Asset Intelligence and Management

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Detailed Guide on Restaurant Equipment Maintenance

Restaurant Equipment Maintenance

Launching and running a restaurant business involves managing numerous tasks all at once, with one critical task being maintaining your restaurant equipment. Whether using a commercial or commissary kitchen, keeping your equipment in optimal condition is essential for your restaurant’s long-term success.

According to a recent survey, regular and efficient restaurant equipment maintenance results in approximately 50 percent lower overall spending compared to the industry average.

Running a restaurant without regular equipment maintenance may work temporarily, but in the long term, this practice can lead to increased costs resulting in lower profit margins, reduced equipment utility, and more wastage, particularly if equipment breaks down at critical times such as just before a busy night.

A restaurant kitchen is the backbone of a business and its condition can significantly impact productivity and customer satisfaction.

Regular facility maintenance and routine check-ups on your equipment can ensure its efficiency and lifespan and contribute to seamless, successful restaurant operations. It is important to remember that performing restaurant equipment maintenance on time prevents larger issues down the line.

In this blog post, we will explore more about restaurant equipment maintenance, covering its benefits and a maintenance checklist along with some useful tips and best practices. Additionally, we will also discuss how CMMS software can help streamline restaurant equipment maintenance.

Introducing restaurant equipment maintenance

According to research by the National Restaurant Association, it is stated that efficient equipment is essential for substantial cost savings.  

Restaurant equipment maintenance is a process that involves regular and systematic checkups including cleaning, servicing, and repair of the various kitchen tools, appliances, and equipment used within a restaurant facility.

The regular maintenance of kitchen equipment ensures it is working in an optimal condition. The restaurant maintenance process generally includes tasks such as inspecting and cleaning all kitchen equipment.

The main purpose of performing restaurant equipment maintenance is to prevent unexpected equipment breakdowns, increase the lifespan of the equipment, maintain strict food safety and hygiene standards, and ensure smooth operations in the restaurant.

By regularly performing maintenance on kitchen equipment with a proper and strategic preventive maintenance plan, restaurant businesses can avoid unexpected downtime, which not only disrupts operational workflows but also leads to costly repairs and potential loss of revenue.  

benefits of restaurant equipment maintenance

Why is proper restaurant equipment maintenance needed?

Maintaining restaurant equipment is essential for the success of a restaurant business. Let’s explore some of the most essential reasons why your restaurant needs a proper equipment maintenance plan.  

Saves cost

Investing in regular maintenance for costly restaurant equipment is more cost-effective than dealing with serious repairs that occur post-warranty. By performing regular checkups, you can detect minor issues early, preventing them from becoming major issues and saving on expensive repair bills. On the other hand, consistent maintenance helps reduce energy consumption and lowers utility bills.  

Prolonged equipment lifespan

Normal wear and tear of kitchen equipment is inevitable in a busy restaurant; therefore, it is important to perform regular maintenance on the equipment to prevent additional damage beyond its expected depreciation. This maintenance strategy helps avoid early equipment downtime, hence prolonging its lifespan.  

Higher resale value

Since restaurateurs periodically need to upgrade their kitchen equipment, they must know that well-maintained kitchen items yield a higher resale value when compared to faulty or outdated equipment. This can greatly offset the cost of new equipment purchases.  

Enhanced food quality

The condition of your kitchen equipment has a direct impact on the condition of your food. Properly maintained kitchen equipment and tools enable chefs to make the best dishes possible, maintaining high culinary standards for your business.

Increased operational efficiency

Besides impacting food quality, the condition of your equipment also affects the operational efficiency in the kitchen. Worn-out and depreciated equipment slows down the process of food preparation and overall service, potentially leading to lost sales and customers. Restaurants can prevent this by ensuring regular upkeep of equipment which ultimately leads to increased operational efficiency.

Reduces fire risks

Fires in restaurant kitchens are caused by unexpected equipment breakdowns. Regular maintenance of kitchen equipment lowers the risk of fire hazards.

Health and hygiene

Regular maintenance of restaurant equipment is essential for maintaining high-quality standards for health and hygiene. It ensures compliance with health codes given by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and guarantees that the food served to customers isn’t compromised.

Restaurant equipment (preventive) maintenance checklist

Restaurant equipment (preventive) maintenance checklist

Restaurant businesses can maintain their kitchen equipment by using a preventive maintenance (PM) checklist, divided into daily, weekly, quarterly, and yearly tasks. Remember to check each machine owner’s manual before starting.

