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How to Reduce Downtime for Commercial Food Service Equipment

How to Reduce Downtime for Commercial Food Service Equipment

Repairing and maintaining food service equipment is a notoriously difficult and expensive task. Restaurants in the U.S. lose $46 billion every year due to equipment or infrastructure downtime. Maintenance doesn't just impact restaurants–  manufacturers of major kitchen appliances and companies that repair commercial food service equipment are also faced with supply chain issues, frequent repairs, daunting downtimes, inflated prices, and difficulties finding qualified technicians. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Company leaders can save time, money, and resources by learning how to reduce the frequency of equipment breakdowns, limit appliance downtime, and schedule service technicians in a crunch. In this blog, we’ll cover tips for each of these steps and set you up for success in the modern food service industry. 


How do you measure food service equipment downtime?

Collecting data about the frequency of equipment breakdowns and the length of downtime is a helpful foundation for understanding the cost landscape of your services. Start by recording how often a piece of equipment breaks down and assess potential patterns in the type of equipment that require repairs most often or takes the longest time to fix. Likewise, it’s a good idea to calculate the downtime incurred for your major appliances. By measuring food service equipment downtime, you can track the opportunity cost that is lost due to maintenance issues for major appliances. Here’s how you can measure food service equipment downtime: calculate the time starting from when the equipment first malfunctioned until it was repaired to a fully-functioning state. To better understand the big picture, combine these individual downtime calculations across a quarter or year for the final number. Now, let’s learn how to reduce this downtime and improve the customer experience.

Learn how ServicePower can reduce equipment repair turnaround time

How do you reduce commercial food service equipment downtime?

Equipment downtime is detrimental to the customer experience, costly, frustrating, and can mar the reputation of restaurants, food service equipment companies, and major appliance brands. The best way to reduce food service equipment downtime is to utilize predictive maintenance driven by the Internet of Things (IoT) and to leverage Augmented Reality (AR). Predictive maintenance monitors equipment health via IoT-driven devices and alerts technicians of any potential issues. This enables technicians to identify a maintenance solution before an actual problem arises that would cause downtime. As helpful as this solution is, there is surprisingly low adoption in the field. Currently, only 46% of restaurant operators have predictive maintenance plans set in place. 

Augmented Reality software also helps prevent and reduce equipment downtime. Technicians and customers can use AR to overlay detailed repair instructions into their physical environment. This innovative solution empowers users to resolve problems they wouldn’t be able to troubleshoot on their own, increasing the accuracy and efficiency of food service equipment repairs. Faster repairs result in shorter downtimes, happier customers, and better service all around. Together, these modern solutions provide companies with a competitive edge that is critical to success in this competitive industry. 

Top Benefits of Using Service Software for Food Service Equipment Repairs

Field service management software enables companies to utilize predictive maintenance services and AR troubleshooting, among other valuable features as well. Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven scheduling, third-party dispatching, contractor management, inventory management, and advanced analytics make equipment repairs easier and less stressful. Let’s review a few of the top benefits that companies can tap into by investing in field service management software.  

  • Reduce the Frequency of Food Equipment Repairs

Frequent repairs are the biggest cost sink for food service equipment. The more often a piece of equipment breaks down, the bigger the bill to resolve the problems. Not only are repairs typically expensive, but the costs of repairs have been rising significantly. In 2021, the average cost of repairing cooking equipment increased by 38%. That’s a dramatic increase in costs, especially when there is a frequent need to repair food equipment. Likewise, field service management software empowers companies to reduce the frequency of repairs, cut costs, and improve the bottom line. 

  • Decrease the Duration of Food Equipment Downtime

When a major appliance or piece of equipment is down, it’s difficult to drive profits. For instance, if a vending machine is out of order, there’s simply no revenue being created. This is a massive opportunity cost for companies to lose, especially in a competitive market. Reducing the duration of equipment downtime is critical to success, and field service management makes that possible. Restaurants can save 25% annually on repair and maintenance if the equipment is correctly maintained with the proper preventative maintenance via field service management software. This illustrates just how important it is for companies to invest in software solutions that have predictive maintenance capabilities. 

  • Access Qualified Equipment Service Technicians, Quickly

Due to the negative impacts of food service equipment downtime, equipment maintenance and repairs come with urgent deadlines. This means that companies must be able to schedule and dispatch qualified technicians to conduct those repairs as soon as possible. In the current market, that’s not as easy as it sounds. As Kirby Mallon, the President of the Commercial Food Equipment Service Association explains, “We cannot get any quality people to hire. That has always been a problem in the industry, but it is absolutely the most critical issue right now. We cannot even find people that we can train.” 

ServicePower’s field service management software comes with a certified contractor network. With access to over 4,000 vetted independent contractors ranging across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, companies can schedule technicians exactly when they are needed. Moreover, this vast contractor network consists of high-quality and accountable technicians, including individuals in locations that are traditionally hard to service. This allows companies to scale service as demand increases, expand service areas, and maximize repair productivity and efficiency. 

Investing in Commercial Food Service Equipment Repairs

ServicePower is a leading provider of field service management software with the unique ability to manage a blended workforce consisting of both full-time employees and third-party contractors. 

Discover how ServicePower can help your organization optimize food service equipment maintenance and start maximizing profits. 

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