The following information is provided
courtesy of The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association.
catering equipment is engineered for hard work, but there are
parts which have a finite life and need replacing eventually.
Hopefully, a part that is nearing the end of its working life
will be spotted by a regular service visit from an engineer who
will be able to visually check items such as door gaskets or use
technical testing equipment to spot impending trouble on
switches or pumps.
caterers, cost is an issue on every aspect of purchasing and so
when the cost of a spare part and fitting it is given by the
inspecting engineer, there is a temptation to see if there is a
cheaper way of effecting the repair.
and most important point is that if the item which needs a spare
part is gas-powered then it has to be done by an engineer who
has the official CORGI certification. That means the engineer
has been properly trained to work on commercial gas appliances.
It is illegal for anyone else to touch commercial gas equipment
and that includes a CORGI registered engineer whose registration
is only for domestic equipment.
electrical or mechanical spare parts, few restaurant chefs have
the time or knowledge to source and fit, but large hotels often
have a general maintenance man who can do jobs like unblock
drains, men damaged furniture, fix a light fitting on the wall
and knows how to restart the boiler if the pilot light goes out.
There is the temptation to save money by buying a spare part
independently and having the maintenance man fit it. Or it might
be that there is a general electrical business in the town who
has a service engineer who says “a switch is a switch – they are
all the same” and offers a cheaper price than a trained kitchen
also companies who have long recognised that the cost of spare
parts on all kinds of electrical and mechanical equipment is a
business opportunity. They have recognised the most common spare
parts needed from the popular manufacturers and buy in a limited
range in bulk to earn a discount they can use as a competitive
Manufacturers of commercial catering equipment are no different
to any manufacturer and will buy in some components from a
specialist supplier. An oven manufacturer is not going to make
its own door seals or printed circuit boards. Mail order spare
part suppliers know this and will buy the popular components
direct to buy cheaper than through the kitchen equipment
manufacturer. For a manufacturer to hold every spare part in
stock no matter how rarely it goes wrong carries with it a cost
that the independent spare part company will not have.
in the commercial kitchen market are just like car spare parts.
There are the branded parts supplied through the manufacturer
and generic parts which a third-party supplier will offer as a
suitable alternative. Sometimes, but not always, buying a
generic spare part is cheaper. Most times, but not always, the
generic spare part will work. But while that sounds an
attractive route to buying spare parts, avoiding the original
equipment manufacturer carries with it risks.
independent parts supplier will be spares for the popular makes
and all the parts which regularly wear out, but it is unlikely
to stock all spare parts. Neither is it likely to have the same
depth of spare part knowledge as the original equipment
manufacturer. The spare part may be listed in a catalogue as
being for a particular piece of kitchen equipment, but it might
not be the exact same component that the manufacturer was using,
so the durability of the replacement part may not be as good as
the original. This is very important when the spare part is a
generic one, not from the manufacturer.
fraught with risk is buying spare through internet sites. In
addition to the difficulties already outlined, there is no one
to talk to and component part numbers change frequently. A part
that fits a five-year-old piece of equipment may not fit a