Oh no… not dirty kitchen!
I have come across many people worried about their utensils and heavy appliances in their commercial kitchen set-ups, as they are unable to keep track of a cleaning schedule that is pertinent for such kitchens. It is especially true for most of the units during the rush period, especially at the end of the year, especially in India when all festivities and celebrations are lined up one after another.
When I say dirty kitchen, it is not merely the environment; it has to do with the functionality of equipment and their overall condition that give a kitchen its real identity.
We all know that daily cleaning is the only way to keep things in order, operational, but if that is not the case with your kitchen, you should rely on scheduling a cleaning exercise, almost like a mandatory training that corporate want their employee to go through. If your housekeeping department can stick to spring cleaning for rooms, why can’t you do it for the kitchens?
There are more than one reason to carry out regular cleaning of kitchen, which can be listed down as follows:
A. Upkeep of the kitchen environment
B. Upkeep of the kitchen utensils and appliances
C. Upkeep of the working environment.
Did I cover all points? Yes, most certainly. Because, within these three points lie the success of a commercial kitchen in a restaurant or hotel.
The fact of the matter is if these three pointers are kept in mind all the time by the maintenance department of the hotel, or the kitchen staff, no unforeseen circumstances will arrive like break down of equipment, short-circuits, excessive power consumption, etc.
In a 24×7 environment, kitchens in commercial establishments hardly find a rest period and therefore, demand extreme care. Try to divide the kitchen into segments (usually the layout itself act as a division, wet area, dry area, burners, chillers, etc.). It is ideal to select one area during any particular time (preferable night time, when the traffic/rush is low) to concentrate on its cleaning. The very next day choose another area, maybe. This cycle of brisk cleaning goes a long way in maintaining kitchen equipment and utensils, not allowing grease and dirt to settle down on them.
It is very important to ensure that kitchen equipment are always in the best possible working condition. Cleaning not only increases the life of all equipment, but also increases their resale value. This is vital as in some years in you might think of upgrading your equipment. In that case it is better to get the best resale value.
Therefore, the straight point here is about “well-maintained working equipment” that companies “should” have.
Unattractive equipment are those that are inconsistent in their performance, and irregular cleaning schedule and lack of emphasis on annual maintenance are usually the reasons for the outcome. In such a case, nobody would like to claim the ownership of such products. Isn’t it? So, it is better to keep a periodic cleaning schedule as part of duty rosters. It is like inculcating a habit. And this isn’t hard to achieve at all, if you decide to have it in the first place with a will to succeed.
Thankfully, many companies are trying to build their operational SOPs of kitchens keeping in mind maintenance as pertinent objective to be achieved. This way they have been able to achieve functionality (efficiency) of old equipment on a par with the best/new equipment in kitchens.
At the same time, having an annual maintenance contract (AMC) in place with an established company goes a long way in securing sound working conditions of kitchen equipment.
Remember, maintained equipment will always be a good proposition for you in future. Not only will your operational cost be less, it would be valued at a higher side (resale value) when you plan to do away with them.