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Free Energy Assessments in Southern California

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Updated: Monday, April 2, 2018

Hello RFMA Members,

With the hot summer months approaching, restaurant's utility bills are set to increase dramatically to their yearly highs due to the increased usage of air conditioning. There may be help available for those of you that have stores in southern California. SoCalGas is currently offering a FREE energy assessment survey for eligible stores throughout their service area. Qualified restaurants can potentially save in three (3) ways: reduced utility bills, equipment rebates, and cash-payouts on one-year gas savings. Once approved SoCalGas will complete a store visit and provide detailed recommendations how to be more efficient in your gas and water usage. The report will include the dollar savings, ROI, and available incentives. If you elect to utilize 3 pieces of qualifying equipment - hot water piping insulation, lighting, and new appliances, you get access to the "enhanced" financial incentives which generally reduce the ROI to two (2) years or less. The main focus is on gas but water and electricity is also included. To get started, free free to contact Frontier Energy, the company hired by SoCalGas for program implementation, at (800) 680-1512. Additionally, due to the new 2018 Tax Law changes, new equipment may be able for increased depreciation, saving valuable capital dollars. This really is a "win-win" situation.

Good luck!

Dover and out.

Tags:  energy assessments  SoCalGas  utility rebates 

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Daylight Savings Time is Finally Here

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hello RFMA members,

Well, it's been a couple weeks since Daylight Savings Time started. Normally this is a good time to communicate to your restaurants the need to check on the proper time settings for the following equipment:

- T-stats, is the time correct. Are the temperature and night setback settings properly configured?

- Time clocks settings for exterior building, parking lot, and signage lights. Remember to keep lot lights on for at least an additional 30 minutes after the last employee leaves the restaurant.

- Sprinkler system(s). Warmer weather is here. Ensure your sprinkler system internal clock is correct along with the proper run times for the different zones.

- Security/CCTV systems. This should change automatically but it's best to check to ensure the time is correct.

- Roof drains. Check to see they are not clogged and water is flowing freely. Also a good time to clean up any trash or debris which could potentially cause a roof puncture.

- On a personal note, this is always a good time to check your home t-stat and sprinkler systems for proper settings and change the batteries in the smoke/CO2 alarms.

Hot weather is right around the corner. Are your units ready? More on that in the future.

Hope you are having an emergency free Spring!

Dover and out.

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Post Conference

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hello RFMA members,

Well, another great national conference. I appreciate all your engagement. I hope you all had a good time and were able to have some good takeaways. From the opening party at the Duce to the closing party at Corona Ranch. Oh yes, there were also some great educational sessions and plenty of time to spend on the exhibit floor checking out new vendors, technology, and networking with all. Derreck Kayongo speech on turning used soap into a multi-million dollar company was an outstanding example in self perseverance and drive. Not only did it change his life, it changed the lives of thousands on people around the globe. Maybe we should start saving unused soap and shampoo bottles from hotel rooms and give them to the local homeless community centers in the cities where we live.

It can be a bit overwhelming to get back into the work routine after the conference but now is the time to keep the momentum going on the items you learned to assist you with your daily facilities responsibilities. Reach out to those vendors, suppliers, and peers on new initiatives that will benefit you and your company by saving time, money, and provide a better quality product and/or service. RFMA has the tools to help. Embrace the ever changing facility environment. Be proactive and make a difference. RFMA realizes you have to juggle several different jobs at once and we are here to help. Hopefully you are successful as Jeff Civillico, our guest entertainer at Tuesday's luncheon. Wasn't he great?!?! Our own "Chia" man may have a different thought.

Thanks to all for making this conference a success. Don't hesitate to contact anyone at RFMA on any issue. Rest assured, we are already working on making the next conference in Austin better than Phoenix.

Dover and out.

