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From the Inside Out
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A blog specifically created for RFMA intended to provide pertinent information on protecting company assets.

 

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Conference Roundtable Discussion - Franchisee Challenges

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hello RFMA Members,

We understand that as restaurant facility professionals you all have some similar challenges within your restaurants. We also understand that our Franchisee members have some additional challenges that they have to face. At our RFMA 2019 Annual Conference in Austin we had specific restaurant roundtables just for our Franchisee members to cover and discuss their specific needs and challenges. 

Below is a recap of some of their discussions:

  • PM contracts - Some noted they were only having their HVAC equipment PM'd twice per year while most others noted the "normal" frequency of four times per year. The lower frequency will save money in the short term but the risk of higher R&M costs. Some noted the PM frequency decision was made by other internal departments. Most commented that periodic filter changes was separate from the PM contracts.
  •  Ice machine preventive maintenance - This was consistently being completed every three months by the group of Franchisees. Restaurants having in-house service technicians were saving money by having them change out the water filters as opposed to having an outside service provider. Others noted store managers completed this task and the filters were being forced ship to each location which then alerted the managers the need to replace.
  • National vs. Regional Vendors - Franchisees with restaurants in a smaller geographical area tended to use regional vendors more then national vendors. Others liked using national vendors to minimize the number of contacts to keep up with and standardize the scope of work for each service. Seemed easier for them to supervise fewer contractors.
  • Challenges facing Franchisees 
    -Getting corporate specifications on anything. Hard to keep up with corporate initiatives for equipment, building, and operational changes.. 
    -Lack of consistent communication between corporate and franchisees.
    -Franchisees are sometimes held to a different standard versus the corporate locations. Standards need to be set and communicated to all parties and each needs to be held to the same metrics.
    -Some noted the attitudes of corporate were teetering on being arrogant and felt as if they were looking or talking down to their franchise partners.
    -Lack of franchisee involvement and input in the decision making process for new initiatives. Need to have more input from the franchisee community for any accounting, operational, and construction issues.

These were some of the major items noted in our roundtable discussion. Due to the current conditions in our industry with some of the larger chains going to a full franchisee model, it's imperative that the line of communication and decision making is at a high standard between corporate and franchisees. Both parties need to work together to protect their overall brand.

If you are a Franchisee and would like to continue this conversation with other RFMA Franchisees members, make sure to join our Franchisee Group within SocialLink and look to the Franchisee Forum within our Restaurant Group. Plus, check out our RFMA Event Calendar for specific Franchisee Focus Peer to Peer Calls. 

If you have any comments or questions, let me know.

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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Carbon Dioxide Monitoring

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Hello RFMA Members,

We had a great webinar recently, moderated by Josh Pringle of CO2Meter, Inc., discussing the new regulations for carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring in the restaurants. This is a deadly gas that naturally occurs in carbonation, fermentation, geologically, and respiration. It's colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Josh's presentation noted three (3) relatively recent International and National Fire and Fire Protection codes that are now requiring buildings to install CO2 continuous monitoring and/or ventilation. The 2018 International Fire Code, Section 5307 states that any facility with 100 lbs. or more of CO2 have continuous monitoring or continuous ventilation in the space with an initial alarm set for 5000 ppm (parts per million). The National Board Inspection Code 2105, Part 1 Supplement calls for continuous monitoring with interior and exterior alarms starting at 5000 ppm and a second alarm at 30,000 ppm. At this point, California and 29 additional states have incorporated the new codes but the inspections are not consistent throughout each state as it is up to the each area's AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction). Enclosed rooms, closets, and draft beer coolers will require monitoring.

This new codes require proactive action. This is a dangerous gas that can kill. One incident in a restaurant potentially could destroy your Brand. It's time to budget for the equipment to protect your employees and customers. Don't wait on local inspectors to provide violation notices. Yes, this will require a capital plan and investment but would pale in comparison to what the costs could be if an incident occurred. Some of you are already ahead of this but the rest need to begin the process asap. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me direct at (972) 805-0905, x-3 or at jeff@rfmaonline.com.

Dover and out.

 

 


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


Tags:  Carbon Dioxide  Monitoring 

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Are Your Stores Ready for Hot Weather?

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Hello RFMA members,

Winter is over in most parts of the country and hot weather is fast approaching. Soon your restaurant's A/C's will be running all the time. Are your stores ready for another long, warm season? 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 the units professionally serviced for preventive maintenance. Filter changes, coil and condensate line cleaning are a must along with changing the belts. A well running unit will save utility dollars and ensure customers and employees alike are both comfortable in the restaurant.

