The food service industry is growing rapidly. According to experts, the North American foodservice market will experience a CAGR of 11.57% between 2023 and 2030, reaching a projected market size of $1.81 trillion in 2029. At the same time, however, food service companies’ operating costs are increasing rapidly, putting significant pressure on companies’ profit margins.

To remain profitable and competitive, organizations are increasingly looking towards new digital technologies to reduce costs, boost efficiency, and help provide superior customer experiences. This is especially true when it comes to solutions that make it easy to implement proactive maintenance strategies in the food and beverage industry. Proactive strategies, such as preventive maintenance, involves inspecting and fixing issues before they break down or fail, resulting in unplanned downtime which can reduce production and even negatively impact the customer experience, as well as ensuring that assets are operating at peak efficiency.

When considering how and when to perform maintenance on your food services equipment it helps to start with the frequency the tasks should be completed and where. The information included in this guide is a great place to start and iterate upon to meet your company’s needs.


Guide to Preventive Maintenance for Food Services Companies

What Areas Are Included in Food Services Preventive Maintenance?

Everything about your food service facilities impacts the customer experience, so preventive maintenance management must include all your company equipment, such as ovens, walk-ins, and point-of-sale systems. When developing your preventive maintenance strategy, be sure to consider these areas:

  • Building systems; HVAC, for instance
  • Front of the house; for example, the furniture or the point-of-sale equipment
  • Back of the house; for example, the oven
  • The building exterior; such as sidewalks and awnings
  • Each of these areas has tasks to be performed daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually


Daily Preventive Maintenance Tasks

Maintenance tasks that restaurants should perform daily touch every part of the facility and are those that are typically included in a list that one might think of when picturing an opening or closing checklist.

For instance, back-of-the-house tasks may include daily cleaning of the inside and outside of ovens and ranges or recording the internal temperatures of refrigeration units. Front of the house daily preventive maintenance tasks may include cleaning fixtures or POS equipment, or sanitizing drink dispensers. And daily building systems tasks can involve inspecting the building exterior or checking for and repairing any frayed wires.


Weekly Preventive Maintenance Tasks

Weekly preventive maintenance tasks often need more oversight than daily tasks to ensure that they are completed properly and on time. Some examples of back-end weekly maintenance tasks may include checking refrigerant levels, inspecting the hinges on freezer doors, or cleaning dishwasher filters. Front-of-the-house weekly maintenance tasks can include looking for and repairing any potential tripping hazards or inspecting the condition of fixtures or furniture.

Building systems tasks are particularly important since they help to identify issues that can become much larger problems if not remedied at the outset. For example, inspecting inlets, circuit breakers, and electrical distribution systems for signs of wear or malfunctions.


Monthly Preventive Maintenance Tasks

Monthly food services preventive maintenance tasks have less of a direct impact on the health, safety, and satisfaction of your guests and staff. Rather, they help prolong asset lifecycles and ensure that your equipment continues to operate at peak efficiency. For example, the following is a list of monthly maintenance tasks that may be required for a restaurant.

Back of House

  • Checking for and eliminating grease buildup on the range exhaust and fan
  • Removing ice and thoroughly clean the bins
  • Descaling the coffee machine
  • Washing floors and walls behind the equipment
  • Sharpening knives
  • Checking fryers for gas leaks
  • Inspecting gaskets for any tears

Front of House

  • Emptying the ice from the top bin of the soda dispenser and cleaning and sanitizing the bin and chute
  • Cleaning the condenser on the soda dispenser

Building Systems

  • Confirming that warning lights work correctly on all systems
  • Surveying all machinery and moving systems

Building Exterior

  • Cleaning windows


Quarterly Preventive Maintenance Tasks

Quarterly, or seasonally, food service companies should take additional precautions to ensure that all equipment, tools, and furniture are maintained for health, safety, and efficiency. Returning to our example of a restaurant, a list of quarterly preventive maintenance tasks may include:

Back of House

  • Cleaning the condenser coil on the refrigeration unit
  • Inspecting the compressor and cleaning the fan blades on the refrigeration unit
  • Cleaning and replacing filters
  • Cleaning and organizing stockrooms
  • Descaling the combo oven
  • Replacing water filtration cartridges on the ice machine (every six months)
  • Cleaning condenser and cleaning and sanitizing the interior bin on the ice machine (every six months)
  • Visually inspecting griddles and ranges, looking for cracks; replacing any worn knobs
  • Testing refrigeration temperature controls
  • Checking refrigerant levels

Front of House

  • Checking the appearance of signs and replacing them, as necessary
  • Ensuring floor mats still provide the right amount of cushion and safety
  • Tightening hardware on dining room furniture
  • Tightening restroom stall hardware

Building Systems

  • Ensuring the HVAC system sits level
  • Inspecting fan blades on the HVAC system
  • Clearing debris around outside HVAC units

Building Exterior

  • Planting
  • Inspecting the building enclosure for possible signs of failure


Who is Responsible for the Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance tasks are typically assigned to different stakeholders throughout the organization. Responsibility depends on several factors, such as the location of the asset, or the frequency or complexity of the task. For instance, front-line workers are typically responsible for performing daily and weekly tasks, given their proximity and familiarity with the assets. Whereas the facilities maintenance team or technicians are more likely to perform quarterly tasks such as inspecting HVAC systems.


Your Preventive Maintenance Partner

Preventive maintenance and other proactive strategies are critical operational components in food service organizations. Ongoing monitoring and maintenance can prevent unplanned downtime, extend asset life, and improve the customer experience.

ServiceChannel partners with food service organizations to help them improve their customer experience while also lowering operating costs. ServiceChannel can help ensure that your assets continually operate at peak efficiency and provide a clear picture of maintenance operations throughout your organization. ServiceChannel can also help you find the best providers for your assets.

Contact us to learn more about our preventive maintenance tools and services for food service organizations.