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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  air balance  roofs  time off  hurricanes  power outage  recharge  RFMA Gives  Benchmarking  electrical outage  heat exchangers  irrigation  irrigation systems  RFMA national conference  Spring start ups  Vacation  Vendor management  ADA  Asset management  Best Practices  booths  Coil cleaning  Disaster Management 

Daylight Saving Time Actions

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hello fellow RFMA members,

Most of the United States changed their clocks last weekend and are now on daylight savings time. If not done already, this is a good time to send out a message to your stores to check the clock settings on their programmable thermostats, security system, and time clocks for all exterior lighting and signage. This is also a good time of the year to check the roof drains for proper water flow ensuring they are not clogged. On a personal side, you can reprogram your t-stat at home and checkthe time clock settings for your sprinkler system. Lastly, but most importantly, replace the batteries in all your smoke and carbon monoxide detection alarms.

Have a great day!!

Dover and out.

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RFMA Website

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hello RFMA members,

Have you checked out the RFMA website lately? It has evolved over time to provide great information to our membership. Some of the areas are:

- Forums. Have a question? Check out the FM and Industry Exchange Forums to interact with other peers or industry professionals.

- Vendor/Member search. Need a contractor? Need to contact a member? Check out the directory.

- Committees. Want to get more involved with RFMA? Join a committee.

- RFMA Gives. Check out what RFMA vendor and restaurant members have generously donated at several non profit homeless organizations over the past few years.

- Education. Want to learn more about what facilities professionals need to be better at their jobs? Check out the CRFP learning modules. Look into getting certified.

- Conference education. Review the presentations from past annual conferences.

- PM scopes of work. Need written information for store PM proposals? Check the documents for HVAC, fire suppression, greasetrap pumping, and hood cleaning.

- Facilitator Magazine. Read current or past magazine articles.

- Industry links. Need to review an equipment manufacturer operations manual? Click on the links provided for all major restaurant equipment providers.

These are just some of the areas where there is great information available. Check out our website. Let us know what additional information you'd like to see posted. We are here to help.


Dover and out !

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Spring is Coming

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hello fellow RFMA members,

If you live on the east coast or other areas of the country with a boatload of snow on the ground, it may be hard to believe but Spring is coming. With the warmer weather there are several areas where inspections and actions are required to protect and prolong the life of company assets. Now is the time to begin preparation for warmer weather in these areas:

- HVAC's, spring is the time to have all a/c's professionally serviced. All coils need to be chemically cleaned for optimal performance. Dirty coils will use up to 40% more energy. Refrigeration pressures need to be checked to ensure there was no leakage over the cold months. Amps/volts need to be checked for full operation on the compressors, condenser and evaporator blower motors. All electrical connections need to be checked for tightness. Condensate drain lines need to be clean and free of debris and, lastly, all air filters need to be replaced.

- Roof, pick up all items that, if stepped on, may cause a leak. Clean out all roof drains for proper flow. This should be done monthly. Check all roof penetrations for any gaps and reseal if necessary.

- Parking lots, check for worn, discolored sealer. Reseal if required. Re-stripe the area(s) of the lot that have faded. Ensure ADA compliance if re-striping is necessary. Check for newly developed cracks and/or potholes. Repair as needed.

- Other, check irrigation system for proper operation. Replace broken/worn heads. Adjust controls for correct date/time and start/stop times. Check time clock settings for exterior lights to save money and keep the facility safe. Have landscaping trimmed and mulch installed.

These actions will ensure your facility will save utility dollars, keep your customers and employees comfortable and minimize liabilities.

Dover and out.

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Post Conference

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hello fellow RFMA members,

Just finished RFMA 2015 national conference in sunny San Diego. Wow!!! Another great event. Hopefully you were able to network with your peers and vendors, learn a few useful things from the educational sessions, and socialize with other RFMA members. Now is the time to follow-up on your experiences at the conference. Don't let the momentum fade as you return to your regular work routine. I'm sure there were several "take-aways" to assist your day to day facility responsibilities. Reach out to those vendors/suppliers/peers on new initiatives that will benefit you and/or your facilities by saving time and money. Our association has the tools to help. And, as John Foley so powerfully discussed in the Opening Session, always strive to  be the best and "#Glad to be here". Enjoy what you do and embrace change cause it is never going away.

