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FM Insights
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Our FM Insights blog delivers restaurant facility tips, trends and emerging technologies. Created and curated by our resident facility manager, Jeff Dover, CRFP, FM Insights will help you keep up to date of all things restaurant facilities! Subscribe below to never miss a tip, trend or emerging technology!

 

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Top tags: education  HVAC  CRFP  Roof drains  CMMS  daylight savings time  Parking lots  RFMA  time off  air balance  hurricanes  recharge  roofs  COVID-19  irrigation systems  power outage  RFMA Gives  Vacation  Benchmarking  Disaster Management  electrical outage  heat exchangers  irrigation  RFMA national conference  Spring start ups  Vendor management  ADA  Asset management  Best Practices  booths 

Are Your Restaurants Prepared for the Cold?

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Updated: Monday, September 21, 2020

Hello RFMA members,

  The weather is turning colder, are your restaurants prepared and ready to go for the upcoming freezing weather? Are your equipment contracts in place with the right actions for PM's? Are your vendors ready and staffed accordingly? Do you have your snow removal contract specifics finalized? Following is a brief list of activities to concentrate on to ensure your facilities are ready for winter:

- RTU's. Are the fall start-ups scheduled with your contractors to check on winter operation?  Heat exchangers, blower motors, filters, wiring, and belts all need to be looked at and serviced as required. Now is still a good time to replace a cracked heat exchanger if needed. Also a good time to replace the belts and filters. Don't want to lose heat in the winter on such an inexpensive repair. Make sure an additional belt is on hand for emergencies and possibly train a restaurant employee on emergency replacement.

- Building air balance. Are your building positively balanced? After a long summer there may be some adjustments necessary to have a slight positive building air balance. This is extremely important during the frigid temperature conditions in the winter. A negative balance will waste energy and, more importantly, create drafts which will make customers and employees uncomfortable. This has also become very important to minimize the potential Covid virus. Have your contractor add this task to the fall check list. Make sure the technician is fully trained on what an store air balance is and how to correct issues effecting it.

- Roof drains. Make sure these are clean and free of debris. With normal fall and winter precipitation, water needs to be drained properly off the roof. Check the flashing and roof seams for damage as water penetration then freezing will cause leaks and potentially expensive repairs. Have any issues professionally repaired.

- Irrigation systems. Check with your landscapers to drain the lines and unhook all hoses from their spigots. Mat want them to do a final inspection on the entire system so it'll be ready in the spring

- Exterior lighting. With darkness coming earlier, make sure all parking lot, building, and walkway lights are working and programmed for proper on/off times. Reprogram as required.

- Exterior doors. Are the sweeps in good condition? This will keep the cold out along with the pests.

- Snow removal. Who is responsible for the snow removal at the restaurant? If it's not handled by the landlord, do you have a contract in place for snow and ice removal? Is it updated? What are the parameters when they need to come out to plow? After 2 or 3 inches? Work out the details now and minimize facilities liabilities. Having a contract in place should put your facilities in a higher priority position to get plowed.

- Thermostats. Reprogram accordingly for winter operation. In extreme cold climates do not program below 60-65 degrees.

- Pest control. Colder weather drives pests inside where it's warmer. Schedule your restaurants accordingly for a treatment and review their report to correct any minor facility issues to keep pests out.

Getting ready for winter now saves money, time, and increases customer and employee satisfaction which always protects your brand.

Always looking for feedback. What other activities do you complete for winter preparation? Let me know.

Dover and out.


Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext. 3

Tags:  exterior lighting  irrigation systems  Preparing for the cold  snow plowing contracts  t-stat settings 

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Roundtable Event

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Updated: Friday, September 4, 2020

Hello RFMA Members,

We had a great restaurant Roundtable call last week covering numerous items like Covid-19 updates, R&M cost controls during the pandemic and other facilities related topics. One of the items discussed was yearly Facilities Audits. As you know audits are at the base of accurate capital and expense budgeting and need to be completed at least once per year. Due to the Covid situation, most of our restaurant members are unable to travel to their stores to get this vital task done. One of the participants on the Roundtable call noted their company is performing these virtually with their restaurant operational teams. The engagement from all parties is great and new technology is being used thru the use of drones, HD cameras, and software. By using all these items each asset in the store can be viewed, measured, and notes tabulated into their audit software to produce a capital and R&M budget for each asset and location. Other call participants were very interested in knowing more details in this new budgeting process.

These calls along with our Peer to Peer/Partner, Webinars, and Panel Discussions provide great educational information in all areas of restaurant facility management. There are always a few good take-aways along with establishing and enlarging your networking group. I highly recommend engaging and joining in with others who share their knowledge in our industry. I know your time is limited but I believe these events will enable you to work more efficiently. Check out our Event Calendar on the RFMA website for dates, times, and topics coming up in the fall as we have many to choose from.

Stay safe out there!