Walk-in freezer maintenance

A walk-in freezer is a commonly used piece of machinery in the kitchen that is essential for preserving the quality of food. Here’s the PM checklist for the walk-in freezer:


  • Verify the temperature settings. Ideally, it should be at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit for proper food storage.
  • Turn off all interior lights when closing
  • Ensure aisles remain clear and avoid overcrowding in the walk-in freezer
  • Quickly clean up any spills and sweep the floor


  • Clean and examine door gaskets  
  • Properly clean interiors and shelves
  • Ensure hinges and doors are properly aligned
  • Check the door sweep for any damage or tears


  • Track refrigerant levels
  • Inspect the compressor’s functionality and ensure it’s working properly
  • Calibrate thermometers for accuracy
  • Properly clean the fan blades
  • Clean the evaporator coils and condenser
  • Examine door panels and walls for any loose caulking


  • Hire an electrician to inspect all electrical connections thoroughly
  • Check and clean the freezer’s drain lines

Refrigerator maintenance

A refrigerator is one piece of equipment that is used around the clock in a restaurant kitchen; hence, it requires consistent maintenance. Reach-in refrigerators are crucial in a restaurant’s daily operations and so is their proper upkeep. You may need to hire a certified professional to perform some of the more technical maintenance tasks listed below:


  • Ensure the temperature of the refrigerator is set at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Wipe down the interiors and shelves properly
  • Clean and inspect the door gaskets


  • Examine the door gaskets for any damage or tears
  • Inspect the refrigerator compressor to ensure it is functioning properly
  • Clean the fan blades
  • Clean the evaporator coils and condenser


  • Test the temperature control settings
  • Inspect the refrigerant levels

Range top and griddle maintenance

Cooking equipment such as range tops and flat-top griddles are extensively used in a restaurant kitchen and need regular maintenance. Regularly cleaning these surfaces keeps grease accumulation under control and ensures the quality taste of your food. Here’s the PM checklist for range tops and griddles:


  • Season cooking surfaces when needed
  • Empty and clean the grease cup or waste drawer
  • Clean the charbroiler grates and flat-top griddle plate


  • Calibrate and inspect the thermostat


  • Inspect and replace the work controls or knobs
  • Carry out a visual inspection of the machine
  • Examine the cooking surfaces for any cracks or signs of damage

Fryer maintenance

Due to their constant exposure to heat and oil in the kitchen, fryers require diligent maintenance. Regular maintenance of deep fryers improves the flavor of your dishes. Adhering to an oil filtration and replacement schedule is important to ensure your fried foods taste fresh and crispy. However, these basic guidelines might vary depending on how frequently you use your fryer and the daily quantity of fried food you sell.  


  • Clean the fryer baskets properly
  • Clean the exterior of the fryer
  • Filter the frying oil


  • Replace the fryer’s oil filter


  • Move the fryer away from the wall and clean the surrounding areas
  • Check the pilot light
  • Inspect o-rings and drain pan connections
  • Clean the air vents and blower


  •  Perform a deep clean and boil out of the fryer
Restaurant equipment (preventive) maintenance checklist 1

Combi oven maintenance

Combi ovens are one of the complex pieces of equipment used in a restaurant kitchen and require consistent maintenance to prevent breakdowns.

Since combi ovens rely on steam for cooking, routine de-liming maintenance is needed to prevent scale accumulation. Modern combi ovens are equipped with an automatic cleaning mechanism that can be activated with the touch of a button. 

When your combi oven notifies you about the time for a cleaning, you must carry it out promptly. To attain more specific instructions on how to complete the cleaning cycles for your combi oven, you should refer to your owner’s manual.


  • Disinfect the food probe
  • Clean the door gaskets properly
  • Remove and clean the drip tray
  • Clean the interiors and racks


  • Perform de-liming for the steam generator
  • Remove and clean the air filters
  • Check the drain lines
  • Examine the door gaskets for any tears or damage
  • Inspect door hinges for any damage


  • Inspect and recalibrate the thermostat

Convection oven maintenance

Proper upkeep of a convection oven significantly impacts the efficiency of your kitchen. It is important to wipe down grease daily to prevent accumulation. Always use approved cleaners for all areas of the oven and follow your manual’s instructions.