Lastly, after a tremendous membership effort at ECTLC for RFMA Gives 2015, please volunteer for the project in 2016 in Nashville. Feel free to contact me anytime to discuss. Thanks to all for making this conference a success. Rest assured, we at RFMA will be working on making the next conference in Nashville even better!!

Dover and out!

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It's Almost Conference Time !!

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Updated: Monday, January 19, 2015

Hello RFMA members,

It's almost conference time! Are you ready? Have you registered? Have your travel arrangements done? This is one of the most exciting times of the year for RFMA. The conference gives everyone an opportunity to network, learn, and investigate what is available to either save your company money or make your life easier. I've attended other facility conferences and none of them measure up to ours. It's designed only for the restaurant facility professional. For a more efficient conference, do a little homework. Download the free conference RFMA App. Check out all the great education sessions. Are you looking for better energy management, implementing a sustainability program, or looking at finding new contractors? Review the exhibitors and their locations on the conference floor. With all the booths, it may be a bit overwhelming, requiring a game plan. Make sure to sign up for the Restaurant Roundtable as it provides a good opportunity to network with other local FM's in your geographical area. It's a great time to discuss issues that are going on. Assistance may be needed on sustainability, ADA, or other code enforcement items. 

Last, but not least, have fun. There's no secrets in what we do. We're not sharing recipes, just facility best practices!!

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

See you soon in sunny San Diego!!

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Protecting Pipes in Fridgid Conditions

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Updated: Monday, January 5, 2015

Hello RFMA members,

Currently, the nation is getting hit with sub-freezing conditions. Ensure your pipes are protected from freezing. Change all t-stat settings to a minimum of 65 degrees at night or leave the daytime setting alone. Eliminate all night setback functions. If possible, open all areas (cabinet doors, if available) to expose water lines on exterior walls to increase interior heated air to the lines. If temperatures are forecast below 0 degrees, keep all faucets on to a regular steady drip for both the hot and cold lines. Insulate all pipes that are exposed. Use heat tape if necessary on problem area lines or position a heat source (lamp or fan) towards these areas. Turn off all exterior irrigation equipment and drain lines. Disconnect hoses from the spigot and install a cone type insulated cover over it.

It will cost a few extra dollars to protect the lines but will save thousands in repairs if the lines were to freeze.

Any comments or additional actions would be appreciated.

Dover and out.

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Happy Holidays !!

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Updated: Thursday, December 18, 2014

To all fellow RFMA members,

As I am currently off spending time with my family, everyone here at RFMA wishes a very merry Christmas and happy New Years to all our wonderful members!! I sincerely hope you are able to spend some of the holidays with family and your facilities issues are few.

Thank you for all you do in our industry !

Dover and out.


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Asset Tracking

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How do you track your assets (equipment)? This is very important in the repair versus replace decision making. In today's competitive economic climate, asset tracking information must be available. Information on each asset in every restaurant should include the following:

- When it was purchased (age) and placed in service

- Initial cost

- Depreciation time (yrs)

- Internal asset ID number (if available), manufacturer, model & serial numbers

- Dollar amount left on the books

- History of R&M charges including date, cost, and description of each repair

Most companies have internal systems that provide this information or have a CMMS, which does the same. Some restaurants do not have the accounting platforms or resources available but obtaining and maintaining this important info is critical in making proper equipment R&M decisions. The costs to establish asset tracking and maintain the data are low compared to what potentially could be wasted by incorrect equipment repair/replace decisions. There are several methods to implement tracking. Discussions with internal (or external) accounting personal will be needed to input the proper data. If the process cannot be handled internally, external resources will be required. There are numerous tracking systems in the marketplace from relatively inexpensive tracking software to full blown CMMS. Analyzing current R&M and capital spending will need to be completed to benchmark costs and trends. Information from current local equipment repair service companies also needs to be gathered on historical repair spending on each piece of equipment. Most service companies should be able to provide this information at no charge and may be able to establish a tracking program at little or no cost. They may even be able to input data provided by you, i.e., initial purchase price, age of equipment, depreciation schedules, etc. It never hurts to check. They should be looking out for your equipment and have already established repair data. In any case some type of tracking system has to be available.

