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How Equipment Downtime Affects Your Food Service Business

Published at: 02/13/2017
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It happens. Equipment such as coolers, freezers, fryers, and cash registers break.

With complex assets like these, there are lots of problems that can arise:

  • parts malfunction
  • machines wear out from overuse
  • contractors didn’t fix problems correctly in previous visits

When a machine stops working, downtime can negatively impact your business. You can lose efficiency, pay more in operating costs, and miss key customer service interactions.

Equipment downtime can have a big impact on your day-to-day business practices. When a heavily used asset breaks down it affects everything else in the store. Your employees now need to create processes to work around the faulty equipment, you must wait for the contractor to fix the problem, and you still need to continue to serve food in the best way possible.

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Let’s take the example of a cooler breaking down. Your employees must spend time moving the food from the cooler to another location. That is, if the food is still safe to use and it doesn’t need to be thrown away. Then, a manager has to delegate someone to clean the cooler before it starts to defrost, causing mold and mildew. This process alone can take hours to accomplish. Not to mention, you have a manager overseeing the broken cooler instead of overseeing day-to-day store operations, including serving customers. Of course, that’s if you still have food to serve (depending on what food was thrown out from the faulty cooler).

This situation is a food service operator’s nightmare. Days like these can cost thousands of dollars in:

  • emergency repair
  • wasted inventory
  • lost customers
  • additional wages

With a remote monitoring solution and a work order management solution, these kind of days can be avoided.

By using remote monitoring on your equipment, you can identify a breakdown before it happens. That cooler was probably being overworked for weeks from food blocking fans, or a motor slowly giving out. Remote monitoring can detect the temperature difference or the excessive energy usage days before the cooler would actually break down. This monitoring gives you time to call a repair person, and fix the issue before equipment downtime affects you.

Through an integrated work order management solution, the flagged temperature or the excessive energy usage can automatically create a work order or highlight problems that can be handled remotely. This process saves the time of evaluating the problem and tracking down a contractor in the area to fix the issue. The site operator saves money of the emergency repair, saves inventory, and saves the hours spent working around a compromised asset.