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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 

R&M Benchmarking Survey

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Updated: Monday, June 8, 2015

Hello RFMA members,

Today's post is geared towards our restaurant facility professionals. The Resource Committee developed a short Benchmarking survey that is currently available for participation. The survey was created for all restaurant members to determine what the average costs are, in percentages, versus total sales for various R&M categories. The results can be used to see how your organization is doing in your restaurant segment compared to others.

Thus far, participation has been very low. We (RFMA) need your help in making this a success as our membership has consistently requested this type of information. The objective of Benchmarking is to determine what and where improvements are needed, analyze how other companies achieve better performance and implement changes within your organization to obtain better results. RFMA needs your help to educate and promote the advancement of the restaurant facility professional. Please click on the following link and complete the short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SHVWYQ9.

Thanks!!

Dover and out.

Tags:  benchmarking  categories  R&M  survey 

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NRA Show

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Updated: Friday, May 22, 2015

Hello RFMA members,

Just returned from Chicago while attending the NRA (National Restaurant Association) Show. Wow, that is one huge event. Over 2000 booths and very good education sessions. The show lasts almost a week. It is really geared towards operations personnel but there is a lot for facilities professionals. The restaurant industry is in good shape and looks to have a great 2015. There were several new products that assist in maintaining your facilities. There are wireless temperature sensors that are easily installed and programmed to monitor refrigeration temps and send out alerts when needed, potentially saving substantial dollars in product waste and minimizing food safety liabilities. There is new interior LED signage that is inexpensive and easy to install without the need of a licensed electrician. Sustainability booths were everywhere. I attended several sustainability education sessions learning what initiatives and programs are available to our industry. There was one restaurant in Chicago, "Sandwich Me In", where they have zero waste. Everything is either recycled or composted. Simply amazing. Can you imagine operating a restaurant never having a trash pick up? Sustainability is here to stay and will only get more important within the restaurant industry.  I'm excited to bring some of what I learned to our next conference in Nashville in 2016.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, let me know.

Dover and out.

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RFMA Gives 2016

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Updated: Monday, May 11, 2015

Hello RFMA members,

Today's post is about giving back. As most of you are aware, every year where RFMA holds their national conference, the membership donates equipment, materials, and time in assisting a local homeless or transitional living center in remodeling their facility(s) to help them serve their clientele better or provide an environment to assist additional people and families. Our membership has shown an amazing example of how to change people's lives for the better. This year we are working with a local facility, "The Journey Home" in Murfreesboro, TN. To view what this great organization does and what projects we are looking at, please subscribe to our RFMA Gives 2016 Blog. Here is the direct link to the RFMA Gives 2016 blog, http://www.rfmaonline.com/blogpost/1171788/RFMA-Gives-2016, you can access the blog there or you can visit www.rfmaonline.com and log into the website using your username and password. After logging in go to the “About Us” header on the tool bar and place your cursor over the RFMA Gives choice. You will then see the RFMA Gives 2016 blog appear. Once you have landed on the RFMA Gives 2016 page you can subscribe to the blog by clicking on the “Subscribe” button at the top of the blog page. This will allow you to receive email whenever there are new posts or updates on the blog.

Please get involved in this great charity event. You will not be disappointed. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at: jeff@rfmaonline.com or call me at (972) 805-0905, x-3.

Thank you !

Dover and out.

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Construction Design

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hello RFMA members,

Today's post is on facilities role and involvement with restaurant construction design for new builds and remodels. Unfortunately, in the past most facilities professionals were not deeply involved with new store or remodel designs. A lot of the design elements including equipment and finishes were specified by the architects and purchasing personnel. This sometimes led to cheap equipment that needed additional R&M dollars to maintain along with other materials that did not hold up under normal restaurant operating conditions. Thankfully, facilities upfront involvement has changed and now you have the chance to work with the architects and purchasing on specifying items that are economically beneficial in the long term. If you are not currently involved with design element specifications, I strongly urge you to get engaged as facilities recommendations can save your company money down the road. Some items to consider for new store construction design are as follows:

- Hood exhaust ductwork, if possible, ensure the ductwork only runs vertical straight up to the roof and fan. Minimize all horizontal runs and angles (turns). This will save in quarterly hood cleaning costs and offer a better opportunity to thoroughly clean the ductwork.

