The following information is provided
courtesy of The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association.
Understanding Catering Equipment Servicing
catering equipment is manufactured to high engineering
standards, designed for the punishing routine of a professional
kitchen. Yet it is not indestructible and just as a car needs
regular servicing to perform well and last, so does catering
servicing is life enhancing and can spot potential problems
before they cause a breakdown, which is likely to be far more
expensive than the cost of servicing. Servicing will also
highlight any impending dangers, such as worn gas connections or
loose electrical wiring, which could be a hazard to both staff
failure to have regular servicing in accordance with
manufacturer’s instructions and with service records to prove
it, could work against a business in the event of any insurance
claim for either damaged premises or injured staff.
equipment comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. The terms and
guarantee period will vary, but both parts and labour are likely
to be included. However, That warranty is for the unlikely event
of a manufacturing defect occurring, it does not cover servicing
or replacement of parts that have worn out through fair wear and
tear or misuse. Failure to follow the manufacturer’s servicing
guidelines will also result in invalidating the warranty.
recommended way of ensuring proper maintenance is carried out by
professional engineers is to take out a service contract through
the manufacturer, supplier of the equipment or a catering
equipment service company. The service contract will cover all
the kitchen equipment with varying levels of charging.
by reasons such as servicing only, servicing and any labour
charges for repairs needed, speed of response time, number of
service visits a year, amount of equipment in the kitchen and
temptation to only call a service engineer out when something
breaks down is how to learn just how far down the pecking order
in call-response time someone without a service contract is.
With busy service engineers, their own service contracts and
manufacturers’ warranty work will take precedent, with random
calls for help at the back of the queue.
the detail of a contract is understood before signing it. Things
such as mileage charges, is engineers’ time charged by the
quarter hour or full hour, are there premium rates for evening
or weekend call-outs, what are response times, what exclusions
are there and is there any minimum charges?
repair catering equipment?
not. Gas equipment in particular is governed by strict laws.
Only engineers who have a certificate of competence from the
Council for Registered Gas Installers, better known by its
acronym of CORGI, can work on gas equipment, both mains gas and
separate certification and rules for working on domestic and
non-domestic appliances. Domestic certificated gas engineers are
not allowed to touch catering equipment. Evidence of the correct
certification should always be asked for on any first visit.
cooking equipment is divided by CORGI into five individual
certifications, each with their own piece of training and
certification. For practical purposes, this means a catering
engineer needs to be trained in the appropriate category for the
equipment being serviced.
types of equipment in the five categories of catering competence
in gas-fired catering equipment are:
Boiling tables, open and solid top ranges, convection ovens,
combi-ovens and bains-marie.
Water boilers, boiling pans, steamers and dishwashers.
Deep-fat fryers, bratt pans, griddles and grills.
Fish and chip ranges
Forced draught burner appliances, such as impingers and conveyor
Keeping servicing costs down
There are two
factors that contribute greatly to servicing and repair costs.
Abuse and misuse by kitchen staff can be very costly and is
avoidable. Oven and fridge doors should be firmly closed, not
slammed, equipment should not be loaded beyond recommended
capacity or run empty if manufacturer’s guidelines say it should
not be. Water filtration systems should be installed to remove
limescale before it gets into cooking and washing equipment
cleaning routines will also contribute greatly to reducing
servicing and repair costs. Any spillages should be cleaned
immediately, particularly if food has spilled into gas jets,
where the heat will carbonise the food and block the jets.
Microwave ovens should be thoroughly cleaned at the end of every
shift, door seal gaskets properly wiped down. Staff may be eager
to go home, but neglecting cleaning will cost money.