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Tips for preparing your restaurant equipment for reopening

This article is part of our blog series, “Reopening your restaurant: What you need to know,” and gives you some ideas for managing and potentially reducing your expenses as you fully reopen your restaurant after the crisis.

Published June 3, 2020

If you’ve had to close your restaurant entirely during lockdown, your equipment likely hasn’t been up and running for a while. So, now’s the time to turn on and check everything in your kitchen. This will help prevent a key appliance or device from failing or causing problems when you reopen your restaurant—a time when ensuring the best possible guest experience (and retaining loyal customers) matters the most.

Before you start, be sure to check your equipment manuals, as well as existing warranties for repairs and servicing. Don't try to fix appliances or parts that require qualified professional support. Your equipment manuals should give you information about what you can do yourself and when to call in technicians or other professional support personnel.

Tip #1: Check refrigerators  and  freezers

Make sure to check your refrigerator/freezer gaskets, air filters, condenser and evaporator coils, as well as drainage tubes. Clean and unclog anything that’s blocked and replace parts that might need replacing, such as air filters or gaskets. Remember the FDA recommends keeping fresh food below 4°C/40°F and frozen products below -18°C/0°F, so don’t forget to check your thermometers as well. 

Don’t order any product requiring cold storage until your units reach and maintain applicable storage temperatures overnight. Contact your repair technicians and confirm they’re available to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.   

Useful information about food safety and temperature guidelines can be found on the FDA website here.

Tip #2: Check stoves, ovens  and  fryers

Make sure your burners, ovens and fryers are in good working order. This will not only prevent outages at the most inconvenient time but also ensure the quality of your food and increase the lifespan of your equipment.

We recommend taking apart all burners for a thorough clean—the same goes for the air vents in your ovens and the hood system. Change any filters and clean all grates for better air circulation. This will also protect the motor from burning out and reduce the potential for fire hazards. 

Tip #3: Check your sinks, drains and dishwasher

Unclogging all tubes, filters and drains on your sinks and dishwasher will help ensure your guests receive clean dishes and silverware. It will also prevent the surprise flooding of your kitchen from water not draining properly. Making sure all faucets on your sinks are drip-free can help keep your water bill down, too. To calculate the cost of dripping taps, visit the USGS website here. Finally, checking for and removing lime scale will also help ensure your equipment has a longer service life.  

For all tasks listed, be sure to engage professional support if there's anything you can't or shouldn’t do for safety reasons.

For additional guides and checklists on getting your technology ready for reopening, check out our additional restaurant resources:

 For additional restaurant reopening assistance and resources, including contactless guest payment and online ordering solutions, please visit NCR or get in touch with an NCR restaurant expert.

Everything you need to create­ a contactless dine-in experience

Let your guests see the menu, order, pay and tip— all from their mobile phone.

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