Dover and out.


Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext. 3


Tags:  capital budgeting  facilities audits  r&m cost controls  RFMA roundtable event 

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Disaster Management Planning

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Updated: Friday, August 21, 2020

Hello RFMA members,

The prime hurricane seasonal time is here. Are your stores ready? Is your Disaster Management Plan up to date? Has it been updated to include what was learned from the current pandemic? When was the last time the plan was reviewed and discussed? Following are a few items that may need review for hurricane preparedness.

- Planning. Are the stores employees ready and informed on what actions are required in planning for a storm or event? Does everyone know what to do and when to do it? What about corporate personnel?

- Decision making. Who is responsible for the critical decisions and when? What are the critical decisions? When should stores close to keep employees safe? When should contractors be notified and set-up to board and/or prepare the restaurant for the storm?

- Communication timing. Who is responsible to communicate the decisions reached? Are the disaster communication devices available and ready, i.e., satellite phones, 2-way radios, etc.?

- Store supplies. Are the proper supplies and their quantities available or are additional items needed, i.e., flash lights, batteries, First Aid kit, drinking water, phone chargers, cash, generators, etc.?

- Recovery. Are the Response and Recovery parts of the plans on target? Are the local public officials contact information up to date and written down which will be needed in reopening the restaurant.

- Insurance. Is your coverage up to date, active, and include all potential disasters, i.e. hurricane, flood, fire, etc?

Hurricanes are just one of the natural disasters to plan for. Periodic practice and review of your plans are necessary to protect company assets and keep employees safe. RFMA has several Disaster Management planning resources on our website in the Resource Library in the Facilities Toolkit section and there is an Online Learning Module in our CRFP Prep Course. Additionally, feel free to review past articles in the Facilitator magazine.

Dover and out.

 


Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext

Tags:  Covid-19  Disaster Management  floods fires  hurricanes  virus 

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Electrical Power Disruption

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Updated: Monday, July 6, 2020

Hello RFMA Members,

We are in the midst of another hot summer. Most of the US has been hit with brutally hot and dangerous conditions. For some areas of the country, the high heat stressed the power grid beyond its normal capacity creating "brown outs" that lasted anywhere from a few minutes to a couple hours. Additionally, with the powerful storms generated, electrical outages have existed that can last from a few seconds to several days. Are your stores prepared to handle no electricity for several hours or days? Do you know what actions to take to keep your guests, employees and food safe? Following are brief procedures that can be utilized by restaurant managers and facilities personnel to ensure you are prepared when power is lost.

- 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.

- Check other areas of the building for guests and/or employees that may be stuck in restrooms, storage areas, etc.

- Turn off all electrical equipment asap at its source by switching it to off or unplugging it. Don't forget to turn off the A/C'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.

- Report power outage to supervisors and other operational personnel.

- 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 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.

- Note the emergency lighting system normally will last for 1 -2 hours. Ensure flashlights are available for outages that exceed this length of time. Do not use candles as there may be an unknown gas leak.

- 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 required. 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. For additional store outage information, check out the Facilities Toolkit under the Resource Library on the RFMA website.

What have I missed?

Dover and out.



Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext

Tags:  electrical outages  Power putages  powering up equipment 

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You Deserve and Earned a Break!

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Updated: Monday, July 6, 2020

Hello RFMA members,

Summer is past half over and I hope your emergencies are few. This has been quite a year, to say the least. Since mid-March our industry has been changed forever and your responsibilities have too. The past 4 months has brought challenges and opportunities that were never imagined. I'm sure the stress level has been non-stop and you deserve a break. Summer is the time for vacations and it's your responsibility to take time off, especially this year. For you and your organization, you must be able to get away and recharge. It will help both yourself and your company. It's been proven through many studies that employees in high pressure positions lose their productivity without any real time off. When taking vacation, take vacation. No checking email and definitely not answering your phone. You can easily be sucked back into emergencies which require follow-up and phone calls. Communication prior to your vacation is critical. Establish back-ups for your projects and complete an "out of office" automatic email notification. Talk to your supervisor and vendors who may be in the middle of your projects. Let critical individuals know you will not be available. I'm on vacation now in and enjoying every minute.

I know it sounds easier said than done but both you and your organization will benefit from your time off.

Have a safe rest of the summer.

Dover and out.



Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext

Tags:  recharge  stress reduction  time off  Vacation 

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New Covid Ventilation Guidelines

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Updated: Friday, July 10, 2020

Hello RFMA Members,

RFMA hosted a great webinar last week entitled "COVID Compliant Ventilation Management For Restaurants". Danny Miller of Transformative Wave moderated and provided good information on HVAC ventilation best practices for minimizing the spread of the virus inside restaurants. Some of the key discussions included:

- New developments in HVAC for restaurants

- Explaining how HVAC "work" in the buliding

- Learn the new CDC & ASHRAE guidelines for restaurant ventialtion

- Guidelines versus regulated legislation on the new ventilation standards specifically for MUA units and filter specs

- How to implement the coming regulations

- Learn the five (5) reasons why COVID compliant HVAC should be a high priority.

