It’s that time of the year again when everyone is retreating to their favorite spot or huddling up for get-togethers. Restaurant owners need to prepare for the upsurge in bookings, and there should be plenty of food supplies.
Dealing with a malfunctioning cooler or refrigeration unit is the last thing on your mind. However, these cooling units tend to get overworked during this time, and they can break down. So, you better prepare them for the increased workload.
Why Do Commercial Refrigeration Units Break?
There are a couple of reasons why commercial refrigerators and cooling units break. These include:
i) Usage Patterns
The holiday season piles additional stress on an already stressed commercial refrigeration unit. You will have to store more food materials than you normally do. Among all restaurant appliances, the refrigerators are by far the busiest around this period.
ii) Broken Compressors
A commercial refrigerator’s compressor can fail when the unit is under too much stress. You might have forgotten to schedule routine maintenance for the compressor amid all the tasks begging for your attention. When the compressor fails, all other parts will stop working. The result? Spoiled food, angry customers, and big losses.
iii) Hot Temperatures
A busy kitchen can get super-hot fast. This may not cause refrigerator failure in the short-term. However, the system may have to work too hard to provide adequate cooling.
iv) Improper Closing
When the staff is overstretched, some may end up leaving the refrigerator door open or half-open every time they use it. This not only stresses the compressor but also causes ice buildup inside the storage racks.
Too much humidity in the kitchen often leads to problems in the evaporator pan and the condenser.
vi) Worn Out or Dirty Compressor Coils
The compressor is the heart of your commercial refrigeration unit. Dirty or worn out coils may cause undue stress to the whole unit, thus damaging your refrigerator.
Now that we know the major causes of commercial refrigerator breakdowns, how best can you prepare your systems to weather the increased activities during the holidays? Here are five options you should consider:
1. Service the Refrigerator
This is the time to inspect all the important components of your commercial refrigerator. Anything that needs fixing should be fixed. Check that all the doors and storage units are in good condition. Clean up all ice and leftover buildup. Get a professional to check the unit and give it a clean bill of health.
Service the Compressor
Check that the compressor is working properly. Ensure that the refrigerant has been charged up to the recommended quantities. The compressor should also be clear of any obstructions and able to start flawlessly.
If well maintained, compressor units like the Copeland 4RA1000 or Carrier 06EY099 last for years. This might also be the time to replace some of the serviceable parts, such as the piston rings, gaskets, and discharge valves.
Check the Electrical Wiring
Electrical fitting and wiring tend to degrade in a warm, humid kitchen/storage environment. Get an electrician to confirm that the wiring of the major appliances works properly. Refrigeration unit failures usually occur due to unreliable or faulty power connections. An electrical connection sweep should form part of your pre-holiday preparation checklist.
Replace Worn out parts
Sometimes, the best way to prepare for a busy season is to consider replacing some of the major components with new or remanufactured ones. This will save you the pressure of having to repair a malfunctioning appliance in the heat of the season when you should be attending to customers.
2. Stock Your Restaurant
Stock up all the ingredients you need for the holiday season. You should have all the ingredients you’re your best-selling dishes ready for use at all times. Check your sales data of past holidays to determine the quantities you need.
3. Seasonal Staff
The holiday season means more reservations and orders to handle. You might want to hire a few more helping hands to handle the increased volumes. Hire interns or college students looking for temporary gigs. You can also offer existing staff some incentives for working overtime and throughout the high season.
4. Decorate for the Holiday Season
Don’t just stick with the look that you have had all year round. It’s time to add some color and flair to your restaurant to share the holiday cheer. Buy some seasonal decorations such as Christmas trees, ribbons, and candles to make the restaurant feel more relaxed and cheerful.
5. Keep a Technician on Speed Dial
You might want to have a trained commercial refrigerator technician on speed dial or on the premises to take care of unexpected mishaps. A simple electric failure or a malfunctioning appliance can spoil the entire holiday experience for you and your customers.
Using remanufactured compressors and quality components can save you tons of money while preparing for the holidays. Compressors Unlimited offers a variety of remanufactured commercial refrigeration solutions and spare parts. Get in touch for affordable commercial refrigeration compressors.