Tags:  RFMA 2018 conference 

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Warm Weather is Approaching

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hello RFMA members,

Ok, it's the end of February and it's still a little cool out but it's time to begin the warmer weather transition from winter to spring. Are your store prepared for the spring & summer? Are your contractors ready to get the equipment PM'd for hot weather? There are several items where inspections and actions are needed to prolong the life of equipment and to ensure the restaurants are ready to switch from cold to hot mode. Now is the time to begin preparation for the summer months in these areas:

- HVAC's, all units need to be professionally PM'd. Coils need to be cleaned for maximum performance and energy efficiency. Depending on the coil condition, chemical cleaning may be necessary as dirty coils will use up to 40% more energy. This is also the time to change the filters. Go with a pleated type or mesh that can handle the local environment and don't need to be changed every month. In harsh climates, these may need to be changed every 2 months. This is not an area to skimp on as it's relatively inexpensive to replace rather than having the a/c run longer and harder. Changing filters regularly provides a great ROI on maintenance costs versus saved energy and prolonging the life of the equipment. Refrigeration pressures need to be checked to ensure they was no leakage over the cold months. Have all electrical connections and amps/volt usages checked for the compressors, condenser and evaporator blower motors. Check with your contractor on their checklist of PM services. Lastly have the condensate drain lines blown out to be clean and free of debris. For a complete a/c maintenance list inspection report, visit the RFMA website under "Resource Library" and "Facilities Toolkit".

- Roofs, after a long winter a general inspection needs to take place to pick up all loose items, clean out roof drains, and check all roof penetrations for any gaps. Reseal as necessary. Check all areas where the roofing membrane and flashing meet to ensure there are no splits or gaps. Reseal as required. Due to the importance of a sound roof to protect the restaurant interior, it's recommended an inspection takes place every month. Again, check out the Roofing Care & Maintenance report under the Resource Library on the RFMA website.

- Irrigation Systems, check to correct times and dates and the programmed start/stop times as there may have been a power outage that will require resetting. Turn on operation and check for any broken sprinkler heads. Replace as necessary.

- Parking Lots, in some areas of the country the lots take a beating from the long, cold winter. Check for any potholes and cracks that may cause vehicle damage or pose a safety risk. Repair asap to minimize liability. Check for worn discolored sealer and reseal/restripe as necessary. Having a nice looking lot is one of the first impressions on a potential customer.

- Other, check for proper time clock settings for all exterior lighting. Check t-stat settings for proper on/off times, temperature, and night setback functions.

These actions will ensure your restaurants will be saving utility dollars and keep your customers and employees safe and comfortable. It also greatly minimizes your Brand liabilities.

Dover and out.

Tags:  a/c coil cleaning  equipment PM's  irrigation systems  roofing  Spring start ups 

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Are Your Ready For The Conference?

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Updated: Monday, January 29, 2018

Hello RFMA members,

Only a couple weeks until the conference. Have you done your planning? This is the most exciting time of the year for RFMA. We're ready to go. This conference is designed to give everyone an opportunity to network, learn and investigate what is available to save your company time & money and make your life easier. Make sure you download the free Conference App when it becomes available later this week or early next. What educational sessions are you registered for? PM methods, Disaster Management, Roofing, Iot? There are many. Take advantage of them to learn what's new in these specific areas and what could you bring back to your company. Do you have a plan for visiting the exhibitors? To be efficient, it makes sense to have one as there are over 380 booths. Do you need a new contractor? Check them out. Hopefully you also signed up for the Restaurant RoundTable  as it provides a great opportunity to network with other local FM's in the same geographical area. Don't miss the Opening or General Sessions as the Keynote Speaker, Derreck Kayongo, explains his great recycling idea to help the impoverished populations around the world and Jeff Civillico who will make you laugh while providing motivation on how to be successful in whatever profession your are in.

Lastly, have fun. There are no secrets in what we do. We are not sharing recipes, just facility best practices.

Stop by the RFMA booth to learn more. We're here to help.

See you in a few weeks!!

Dover and out.

Tags:  Phoenix  RFMA Conference 2018 

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How Are Your Vendors Performing?