- Roofs: Spring and summer storms will bring items on the roofs that could potentially damage its surface and/or clog the drains. Now is the time for a roof check. Ensure all drains are free of material and flowing. Also, pick up any loose screws and other items that could potentially cause a leak if stepped on.

- Parking lot/sidewalks: One of the most expensive assets that needs to be maintained throughout the year. 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 extending the life of the floor.

 -Doors: Warm weather increases pest activity which means they are 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. Have you service company check on this during their PM visits.

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

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

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.

 


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

Tags:  HVAC  preventive maitenance  roofs  summer start ups 

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Conference RoundTable Discussion - Plumbing (Repairs & Odors)

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2019

Hello RFMA Members,

This post provides brief notes on another one of the Restaurant RoundTable discussions which took place during the national conference in Austin covering 'Plumbing - Repairs & Odors. Following are noted points:

-Many noted their most common problems are cracks in pipes underground or in slab and in vent stacks particularly in restrooms. The common repair is to have a camera inserted into the lines for photos to determine exactly what is wrong and make the necessary repairs. Camering the line has proved very beneficial in terms of lowering the cost of repairs along with minimizing the amount of time on the issue.

- Discussions on utilizing locking floor drain covers with notes indicating the covers are sometimes not replaced properly when line maintenance is completed. Many stated their clogged line issues were reduced using the locking covers.

- Periodic line jetting is done in some of the participants restaurants but not all. Some give their local operators control of when to schedule while others handle their schedules thru defined contracts which are handled by facilities department personnel.

- - Potential dried P-Traps were noted being the cause of odor issues throughout the restaurant. Ensure all p-traps are "primed" accordingly by periodically pouring water down them.

- Another noted odor causing issue is a broken seal on the toilet wax ring which is normally caused by a loose toilet. Ensure connections are tight.

- Vent line odors can be caused by improper installation in new stores where the lines are not installed thru the roof and away from HVAC air inlets. Some are even vented to the space above the dropped ceiling. Repair, add additional line, or relocate as necessary.

- Always perform a smoke test prior to opening up a wall.

- Some noted after installing charcoal filters in their vent lines, they froze causing a clog.

- Installing pipe lining in corroded cast iron pipes has proven successful in some applications.

These were some of the major items noted in the RoundTable. Plumbing issues can be tricky but with the new technology repairs are becoming less expensive and easier to determine. No one wants foul odors in their store. Any questions or 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:  broken pipes  cracked vents  drain covers  locking drain covers  Plumbing  p-traps  vent lines 

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Parking Lots

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Updated: Monday, March 25, 2019

Hello RFMA Members,

For most of the US, the cold winter is giving way to spring and warmer temperatures. After another cold season, this is a great time to survey and review the conditions of your parking lots and sidewalks. The freezing temps can literally destroy a parking lot and with it, increase the liabilities with injuries and minor car repairs. Parking lots are one of the most expensive assets to protect and maintain. They are designed to last up to 40 years but rarely do they make it that long. They are one of the first items customers notice when arriving at your store and a good looking, well maintained lot protects your Brand, ensures safety, and minimizes liabilities related to lot deficiencies. Normal wear and cracks will appear after the winter freezing conditions which provides the perfect time to make relatively minor repairs before they turn into major ones. Items to look for when surveying are:

- Potholes

- Cracks, including “alligator cracking”

- Low spots or depressions

- High spots

- Long runs of cracks, noting crack width(s)

- Oil spots

- Differences, or fading of color of asphalt

- Ruts, especially in high traffic areas, i.e., in front of dumpster

- Curb damage

Once surveys are completed, repairs need to be prioritized with the most important items being customer/employees safety issues, ADA (striping & slopes), potential car damage areas, and shifting surfaces. High traffic areas should always take priority as they represent a higher level of potential future damage and liability. The cause of damage has to be determined with factors being considered as water intrusion/cracking, inadequate draining, soil shifting or settling, etc. Repair estimates then can be done to determine an overall budget. In geographical areas when you have several locations and issues requiring the same types of repair, grouping the projects when bidding will lower the overall cost. The types of repairs required for the specific issues is a bit much for this blog to cover but feel free to discuss with your paving contractor. Cracks, ruts, potholes, and pavement discolorations all have specific repair procedures. Seal-coating should be done every 3-5 years and will significantly slow the lot deterioration, keeping moisture away from base material.