Would like to hear back from FM's on how this is handled within your organization. Thanks for your time.

Dover and out!

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Disaster Management

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Updated: Monday, November 24, 2014

Hello RFMA members,

It's almost Thanksgiving and hopefully your workloads have slowed a bit from the summer months. This time of year may present a small window of opportunity to get caught up on 2014 projects or begin planning the 2015 first quarter jobs. It may also be a good time to review any programs or initiatives that need revisiting, like Disaster Management. Disasters consists of one of the following:

- Tornado's

- Hurricanes

- Floods

- Earthquakes

- Fires / Wildfires

- Ice & snow storms

Planning is the single most important item for protecting your employees, customers, and assets. Planning areas are:

- How to prepare

- How to minimize the effects

- Appropriate response(s)

- Recovery

Preparing includes having facility protection supplies like shutters, plywood, generators and having your local contractor lined up to install these. Additional emergency items to have ready are flash lights, drinking water, stocked First Aid Kit, 2-way radios, extra cellphone batteries, and even cash reserves. The timing of putting these items into action needs to be established long before the actual disaster arrives. Communication and who makes the decisions is crucial. All plans need input and buy-in from internal departments, i.e., Operations, HR, IT, Food Safety, Legal, Communications, Facilities, etc. A well conceived plan will assist in the decision making required at critical points during the disaster. Plans need to be practiced periodically to familiarize everyone what exactly is expected and revised accordingly.

Implementation of the recovery part of the plan included who makes "on the ground" decisions. Supplies and equipment should be in place and ready to mobilize. Contractors should be lined up and ready to go. Ensure the facility remains safe. Communications to local public officials needs to be established to acquire permits, food safety sign offs, etc. It is always the goal to be re-opened ASAP as long as the food, facilities, employees, and customers are safe.

Ensure your company has the proper insurance protection. Most policies do not cover flood or earthquake damage.

There is a large amount of Disaster Management available on the Internet. I recommend "Open for Business", provided by the Institute for Business and Home Safety at: or the "Emergency Action Plan for Retail Food Establishments" at:

Have a great Thanksgiving!!

Dover and out.

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Slips and Falls

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hello RFMA members,

Today's post is on Risk Management dealing specifically with slips and falls within the restaurants. There are numerous available resources online for comprehensive information on how to avoid falls. This article will deal with only some of the easiest and least expensive methods in prevention. In today's litigious environment, it benefits everyone to minimize the liability associated with slips and falls. As we all know, a quick slip by a customer or employee can cost thousands in legal and compensation expenses and expose the restaurant to higher insurance premiums. With winter approaching, or here in some areas, this is generally the highest risk time for falls. Some simple items to implement are as follows:

- Floor mats. The most effective and cheapest way to remove moisture from guests entering the building is by placing entrance mats down in all doorways. Make sure mats are kept clean and ensure they have the proper high-traction backing to prevent slippage. For kitchen or other high moisture areas, use non-slip matting. Check with your local janitorial service for OSHA approved products.

- Floor cleaning chemicals. Never use a wax or polish of any kind to clean floors. It's generally recommended to use an enzyme type "grease eating" chemical which, when used properly, will remove a large portion of grease from the floor surface. It must be applied correctly as it's application is different from most floor cleaning chemicals. Use only NFSI (National Floor Safety Institute) certified cleaning products.

- Proper floor cleaning techniques. Ensure the staff or cleaning crews are educated in the floor cleaning process. Too many times I have seen the same mops which are used to clean the BOH being used in the FOH which simply transfers the grease from the back to the front. Use different mops for different areas. Color coding the mops may help in this area.

- Purchase several "Caution: Wet Floor" signs and place them strategically in high traffic/moisture areas to alert customers of potential slip areas. This will also keep the staff focused on these areas and will assist fast clean ups.

- Repair torn or buckled mats and/or carpet immediately.

- Require all employees to wear non-slip footwear.

There are numerous RFMA vendors that can assist with minimizing the slip/fall liability within your restaurants. I suggest reaching out and having them audit a few facilities for their recommendations. It should be a free service but could potentially save thousands of dollars.

Thanks for your time.

Dover and out.

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