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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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Freezing Weather is Coming!!

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Updated: Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

It's early December and the temperatures are finally cooling off. Soon freezing weather will be here for awhile. Are your stores ready for the deep freeze? The cost of not be prepared is very expensive both in dollars and potential lost sales due to restaurant shutdowns. Now is the time to ensure your stores are ready. Several simple actions can be implemented to prevent a plumbing or other facility disaster and keep the restaurants warm and customers and employees safe. Following is a brief checklist to keep Mother Nature from ruining your winter:

- All interior exposed plumbing on, or near, exterior walls above ceilings, and in attics need to be fully insulated for protection from freezing. It's very inexpensive to install pipe insulation. In extreme cold areas, use heat tape and/or a heat source (lamp or fan) to radiate or blow heated air to the effected pipes.

- If possible, keep cabinet doors open to exposed water lines in, or on, exterior walls.

- If temperatures are forecast to fall below 0 degrees, keep faucets on to a regular steady drip for both the hot and cold lines. This will reduce the chance of the pipe(s) freezing.

- Turn off and drain all exterior irrigation lines and equipment.

- Disconnect exterior hoses from their spigots and install an insulated, cone type cover over them.

- If temperatures are expected to remain below freezing for a prolonged period, reprogram the thermostat settings to a minimum of 65 degrees at night and eliminate the night setback feature. In extreme cold conditions, you may want to leave the daytime t-stat setting alone all day and night until warmer weather arrives.

- Ensure all roof drains are clean and not clogged.

- Have the HVAC furnaces professionally checked for proper operation. Service immediately if needed.

- Install weather stripping on all exterior doors and windows. Make sure bottom door sweeps are in place and in good condition.

These actions will cost a few dollars but could prevent a major expenditure if a pipe freezes or a HVAC unit goes down caused by freezing conditions. The money spent is well worth it.

Have a safe winter.

Dover and out.

Tags:  cold weather  Freezing pipes  irrigation  plumbing  restaurants  winter conditions 

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How's Your Equipment Doing?

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

Well summer is almost half way over. We've had another hot one in the Dallas area again. Do you know how your stores are doing? Equipment, especially refrigeration, take a beating during the hot summer months. It's extremely important to regularly monitor it's performance and condition. Failing to do so may put your store operations at risk by a main equipment failure. Mid summer is always a good time to see how things are going. A/C units are the number 1 priority item to check on. They have been running hard for the past 2 months. When was the last time the filters were changed? What condition were they in? Does the frequency of changing need to be more often during the summer? It's a very small price to pay to be overly conservative on this which minimizes a potential major failure. We've all had to deal with the emergency compressor or blower motor replacement when it's brutally hot out. It not only could potentially drive guests away with a hot dining room but if it's a BOH unit, the employees suffer. Take into account your local HVAC/R vendor is in their busiest period and it may take longer to repair than normal.

Obviously you can't be at all your stores to check on equipment conditions so it's imperative you have a plan with your local service provider to plan an extra visit or 2 to review equipment conditions. Besides A/C's some other items to check on are as follows:

- Irrigation controls: How is the landscaping and/or grass look? Still alive? Is the irrigation system operating properly? Is it coming on, turning off, and running the proper amount of time? Make adjustments as required. Are there any local water restrictions in place? Are all the heads working? Unless the area is in full drought mode, dead landscaping is not appealing to incoming customers. Keep it watered.

- A/C stats: Are the settings still correct for on/off times and the correct temperatures? Is the night setback operating? Some of you can remotely mange this. For those who can't, have store managers check and/or the HVAC/R vendor take a look at when they are there changing filters.

- Refrigeration: When was the last time the coils were cleaned, pressures checked? Summer is a killer of refrigeration equipment. Don't want to lose a walk-in during this time. Another high priority item for your contractor to check on.

- Roof drains: Late spring and summer produces strong storms. Are the drains clean and operating properly? Keep then free of debris.

- Exterior lighting: Are the parking lot and building lights coming on and turning off at proper times? Any bulbs need replaced? Very important for security's sake.

Summertime is brutal on your stores. PM's need to be completed and in a timely manner to save energy, R&M expenses, and minimize security liabilities.Stay cool!

Dover and out.

Tags:  HVAC  irrigation  refrigeration  roof drains  summer equipment check up 

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Hot Weather is Quickly Approaching

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hello RFMA members,

Only a couple weeks till Memorial Day which means warm weather is right around the corner. In some cases, it's already here. It's now crunch time for your stores to be prepared to handle the hot weather. Are they ready? This time of year provides the last opportunity to ensure your restaurants are ready. As a final checklist of items to review, the following list summarizes tasks that should be completed prior to the summer:

- A/C units: The most important item to have professionally PM'd. A well running unit will save utility dollars and ensure customers and employees alike are both comfortable in the restaurant.

- Roofs: Now is the time to check for leaks and clean out all roof drains prior to the summer storms. Also, pick up any loose screws and other items that could potentially cause a leak if stepped on.

- Parking lot/sidewalks: Check for cracks and possible shifting of underneath soil to ensure there are no tripping hazards. Summer is normally a busy time of the year and preventing any slip/falls is of great benefit. Also, check for proper striping and correct any ADA issues accordingly.

- Carpet/floor cleaning: After a cold, wet winter & spring, have all carpeted areas deep cleaned to remove embedded dirt to provide a safe environment to the customers and employees.

- Tile & grout: Warmer weather will normally increase the humidity and moisture level. Check grout lines to see if they need to be scraped and repaired. This will minimize chance of moisture getting below the tiles, holding mold in check and extend the life of the floor.

 -Doors: Warm weather means pests are active and more likely to enter the facility. Check to ensure sweeps are installed and in good condition.

- Air balance: Check to see the restaurant is somewhat positively balanced, which means when opening an exterior door, a little air rushes out of the building rather than in. This is very important to correct as a negative store will waste energy cooling dollars and make it uncomfortable for guests seated by the doors.

- Building sealing: Check all windows and exterior doors for proper sealing. Recaulk if necessary.

 -Irrigation: Check proper on/off times for exterior irrigation and spray head operation. Replace any broken heads as required.

- For good "branding", replace any stained ceiling tiles which may have been damaged from leaks over the winter.

Hot weather is very tough on restaurant facilities. Completing these tasks will protect your brand and assets and hopefully minimize the emergency calls this summer. Have a safe season!

Dover and out.

Tags:  a/c preventive maintenance  air balnce  carpet cleaning  hot weather  irrigation  roof leaks 

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