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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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Asset Management

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Updated: Monday, April 24, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

How do you handle "asset management" within your organization? Do you have a CMMS to help with decision making? Do you have internal programs containing data on all your assets? Do you have anything in place to track asset repair history, book values, length of depreciation, etc? In today's tough economic environment in the restaurant industry every dollar spent or invested is being looked at. The Facilities professional's role is continuing to expand to now include proper asset management. A good CMMS will enable the facility decision maker to quickly analyze specific metrics and make sound economic decisions. Some of the information obtained from CMMS data should contain:

- Initial equipment purchase date

- Remaining book value

- Length of depreciation

- Repair history, showing specifics on what was repaired, when, and cost

- Individual store Lease information

All of this information will support decisions on repair vs replacement on individual assets. Normally a piece of equipment will be replaced if the repair exceeds 50% of the new replacement cost. Another great item to consider is "planned replacement" of equipment. HVAC is a good example of equipment that can be replaced prior to total failure or costly repairs that will keep a unit out of operation for long periods of time during the warmer or colder months. It makes economic sense to have a planned replacement program to change units out during the mild months when restaurants can go a few hours without them. By reviewing good CMMS provided data, decisions can be made on when to replace, timing of replacement, and volume purchasing decisions with an A/C provider and installer. This can be done with water heaters, refrigeration, cooking equipment, ice machines, etc. All of this equipment is critical to store operations and replacing before failure (or expensive repairs) will save money and downtime if done properly. Facilities is beginning to be directly involved with C-Suite decision making when it comes to capital planning and spending and a CMMS is the way to go. Get on board. RFMA has several good companies that can help. Don't be left behind.

 

Dover and out.

Tags:  Asset management  CMMS 

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Green Landscaping

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

It's finally spring and time to finalize your landscaping tasks for the summer. With the latest push on going green and the sustainability initiatives, here are some thoughts to promote proper landscaping:

- Enrich your soil. Some restaurants are having to compost their food waste. It will do your soil good to fertilize using your food scraps. No need to buy organic material from the local Home Depot.

- Ensure the landscaping is designed to properly catch and hold all moisture to prevent water runoff. Ensure landscape areas are well mulched.

- Save water. Consider installing rain barrels hooked into the downspouts.

- Utilize recycled products for landscaped border materials like reclaimed wood, or recycled brick.

- Ensure your irrigation is set to go off in a timely manner, with proper intervals, and no broken sprinkler heads. Only water early in the morning or late evening.

- If possible, chose native, water efficient plants. Eliminate plants not suited to the existing site condition and irrigation.

If possible discuss with your local landscape vendor for additional ideas on efficient watering, plant usage, and design as they will know what works best in the region. RFMA has numerous vendors that will be glad to discuss your specific situation. This is an area where large amounts of water and money can be saved and your stores will look better.

Dover and out.

Tags:  landscaping 

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RFMA's Website Provides Answers

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Updated: Monday, March 27, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

When was the last time you checked out what was contained within the RFMA website? When was the last time you were on the site? I get frequent requests for information concerning technical questions, finding vendors and other members and other general facility questions. When you need help, feel free to check out any of the following:

- Vendor/Member search. Looking for a specific member? Need a contractor in a certain part of the country? Check out the Member Directory.

- Forums. Want to discuss a facility issue with another member? Have a need to interact with your peers? Don't use Google, talk to one of our members on any of the available Forums: FM, Industry Exchange, Regional, National, etc. Don't need to reinvent the wheel as our members have seen it and done it all.

-Education. Check out the CRFP learning modules. They will teach you and help you in your day to day facility activities that are required in the profession. These are free to members and will prepare you for the certification test.

- Insite section: This area was upgraded several months ago to enable you to easily update your profile, send or receive messages. post questions, comments, or photos. It's a great social link to use within our association.

- Check out the 'Member Tools' or 'Resource Library'. Both contain great information on our committees, posted technical documents, job seeking and posting opportunities.

Spend the time to get to know our website. It has evolved and will continue to evolve to assist our members in their restaurant facility responsibilities. Check it out.

Dover and out.