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018

Hello RFMA members,

Hope your 2018 is off to a great start. It's the beginning of a new year and this may be a good time to consider how your contractors are performing. Are you looking at bidding out some services? Possibly changing the scopes in your PM's?  Due to the large amount of responsibilities FM have, it's difficult and time consuming to grade, rate, and find replacement or new vendors. Normally, you only hear of problems thru Operations or accounting personal. How often do you rate your contractors? If you utilize a CMMS, performance measures should be completed for each service ticket prior to approving the invoice. If you do not employ a CMMS, do you have a system in place to measure performance? If not, a simple 5-7 question survey can be created and sent to your store managers and area directors for their input. Keeping it basic will ensure it is completed in a timely manner. Questions can be rated on a 1-5 point scale and should include basic information such as:

- The timeliness of the call

- The quality of repair, including any callback(s) and general clean up of the area where work was performed

- Accuracy of the service ticket/report

- The overall appearance and attitude of the service tech

- Did the tech accurately communicate the issue and repair required.

- Did they offer any specific training on equipment care and troubleshooting

The survey results should be shared with the vendor on a periodic basis. In most cases, they are doing their own internal reviews and should welcome the feedback from their customers. Continued feedback between you, the contractor and operations keeps everyone informed and encourages all to work together.

Don't be afraid to reach out to some of your peers within RFMA to discuss. No need to "reinvent the wheel" when these types of performance surveys have already been created and in use by other facility professionals. Any comments would be appreciated.

Dover and out.

Tags:  contractor perfromance  Vendor performance  work surveys 

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Power Outages

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Hello RFMA members,

With the recent winter storms that effected a good portion of the country, did any of your restaurants lose power? With extremely cold weather, snow, freezing rain, and high winds, there's a good chance the electric will be knocked out for periods as short as a few seconds to several days. Are your stores ready to handle this for the time required? Do they know what actions to take, who to call, and how to keep the guests and employees safe? Following are procedures that can be utilized to ensure your restaurants are prepared when power goes down.

- Employee and guest safety is always the first priority. If storms are powerful, take shelter in an interior safe room, like the restrooms or even the walk in's. When weather permits, get everyone out of the building.

- Turn off all electrical equipment asap at its source by switching it to off or unplugging it. Don't forget to turn off the hvac's and hood exhaust and make up air fans. Ensure electrical breakers are marked accordingly for each piece of equipment and switch those off too.

- Keep on several interior lights to know when power is restored.

- Report power outage to supervisors and other operational personnel. Check in your Disaster Management Plan handbook, if applicable.

- Determine if electric is out for your restaurant and/or the surrounding areas by checking with neighboring establishments.

- Contact the local utility to report outage and, if possible, get details on when they expect power to be restored.

- Keep all refrigeration equipment and walk in doors shut. Do not open unless absolutely necessary.

- Put lids on all topping stations.

- If using generators, make sure they have proper ventilation.

- If using a gas or wood burning fireplace, ensure there is a functioning carbon monoxide detector in the room(s) affected.

- If possible check on the establishments nearby to see if they need assistance or if they could assist you.

- If electric is scheduled to be out for longer than 3-4 hours, transfer food from the walk in's to other stores in the area if possible. Ensure internal food temperature has not exceeded the health code requirements. Contact your supervisor for discussions.

- When power has returned, go the the electrical panel and turn on equipment slowly, one at a time over several minutes which will decrease the electrical surge that will occur when power is restored. This will minimize the kilowatt demand charge.

- Go to the individual pieces of equipment and slowly turn then on or plug them in, one at a time. Wait a few minutes between each.

- Reset all time clocks accordingly.

This is a general list of action items for a power outage. Each restaurant will have additional items needed. If not done so already in the store's disaster management plan binder, I recommend summarizing this on one page and have it handy for restaurant operations.

What other items have I missed?

Dover and out.

Tags:  carbon monoxide poisoning  disaster plan  electric outage  Power outage 

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Are You Registered and Ready for the Conference?