Yearly maintenance should not be ignored as the consequences can be very expensive to fix. Partnering with a qualified RFMA paving company will ensure your lots are well maintained. Take advantage of their knowledge

Dover and out.

 


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

Tags:  crack fill  Parking lots  sealcoating  sidewalks  striping 

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Roundtable Discussions

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Hello RFMA Members,

Well, it was another great conference with non stop activities for learning, sharing, networking, and socializing with others in the restaurant facility industry. We had two very good Restaurant Roundtable sessions that resulted in a lot of great sharing of best practices between facility professionals. Special thanks to the RoundTable Facilitators who kept the conversations on track and everyone engaged. Thought I would share a few of the notes from the tables. The following condensed comments were noted from one of the Franchise RoundTables:

PM's

- PM Contracts, 4 times per year vs 2 times. Lowering the number of PM's will normally increase the equipment R&M spending. Some areas can be 2 times per year, i,e., hot-side equipment.

- PM program should be separate from normal filter changes in HVAC units

- Ice machine PM's should be completed  every 3 months (4 times per year)

- Negotiate regular service techs changing filters but not as an additional cost.

National vs Regional Contractors

- Advantage to purchase equipment from national providers but negotiate who completed warranty repairs as some restaurant companies have their own service technicians

- Bid out all services. For smaller regional chains, it may make sense to use local rather than national vendors for certain services. Look at future possible expansion of territories that may factor into the decision.

Difficulties of being a Franchise

- Obtaining corporate specifications on equipment, construction, and design parameters

- Lack of good communication between corporate and franchisees

- Lack of long term vision by corporations

- Lack of cooperation (listening) to new ideas from franchisees

These were just some of the takeaways from this RoundTable. I will include additional thoughts and notes throughout the year. Appreciate all who committed to this knowledge sharing event.

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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Going To Be Hot Soon. Are Your Restaurants Ready?

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Hello RFMA members,

Even though it's the end of February and still cool, it's time to begin the warm weather transition. Are your stores prepared for the hotter temperatures? Are your contractors ready to get the equipment preventative maintenance items completed? There are several tasks 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 preparations and ensure the store is ready for the summer months. Following are areas and equipment that need to be addressed:

- 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, saving 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 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. This is one of the most expensive assets and is commonly overlooked on periodic maintenance.

- 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 have deteriorated from the long, cold winter. Check for any potholes, cracks, and alligatoring that may cause vehicle damage or pose a safety risk (trip & fall). 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 and also reduces liability when the lot is striped properly.

- Other: Check for proper time clock settings for all exterior lighting and ensure all bulbs are working. The long darker winter months enabled all exterior lights to be on longer periods of time. 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. If I missed anything, feel free to 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:  HVAC  irrigation systems  parking lots  roofs  Summer preparedness 

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What Did You Takeaway From The Conference?

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Thursday, February 14, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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 Fairmont rooftop pool deck to the closing party at the Coppertank Event Center, there was plenty of opportunity to have fun and network with your peers and vendors. Hope you took advantage of the great educational sessions and spent plenty of time on the exhibit floor checking out new vendors and technologies that can make you more efficient.

During the Opening session Jim McKnight provided numerous examples and ways to create a "rocking" culture within your own company. It starts with you. Make an effort, make it work. You, along with your co-workers will appreciate each other more than you ever had and the entire organization will profit from it. As Jim said, EVERY employee changes the "culture". Be the positive one and reap the benefits.

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 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.

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 Denver better than Austin.

Dover and out.


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

 

Tags:  Education sessions  National Conference  RFMA  RFMA Gives 

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Only a Few Weeks till Austin!

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Updated: Monday, December 10, 2018

Hello RFMA members,

Only a few weeks until the conference in Austin. Have you done your research? This is the most exciting time of the year for RFMA and we are 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. What educational sessions are you registered for? Rooftop Unit Improvements, Waste, Recycling,Iot, Removing Humidity from the Dishroom? 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, Jim Knight, a former Hard Rock executive, explains how to create and/or maintain an exciting organizational structure and Roy Firestone who not only has a great sense of humor but can sing and his impressions are spot on.

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

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How are Your Contractors Performing?

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Updated: Monday, December 10, 2018

Hello RFMA members,

Hope your 2019 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 performance. With the conference right around the corner, will you be looking for new or replacement vendors? 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.



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

 

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