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  • John Marks

Commercial Kitchen Maintenance: How Often Should Kitchen Equipment Be Serviced?

Fact: there's no one-size-fits-all formula for calculating the frequency of service in a commercial kitchen. That's because each piece of kitchen equipment you rely on has distinct needs based on its design, function, and usage within daily workflows.

We've seen devices thrive with annual servicing, and we service equipment that requires frequent commercial kitchen maintenance to withstand daily usage — in the same restaurant. So, personalisation is the name of the game when building a restaurant kitchen maintenance schedule.

This tailored approach involves carefully assessing your restaurant kitchen equipment inventory and establishing a roadmap for regular checkups and planned preventative maintenance. Doing so ensures that vital equipment is included in the maintenance routine when needed.

And there's more. Forward-thinking begins even before a piece of equipment enters the kitchen. When buying restaurant kitchen equipment, it's essential to integrate each purchase seamlessly into your existing maintenance schedule to prolong its life.

General Guidelines for Service Frequency for Restaurant Equipment

It's difficult to tell you how often your kitchen equipment should be serviced without seeing your restaurant kitchen equipment list. But we do have some general guidelines for the most commonly used pieces in a restaurant kitchen.

This list will give you a helpful starting point for establishing a comprehensive maintenance routine.

Restaurant Equipment

Recommended Service Interval

Commercial ovens

Every 6 to 12 months

Pizza ovens

Every 3 to 12 months


Every 6 to 12 months


Every 3 to 6 months (condenser coils); Annually (general maintenance)


Every 3 to 12 months


Every 6 to 12 months

Steam tables

Once every 12 months

Commercial Outdoor Grill

Every 3 to 6 months

Food processors

Every 6 to 12 months

Mixer (Stand or Hand)

Every 6 to 12 months

Coffee Machine

Every 3 to 6 months (deep cleaning); Annually (general maintenance)

Ice Machine

Every 3 to 6 months


Every 6 to 12 months


Every 6 to 12 months

Dough Sheeter/Roller

Every 6 to 12 months


Every 6 to 12 months

Food Warmers

Every 6 to 12 months

Deep Freezer

Every 3 to 6 months (defrosting and cleaning); Annually (general maintenance)

Food Safety Equipment

As per the manufacturer's recommendations and health and safety laws


Every 6 to 12 months


Every 3 to 6 months

Factors to Consider When Planning Service Frequency for Restaurant Kitchen Equipment

Choosing the right time to service your kitchen equipment starts with assessing how your kitchen works and how staff uses each gadget. Many factors will impact your decisions, from the types of equipment you own to health and safety regulations.

Let's take a closer look.

Equipment Type and Usage Intensity

Different types of kitchen equipment have distinct maintenance needs, each influencing your service frequency plan.

A convection oven, for instance, relies heavily on precise temperature control, so maintaining accurate temperature settings is critical for delivering consistent quality dishes. Therefore, ovens, especially those in frequent use, demand more frequent servicing, from quarterly to semi-annually.

In contrast, items like a gas or electric grill or a fryer that doesn't prepare a high volume of food will need less frequent servicing due to its simpler mechanisms and fewer precision components.

Food Safety Rules

Compliance with food safety regulations will significantly influence service scheduling for restaurant equipment critical to food safety, like refrigeration or temperature-sensitive appliances. Maintaining these units in prime condition is a non-negotiable aspect of ensuring food safety.

Consequently, consider quarterly or semi-annually servicing. It's a safeguard against temperature fluctuations that could jeopardise the quality and safety of stored ingredients. The stakes are high, as any breakdown or malfunction can force the disposal of valuable but potentially hazardous food items, leading to significant financial losses and disruptions in kitchen workflows.

Usage Patterns and Peak Hours

Equipment used during busy shifts may require more frequent servicing to meet the demand without breakdowns during service. This way, you address the wear and tear, ensuring that the equipment can handle the demanding rhythms of the kitchen without stuttering.

The Manufacturer's Recommendations

Manufacturers invest extensive research and engineering into their products, and their guidelines aim to ensure both the longevity and optimal performance of cooking equipment.

These instructions specify the ideal service intervals and provide invaluable insights into the precise procedures and techniques required to maintain the equipment's integrity. Follow these guidelines to the letter to safeguard your investment and mitigate the risks associated with improper maintenance.

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning with the right cleaning products helps prevent the buildup of grease, food residue, and other debris on and inside kitchen equipment. For example, cleaning filters in deep fryers or dishwasher spray arms can prevent them from becoming clogged, thus reducing the need for service.

Moreover, clean cooking equipment tends to operate more efficiently. For example, ovens with clean heating elements can reach and maintain the desired temperatures more accurately, reducing wear and tear on the equipment. Efficient operation minimises the need for service or repairs in the long run.

Calibration Requirements

Calibration requirements notably influence the frequency of service for kitchen equipment in restaurants, particularly for ovens, refrigerators, and thermometers — devices for which any deviation from their intended settings can have serious consequences.

The calibration frequency for specific kitchen equipment is outlined in manufacturer guidelines and may range from quarterly to annually, depending on usage intensity and equipment type.

Your Budget

Balancing the cost of maintenance with equipment reliability is essential. Servicing all the kitchen equipment at once can be costly, so it's best to allocate your budget carefully to ensure that crucial restaurant equipment is well-maintained all year round without overspending.

The trick is to spread maintenance costs evenly throughout the year to prevent financial strain and optimise equipment reliability. Moreover, with planned preventative maintenance, you can address potential issues before they escalate into costly emergencies, saving money and preventing operational disruptions.

A Word on Compliance and Documentation for Commercial Kitchen Maintenance

You're spending significant resources to have your kitchen equipment serviced on time. And you want to keep meticulous records of all these interventions. It's the only way to have a clear history of your restaurant equipment's care and servicing.

These records are your documentary proof of a well-maintained kitchen for audits or inspections. And they offer valuable insights into the performance and reliability of your equipment.

Also, clear registers simplify warranty claims and make tracking whether your equipment remains in peak condition easy, reducing the risk of breakdowns during busy service hours.

Plus, keeping track of maintenance interventions helps you identify wear and tear patterns, anticipate potential issues, and plan for future servicing needs.

The Importance of Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) for Maintaining Restaurant Equipment

While PPM doesn't eliminate the need for all servicing, it significantly reduces the frequency of service. It helps ensure that kitchen equipment remains reliable, efficient, and cost-effective in the long run.

Think of it like a regular checkup for your cooking tools. It helps you catch and fix minor problems before they become big disasters. And it keeps equipment operating at its best. Well-maintained equipment is less likely to experience breakdowns, reducing the frequency of unexpected service calls.

PPM is also a smart way to manage your budget and protect your staff. You can schedule maintenance during slow periods or when the kitchen isn't in full swing, ensuring your restaurant runs smoothly and stays in good shape.

Do you want to make the most out of your restaurant equipment and ensure your kitchen runs smoothly while saving time and money? Let's talk about tailored PPM solutions for your restaurant. Schedule a call with our experts today, and let's explore how PPM can benefit your kitchen equipment and bottom line!



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