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

Well, it's only a few months until the conference in Phoenix, running from March 4-6. Are you ready? Have you registered and made hotel reservations? The national conference is such a busy time. It gives everyone a great opportunity to learn, network, and explore methods on saving valuable R&M dollars and look at better ways to take care of your facilities. The conference is designed and intended to to make your life easier in protecting your company's assets. It is the only conference designed specifically for restaurant facility professionals.

Due to the size and scope of this event, it is highly recommended do a little research to gain as much knowledge as possible to prepare. The RFMA Conference App will be available in a few weeks but feel free to visit our conference website at to review all the scheduled events. Reviewing all the events will give you a better opportunity for projecting your time out efficiently. Check out all the great educational sessions to determine which is best suited for you and your company. Are you looking for new vendors or following up with existing ones? The Exhibitor List shows who's attending along with where their booth is located. With over 300 booths, it can be a bit overwhelming if you do not have an effective game plan when the conference floor is open so plan accordingly. Make sure to sign up for the Restaurant Roundtable as it provides an excellent opportunity to network with other facility professionals in your same geographical area(s).

If you are arriving early, don't forget to sign up for the 5K Fun Run/Walk which benefits RFMA Gives 2019 or play in the golf tournament. Enjoy the conference and have fun. There are no secrets being shared just great restaurant facility best practices. Lastly, don't forget to stop by the RFMA booth to learn more or ask questions. We are here to help. See ya soon!

Dover and out.

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It's Holidays Time

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Updated: Monday, November 20, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

Well, the Holiday Season is upon us again. Seems like only a year ago it was here :). Time to spend some quality time with family and friends. Time to reflect on the past 12 months and all we are grateful for. I will be taking several days off next week to enjoy my family and I hope you are able to do the same. All of us here at RFMA wishes you a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I sincerely hope your emergencies are few. RFMA appreciates everything you do for your company and our association.

Dover and out.

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Freezing Weather is Coming!!

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Updated: Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

It's early December and the temperatures are finally cooling off. Soon freezing weather will be here for awhile. Are your stores ready for the deep freeze? The cost of not be prepared is very expensive both in dollars and potential lost sales due to restaurant shutdowns. Now is the time to ensure your stores are ready. Several simple actions can be implemented to prevent a plumbing or other facility disaster and keep the restaurants warm and customers and employees safe. Following is a brief checklist to keep Mother Nature from ruining your winter:

- All interior exposed plumbing on, or near, exterior walls above ceilings, and in attics need to be fully insulated for protection from freezing. It's very inexpensive to install pipe insulation. In extreme cold areas, use heat tape and/or a heat source (lamp or fan) to radiate or blow heated air to the effected pipes.

- If possible, keep cabinet doors open to exposed water lines in, or on, exterior walls.

- If temperatures are forecast to fall below 0 degrees, keep faucets on to a regular steady drip for both the hot and cold lines. This will reduce the chance of the pipe(s) freezing.

- Turn off and drain all exterior irrigation lines and equipment.

- Disconnect exterior hoses from their spigots and install an insulated, cone type cover over them.

- If temperatures are expected to remain below freezing for a prolonged period, reprogram the thermostat settings to a minimum of 65 degrees at night and eliminate the night setback feature. In extreme cold conditions, you may want to leave the daytime t-stat setting alone all day and night until warmer weather arrives.

- Ensure all roof drains are clean and not clogged.

- Have the HVAC furnaces professionally checked for proper operation. Service immediately if needed.

- Install weather stripping on all exterior doors and windows. Make sure bottom door sweeps are in place and in good condition.

These actions will cost a few dollars but could prevent a major expenditure if a pipe freezes or a HVAC unit goes down caused by freezing conditions. The money spent is well worth it.

Have a safe winter.

Dover and out.

Tags:  cold weather  Freezing pipes  irrigation  plumbing  restaurants  winter conditions 

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more Calendar

Peer to Peer Call: Disaster Management: Hurricanes, Floods, Tornadoes; Emergency Procedures

Peer to Partner Call: Tax Law Changes That Affect Restaurant Capital Spending

Peer to Peer Call: Kitchen Equipment, Equipment Repair vs. Replace

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