Stay tuned for the webinar link, which I'll post soon when available.

It's all good information to help your decision making on ventilation to keep your employees and customers safe.

Dover and out.

 


Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext

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July Educational Events

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Hello RFMA Members,

Hope you are all safe and wearing masks in public buildings. The mask comment is not meant to be a political statement, just a public service announcement:). As we progress thru the warm summer months, RFMA has four great educational events in July. They are as follows:

- July 10th, Webinar covering "COVID Compliant Ventilation Management for Restaurants".

- July 16th, Webinar covering "Microsoft Excel Hacks".

- July 22nd, Peer to Peer call on "COVID-19 Updates"

- July 23rd, Zoom meeting/contest on "CRFP Masters Competition".

All of these present a great opportunity to learn more about the pandemic in our industry along with professional development. Check these out for further details and registration under the "Events" tab on our website.

Stay safe and enjoy the summer.

Dover and out.

 


Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext


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Powerful Attitudes & Actions

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Updated: Friday, June 12, 2020

Hello RFMA Members,

We hosted a Peer to Peer call last Thursday, June 11th, covering the successes and challenges that our restaurant facilities members are facing since this pandemic began. It was amazing to see the pride from the participants as they described how each of them are involved with so many projects beyond their "normal" restaurant facility duties. Each talked about how they are connected to other department representatives in making quick, real-time decisions on how to open and operate their stores to ensure their guests and employees are safe and they are following proper government mandated guidelines. Some noted the added respect they gained by working with cross department personnel. All expressed deep satisfaction and personal growth by what they are doing. This is a terrible crisis but it amazes me to see how our members have come together to overcome the obstacles that are placed in front of them every day. Take a look at the attached notes from the call to see what activities some are doing. Keep up the great teamwork!!

Dover and out.

 


Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext

 Attached Files:

Tags:  Covid-19 crisis  respect  restaurant facility members  teamwork 

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Covid Successes and Challenges

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Updated: Monday, June 1, 2020

Hello RFMA Members,

We had a great Zoom call last Thursday with a panel discussion on how restaurant facilities professionals have adapted to the Covid situation thus far and what their thoughts were for the future. Numerous success and challenges were talked about and I thought I'd share a few. First, the successes:

- Both our restaurant and vendor members have quickly made monumental changes to help keep their companies in business. The vendor community has pivoted to provide the needed materials and services that our industry desires such as PPE, cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing chemicals, plexiglass barriers, and numerous other items that are essential.

- Our restaurant facility members have and are continuing to do whatever is necessary to keep their restaurants operating and provided the tools for reopening by redesigning their dining rooms, installing touchless devices throughout the stores, ordering and installing shields for employee and customer safety, sourcing floor signage for proper social distancing and one way access, changing their restrooms to single use, obtaining necessary PPE and cleaning products, minimizing capital and R&M projects, and even working in the restaurants.

- The success of our industry has relied on teamwork within each of our members companies. This is similar to a disaster like a hurricane or tornado where all departments have to work together.

Some of the challenges include:

- Keeping up with the ever changing guidelines for operating and reopening the restaurants

- Staffing the stores as the furloughed employees are actually making more money from government unemployment payouts

- Sourcing and obtaining necessary materials and chemicals required for the "new" standards

- Storage of excess dining room tables and chairs

- Training the staff on new service procedures to keep them and their guests safe

- Higher food and labor costs

Our industry is facing a monumental task to simply stay in business but it's amazing to see how everyone has worked together to achieve their goals.

Stay safe.

Dover and out.


 


Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext

Tags:  covid-19  plexiglass barriers  ppe  restaurants 

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Reopening Continues

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Updated: Monday, May 18, 2020

Hello RFMA Members,

The reopening in most states has begun with a bit of trepidation from the consumer. In most cases dining rooms are not being filled to their 25% capacity but drive-thru's, pick ups, and deliveries remain solid. We had a good Peer to Peer call last week discussing how the reopening is proceeding for the various restaurant members on the call. It amazes me the flexibility both our restaurant and vendor members are incorporating in their desire to help their organizations get thru this disaster. Who would have thought 3 months ago how many plexiglass shields would be needed or the amount of new touchless restroom hardware required. Being flexible is one very important trait to ensure success. The FM's are working 7 days a week doing whatever is necessary to get their stores open and operating safely and most at a reduced salary. Check out the attached noted from the call as I think you'll find a few interesting details. We (RFMA) have another Peer to Peer call scheduled today (Wed., May 20th) and a Panel Discussion on three (3) case studies on how stores are reopening on May 28th. Feel free to register on our website.

Stay safe.

Dover and out.


Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext

 Attached Files:

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