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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 

Educational Calls

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hello RFMA Members,

On Monday, May 21st, we had a Peer to Partner call on "Tax Changes That Affect Restaurant Capital Spending". The call explained the new recently approved changes in capital investment and depreciation as it pertains to the restaurant industry. The new law enables most capital projects to be fully written off (depreciated) in one year rather than amortized over the several years. Companies can save large amount of dollars in tax savings which can then be reinvested in additional capital projects. With this new law, the only real negative is the increased cash flow due to higher than anticipated spending. Discussions then centered on how to spend the newly available funds efficiently to protect the Brand and company assets. Most added projects should be concentrated on safety, high guest impact, and customer/employee comfort items like HVAC's, roofs, lighting, etc. For proper buy in, other internal departments need to be involved in all phases of the initiation and approval process. Restaurant facilities professionals need to be ready to make suggestions and complete projects quickly. To do this, they should have up to date store audit information and projects can be prioritized accordingly with values given from 1-5. Proper ROI analysis is essential in getting facilities projects considered and approved.

It was a good call with great input from the participants. For information on the tax law article, click on the following:

http://www.nrn.com/news/tax-bill-could-pave-way-large-scale-restaurant-renovations

For information on what capital projects are approved, click on the following: http://www.section179.org/property_that_qualifies_for_section_179/.

There are several other Peer to Partner and Peer to Peer calls coming up during the rest of the year. Check out the event calendar on our website. They provide a great opportunity to learn on different topics what your peers do to tackle their opportunities and challenges. These calls are free and only take  up an hour of your time. I highly recommend them.

Any comments, 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:  capital spending  Tax Changes That Affect Restaurant Capital Spendin 

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Emerging Trends - Smart Buildings

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hello RFMA Members,

Do you know what the term "Smart Building" means? It's been around for about a decade and used frequently in our industry in regards to new and retrofit building technologies that connect facility lighting, HVAC, security, signage, and equipment together in an integrated, dynamic, functional way to minimize energy and maintenance costs. With the time constraints put on restaurant facility managers today, "smart" building systems are an emerging trend that will be a staple in restaurant facility design and operations for a long, long time. I'm currently doing research in preparation of writing my next "Emerging Trends" article for the August/September edition of our Facilitator magazine and would like to partner with a restaurant facility professional or a vendor member that has experience in this area. Looking at what technologies are available, how they are used, and what the ROI is important to everyone who maintains restaurants.

Would like to discuss with possible partners for a story asap. If interested, please contact me direct at jeff@rfmaonline.com or call me at (972) 805-0905, x-3.

Thanks in advance!

Dover and out.


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


Tags:  energy savings  integrated systems  Smart Buildings 

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Disaster Planning

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Hello RFMA members,

The hurricane season officially starts June 1st. Are you ready? Is your Disaster Management plan up to date? Do your store Operations team know what to do along with your service providers? This is a good time to formally review your plans, practice them, and make any required changes. We had a great Disaster Management Peer to Peer call last week in discussing how to start a plan, what references to use in creating it, what specific disasters can occur, along with who should be involved and how to practice and modify the plan accordingly. Several types of disasters were identified: Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, fires, terrorism, power outages, etc. Most of the discussions centered on the Plan as this is the most important item for protecting employees, customers, and company assets. A well developed plan minimizes crucial decision times, which is critical. This blog obviously cannot cover all the requirements but a few items to consider in a comprehensive plan are as follows:

- How to prepare

- Minimizing the effects

- Proper response

- Recovery

Preparing positions your facilities to handle any event by having protection supplies like shutters, plywood, generators, and contractors lined up ready to act. Flash lights, drinking water, first aid kits, 2-way radios, extra cellphone batteries, and spare cash also will come in handy. All great plans will need the input of several internal departments like Operations, Legal, Food Safety, Facilities, etc. The Response and Recovery sections should include who makes on the ground decisions as supplies should already be in place. Prior discussions with local public food safety officials should also be considered as this is a huge potential liability. Obviously the goal is to reopen ASAP so long as the food, facilities, employees and customers are safe.

The plan needs to be practiced periodically to familiarize everyone what is exactly is expected. It can then be revised accordingly. It remains a "living, breathing, document". Also ensure your company has the proper insurance protection as some polices do not include flood or earthquake damage.

There is a large amount of Disaster Management resources available on our website in the Resource Library in the Facilities Toolkit section and there is a Disaster Management Online Learning Module in our CRFP Prep Course. Additionally, there are several great articles in our Facilitator magazine. Check them out. It pays to be prepared.

Dover and out.

 

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

 

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Peer to Partner Call

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hello RFMA members,

Recently we held a Peer to Partner call on the topic of "HVAC and Spring Start Ups". It was a great call with discussions on one of the most important aspects of restaurant facility maintenance. There is some thought throughout our industry that spring PM equipment maintenance may be the single most important item to complete each year. Data reflects how PM's consistently and substantially reduce equipment R&M spending. Chemically cleaning the a/c coils along with belt and air filter replacements are the main tasks for RTU's. Spring is also a good time to check the condition of the heat exchanger as if it needs replacement, it can be budgeted and completed during the warmer months. Roof maintenance discussions were held concerning developing a "roofing checklist" for items to be surveyed once or twice per year. Some restaurants use their own personnel to complete while others use a handyman, local roofer, or even their HVAC service company. Stores should always maintain a "roofing log" for whomever goes on it which will help determine who may be responsible for items left on the roof or causing damage. Parking lot preventive tasks were talked about with the general consensus of the need to seal and stripe every 3-5 years depending on lot conditions and geographical area. It was also noted that crack-fill should be done yearly to prevent a major repair and/or replacement expense in the future. This will minimize water getting under the surface which, over time, will certainly cause damage. Some discussions were held on landscape maintenance which centered on having professional companies versus in-house personnel supervise and complete the necessary tasks. There were several restaurant members on the call which noted overall landscape contract management was controlled by corporate rather than at the store level which resulted in better looking and more consistent exteriors. Lastly, exterior lighting and signage PM's were discussed but most do not have a normal schedule for this due to the fact of switching over to LED bulbs minimized the need for regular bulb replacements.

The Peer to Partner and Peer to Peer calls continue to provide great educational content for protecting your valuable store assets. I recommend engaging in all these calls when time permits. They are worth it.

Dover and out.


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


Tags:  Education  Peer to Partner  RFMA 

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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. 


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


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.


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


This post has not been tagged.

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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.


Jeff Dover, CRFP 

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

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.


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

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.


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

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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