  • Clean the door gaskets
  • Wipe down the interiors and racks
  • Remove and clean the drip tray


  • Inspect and clean the air intake vent
  • Clean the fan blades and housing
  • Examine and clean the flue
  • Check the door gaskets and hinges for any tears or damage


  • Examine and recalibrate the thermostat

Dishwasher maintenance

Dishwashers are crucial for meeting health codes and must be properly maintained. Training your staff to always rinse food scraps from dirty dishes before loading them into the commercial dishwasher keeps the machine clean and prevents residue on the clean dishes. This will make the process of daily cleaning smoother as you won’t need to frequently empty the filter or scrap basket. Moreover, you can also leave the dishwasher open overnight to air dry and prevent bacterial growth.


  • Inspect sanitizer, rinse aid, and detergent levels
  • Clear out the scrap basket
  • Inspect rinse arm nozzles for blockages
  • Leave the dishwasher open overnight to air dry after closing


  • Check rinse pressure and water temperature
  • Perform de-liming on the interior
  • Make sure all drain lines are clear


  • Schedule a complete inspection by a certified inspector

Stand mixer maintenance

Regular upkeep of a stand mixer – a multipurpose appliance – can help you save money and enhance efficiency.

Ensure to disconnect your mixer from power before cleaning to avoid accidents. Pay more attention to cleaning spots where batter is likely to harden and splatter such as the gear shaft and attachment hub. After cleaning, let any removable parts air dry or manually dry them before reassembling the mixer. Here’s the PM list for the mixer:


  • Clean and dry the mixer’s attachments, shield, and bowl
  • Clean the shaft, motorhead, and attachment hub
  •  Remove the debris from the air vents
  • Clean the mixer body and dry it using a soft towel


  • Inspect lubricant levels and refill when needed

Ice machine maintenance

If ice machines are not properly maintained, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria. While it might not be a top priority, failing to clean ice machines properly can lead to a failed health inspection. Since ice is categorized as food, all bins, scoops, or surfaces that touch ice must be treated as food-contact surfaces. 


  • Ensure the ice maker is operating properly and making ice
  • Check the drain pipes to ensure there is no debris
  • Check temperature settings


  • Clean the exterior of the ice machine


  • Clean the condenser
  • Replace the water filtration cartridges
  • Disinfect the interior bin
  • Clean or replace the air filters

Soda dispenser maintenance

Soda dispensers also need proper maintenance.  Daily cleaning is required for soda and beverage dispenses as syrup residue in the lines or nozzles can lead to bacteria and mold growth. Promote daily cleaning by educating your staff to disassemble the machine nozzles and place detailed instructions near the dispenser.


  • Remove and clean the drip tray
  • Disassemble, clean, and disinfect nozzles
  • Empty the ice from the drop-in ice bin
  •  Clean the bottom of the dispensing valves
  •  Clean the bin and ice chute


  • Separate soak connectors and syrup lines
  • Let connectors air dry before reconnecting them
  • Air dry connectors before reassembling them  


  • Clean the bin and ice chute
  • Empty the ice from the top ice bin
  • Clean the condenser
  •  Check and change water filters

How CMMS Helps Streamline Restaurant Equipment Maintenance

If not properly maintained, ice machines can become hotspots for bacterial growth. While it might not be a top priority, failing to clean your ice machine could result in not passing health inspections. Since ice is classified as food, all bins, scoops, or surfaces in contact with it must be treated as surfaces that come into contact with food.


Before you get started with any maintenance project, always check the parts to see if they are showing any signs of wear or damage. It is important to use the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts for optimal performance. OEM parts for food service equipment are specifically designed to match your exact equipment, ensuring it stays safe, efficient, and protected under warranty.

It is also recommended to follow the PM checklist for restaurant equipment maintenance. For the best possible results, you must perform cleaning and maintenance tasks at regular intervals.

Frequently Asked Questions

How would you perform maintenance on the equipment at a restaurant?

Here are tips and best practices for performing restaurant equipment maintenance:

  • Implement regular cleaning
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Provide training to your staff
  • Perform regular inspections
  • Look for professional maintenance services
  • Keep a record of maintenance activities
  • Resolve issues quickly
  • Use the equipment warranty
  • Utilize the right tools

What is equipment maintenance?

Equipment maintenance refers to using maintenance methods and techniques to ensure organizational equipment remains in good working condition. This includes conducting regular inspections and necessary repairs on assets.

 What do you do to maintain a restaurant? 

Restaurant maintenance comprises responsibilities such as performing repairs on the building, troubleshooting problems with kitchen equipment, adjusting HVAC systems, and servicing other equipment like ice or soda machines.