- Lighting. Use LED lighting wherever possible. It may be more expensive initially but will save substantial dollars in both energy and bulb replacement costs.

- Sustainability. This practice is here to stay. Embrace it and allocate the proper resources and equipment to either begin and fully utilize the components for sustainability programs.

- Energy management. At a minimum use programmable t-stats. If resources are available a complete EMS (energy management system) can be investigated for possible use. Use time clocks for all lighting. Install curtains for the walk in cooler and freezer.

- Landscaping. With the current and future water availability being an issue, specify plants, shrubs, and other material that requires only minimal watering and maintenance.

- Equipment. If possible, spec "Energy Star" rated equipment.

These are only a few suggestions. I would like to hear what additional items you and your company specify to ensure long term benefits as it relates to savings for energy, labor, janitorial, etc. Please let me know.

Thanks

Dover and out.

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Communications

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hello RFMA members,

Today's post is about communications. With all the responsibilities of facilities professionals today, effective communications is a must when dealing with store operations. How do you currently inform your managers of periodic maintenance? For instance, how do the stores know when their HVAC's PM's are scheduled? Does the contractor notify them? Do they notify you and then you communicate to the store? Do they notify both you and store personnel? There is no perfect method but I believe the best way is to always over communicate with all parties. The more they are informed about an impending project, the less chance of the vendor showing up and being unable to complete their task due to operational issues. Due to the large number of priorities for FM's, generally they must rely on their contractors to inform store operations and you of project dates, times, etc. Their communication should be consistent for all periodic work which will include, emails, phone calls, and even regular mail. They should be sent approximately a week in advance, giving managers time to prepare. This is extremely important for hood cleaners which normally arrive well after closing or in the middle of the night. Obviously the worst scenario is a vendor showing up and operations is either unprepared or not there. The work doesn't get completed and there may be costs involved as contractors have sent techs out to perform the service.

I would like to hear back from both FM's and vendors on what works for them. What is the best methods for the different types of jobs, i.e., hood cleaning, trap pumping, fire suppression, janitorial, HVAC, etc.? Please let me know.

Dover and out.

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Hood Cleaning

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hello RFMA members,

Facilities professionals number one priority is protecting company assets. Hood cleaning may be the most important preventative service completed in a restaurant. The majority of fires originate in the hood/ductwork cooking exhaust system. It is imperative the cleaning is completed professionally and in a timely manner. Obviously facilities personnel are not normally present at the time of cleaning but there are several follow up items that can be done to ensure the cleaning was done properly:

- KES (kitchen exhaust system) cleaning must be done at a minimum every three (3) months. Increased frequency is required if solid fuel (wood) is being burned underneath the hood.

-Photos, photos, photos. Contractor needs to provide before and after photos with their invoice and/or service report. FM's and/or store Operations need to review to ensure the hoods, ductwork, fusible links, and fans are being cleaned down to bare metal. Additionally all areas around the exhaust fans on the roof show satisfactorily cleaning. A certified KES contractor will be happy to provide these as it shows their techs are completing the work professionally.

- Contractor provides a report detailing the work completed and any cleaning issues encountered, i.e., long inaccessible duct runs that may need access panels installed, hinged curbs are required for the fans, etc.

- Contractor must provide a sticker (or certificate) showing date of service, name of service company, and area(s) not cleaned.

Remember, it is the restaurant owner's responsibility to ensure the KES is being cleaned correctly and at the proper interval. There are no short cuts in hood cleaning. It's a difficult job but can easily be accomplished by properly trained technicians.

Dover and out!

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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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