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Conference Recap

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Updated: Thursday, March 9, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

Wow, what a conference. I hope you all had a good time and were able to have a few great takeaways. From the opening party out on the lawn to Mel Robbins motivational speech to Jason Hewlett's hilarious act, and of course the entertaining closing party, it was non stop. 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. Mel's speech utilizing the "5 second" rule hit home with me. Not only can this help out in your business activities but your personal life could probably be improved which may lead to a better work life too. Are you ready to change your life in just 5 seconds? Make the call you've been dreading, get into action. 5-4-3-2-1-GO!! It has the enormous potential to change your work and your life.

I realize it's somewhat 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.

Thanks to all for making this conference a success. Don't hesitate to contact anyone at RFMA on any issue. We are here for you as "YOU ARE RFMA"!! Rest assured, we are already working on making the next conference in Phoenix better than Orlando.

Dover and out.


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Only a Few Days Till The Conference!!

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Updated: Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

Only a couple days 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. Ensure you have downloaded the free Conference App as RFMA is 'paperless'. What educational sessions are you registered for? LED Lighting, IoT, Energy or Project Management, Roofing? 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 370 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, Mel Robbins, explains her "5 second rule" to help you reach your full potential and Jason Hewlett will make you laugh with his many impersonations as the Keynote Entertainer.

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 days!!

Dover and out.

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Are Your Stores Prepared For Warm Weather?

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Updated: Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

It may be cold and snowy in your part of the country but it's the middle of February and warm weather will be here before you know it. Are you and your restaurants prepared? Are you contractors lined up for the proper PM's? Transitioning from winter to spring gives facilities professionals an opportunity to do what they are hired for, namely, protecting company assets in an economical manner. They 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.

- 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:  HVAC PM  irrigation systems  minimizing liabilities  parking lots  Roof drains  Spring start ups 

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Renewable Energy Rebates

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

Are you getting money back for energy saving initiatives utilizing renewable energy? How about a subsidy for energy efficient replacement equipment, like a/c units, refrigeration and/or cooking equipment? Some equipment and lighting suppliers will refer you to a local utility company for rebate information but for those interested and unaware, there is a website available called 'DSIRE' that is a complete national database of state incentives for renewable energy. According to its website, "DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency in the United States". Renewable energy has become competitively priced with non-renewable over the past several years and it's always a good thing to save valuable natural resources, reduce your carbon footprint, and promote within your brand.

The DSIRE website is very easy to navigate. There's a tutorial on how to use or simply click on a state to check on current incentive programs and policies. You can also type in a zip code to populate current programs. Rebates vary by electric providers but typically offer a subsidy or rebate in the 25-60% range. I highly recommend checking this out prior to implementing an energy savings initiative or replacing a piece of equipment that consumes a large amount of electricity, like an a/c unit, lighting, cooking and refrigeration equipment. Don't leave money on the table. There's no risk in checking what's available. For easy access, the link is posted on our website under Resource Library and Industry Links.

Dover and out.

Tags:  energy reductions  energy subsidies  rebate programs  renewable energy 

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The Conference is Almost Here !!

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Updated: Monday, December 19, 2016

Hello RFMA members,

It's less than two(2) months until the conference in Orlando, running from March 5-7. 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 is scheduled to be available in a few weeks but feel free to visit our conference website at www.rfmaannualconference.com 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 2018 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.

Tags:  2017 RFMA National Conference  education  restaurant facilities  RFMA Gives 

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Vendor Management and Performance

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hello RFMA members,

Happy New Years to everyone. Hope you all had a safe and wonderful Holiday Season. Well, 2017 is here and I'm sure you are off to the races as usual. Something to consider as the year begins is Vendor Management. How are your vendors performing? Does your situation call for changing some of the contractors? Due to the large amount of responsibilities FM have, it's time consuming to grade, rate, and find replacement or new vendors.You probably only hear of problems thru Operations or accounting personal. How often, if any, do your contractors get rated for performance? If you have 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:  performance surveys  service reports  service technician  vendor management 

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Enjoy The Holidays!!

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Updated: Monday, November 28, 2016

Hello RFMA members,

As you are already aware by the lower amount of money in your banking account and wallet, the Holiday season is upon us. I will be taking several days off next week to spend quality time with family and friends. All of us here at RFMA wishes you a very merry Christmas and Happy New Years!! I hope you have time to reflect on what truly matters in your life and act upon it accordingly. I also sincerely hope you are not burdened by working all thru the season and your emergencies are few. RFMA appreciates everything you do for your company and our association!

Dover and out

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