) can electronically keep track of the money you’re putting into maintaining and repairing the ovens, so that you can see exactly when you’re reaching the point where it’s cheaper to just purchase a newer one. It even can help to track the maintenance of HVAC and other support systems.
2. Perform Regularly Scheduled Preventative Maintenance
When looking to decrease maintenance expenses keeping up with preventative equipment maintenance is key. Preventative maintenance, like changing out old HVAC filters, will allow your restaurant equipment to run at peak efficiency for longer. The longer your equipment is efficient, the lower your maintenance costs. Proper equipment maintenance also can help to reduce energy consumption costs.
When you neglect preventative maintenance, you’re creating a new purchase.
Studies show that proper observance of preventative restaurant equipment maintenance can add to additional years of life of your equipment. Obedience to the recommended preventative maintenance of refrigerators, ovens and ice machines can add up to 1000 percent of their value in lifetime usage if maintained properly. The additional added life is not only a savings on maintenance costs but also an added value to the life of your restaurant.
3. Keep Track of Depreciation to Reduce Expensive Restaurant Repairs
Restaurants can also reduce maintenance costs by keeping up with the depreciation of equipment. Knowing when restaurant equipment has outlived its useable life is important. Depreciation allows you to match the useable life to your revenue and reduces your business’s income when it comes to tax reporting. When you’re no longer receiving that benefit and the cost of repairing the fryer for the umpteenth time comes up, having kept track of the item’s depreciation will make buying a new one a quick and easy decision.
4. Make Use of Warranties to Lower Out-of-Pocket Maintenance Expenses
Warranties, or product guarantees, can be a great asset in your business maintenance plan. Every time your new range breaks down and you have it repaired without going through the warranty process, you’re unnecessarily spending cash that you could spend elsewhere. If you have a CMMS, it can be used to track the various warranties that your equipment may have, streamlining the process.
While it takes some time to use the warranty process, it’s a good way to save money on repairs that are part of your maintenance budget. Some warranty processes are as easy as a phone call, while others take time and effort to go through. However, it’s worth the effort when you get a check for the repair. They repair the product themselves, or you receive a replacement.
5. Reduce Costs by Outsourcing Your Restaurant Maintenance
There are some benefits to having a technician on staff that make it seem like a wise decision. Unfortunately, that decision becomes unwise quickly, unless you own a group of restaurants. For the small restaurateur, when you factor in that the vendor is an expert in maintenance and will be best suited for vetting a technician, you find the added benefit to the maintenance savings. Additionally, authorized service companies have multiple technicians on staff, so there is never a vacation or illness that delays your repairs.
Having a maintenance technician on staff will add all the same expenses as does any other employee. The difference here is that most restaurants don’t have daily maintenance needs that require an expert. While having someone on-call for the occasional critical repair might seem tempting, don’t fall into the trap. In today’s business marketplace, there are companies that exist just to be your on-call maintenance tech.
Overall, the most important factor in keeping maintenance costs low is to ensure that you are keeping track of all the maintenance needs of your restaurant. This means keeping track of depreciation, warranties, preventative maintenance schedules, and your repair investments in each item. All of these can be managed with a computerized maintenance management software. The CMMS allows you to easily implement all five of the top ways to reduce restaurant maintenance costs.
Written by Our Friends at UpKeep
UpKeep is the leading mobile-first CMMS helping maintenance teams make better decisions from data-driven insights. They make completing work orders easy, intuitive and mobile-first so everyone can contribute and stay on the same page.