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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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The Learning Continues

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Updated: Monday, July 15, 2019

Hello RFMA Members,

Educational information continues within our association. Events are ongoing throughout the year. We just had a great Peer to Peer call this past Thursday covering 'Energy Management, LED Lighting, and Green Buildings'. Wayne Brayton, CRFP, from Sonic Restaurants, was the moderator and there were numerous great takeaways. Some of the highlights were as follows:

- Discussions on solar power as it's becoming more economical due to lower manufacturing costs, increased efficiencies, and potential rebates, making the ROI much better.

- Utilizing basic, common sense approach in saving valuable utility dollars by implementing restaurant education on proper turn on/off times for equipment and lights and correct temperature settings and night setbacks on t-stats.

- Restaurants normally need a minimum ROI of 2-3 years on energy initiatives.

- Water management is becoming more important and expensive. Increasing needs to control usage is becoming mainstream.

- Discussions on partnering with utility management companies that process invoices (gas, electric, water) for the stores and provide energy reports detailing utility usages for each location. The charge for this service is easily worth it at a few dollars per invoice as internal accounting personal's time can be reduced along with added value of reports showing high usage which will require investigation to determine what caused the spike which can minimize future costs by actionable items.

- Discussions on converting all exterior and interior lighting to LED which is one of the easiest "low hanging fruits" to implement for immediate cost savings.

- LED saves in electric & cooling costs, better overall lighting, and lower R&M expenses. Some manufacturers and installers are providing a labor and parts warranty for up to 50,000 hours per bulb. This is a deal that our industry needs to take advantage of.

- There is a website that provides all pertinent rebate information from local utilities for energy saving equipment. Feel free to access and use at: DSIREUSA.org.

- Always check with local electric providers to see if rebates are available for LED’s.

- Most lighting vendors will complete the proper paperwork to get the rebates. In some cases, the documentation is very complex, so this is a great service to take advantage of. Most companies provide this service free of charge as they are making money providing the bulbs and/or fixtures.

- Discussions on how to obtain a LEED rated building. Several different factors (LED, HVAC’s, increased insulation, Energy Star equipment, etc.) must be completed or implemented to receive the proper certification, or ranking. There are 40-50 different items that determine the type of ranking a building can receive, i.e., Gold, Silver, Platinum, etc.

- The process is complex and somewhat hard to understand. Most use a LEED certified architect and/or contractor to discuss what is required. Hard to complete on your own. Need to partner with a professional.

- Payback for the increased cost of building materials and equipment will need to be determined. In some cases, it’s very expensive with a relatively high ROI.

These calls always provide a good opportunity to learn from your peers and I recommend them highly. These are open discussion and only last up to one(1) hour. Some of the educational events forthcoming are:

- Peer to Peer call, on August 8th discussing "CMMS, IoT, and Workflow Automation"

- Restaurant RoundTable at Wendy's Headquarters in Columbus, Oh on August 6th covering "CMMS, Equipment Training for Operations, and R&M Cost Controls"

- Peer to Partner call on Sept. 16th discussing "Plumbing Maintenance"

Take advantage of this free learning. Professional development is one of the main goals of our association.

Feedback is always appreciated.

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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Tags:  Educational information  Energy management  Green buildings  LED lighting  utility usage 

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Vacation Time!!

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Hello RFMA members,

Summer is almost half over and I hope your emergencies are few. Summer is the time for vacations and it's your responsibility to take time off. Restaurant facility professionals are on call 24/7 every day of the year. It's a demanding job that can cause burnout if people do not take time for themselves and their family to relax and forget about their restaurants. Trust me, I've been there and sometimes it's simply overwhelming. For you and your organization, you must be able to get away and recharge. It will help both yourself and your company. It's been proven through many studies that employees in high pressure positions lose their productivity without any real time off. When taking vacation, take vacation. No checking email and definitely not answering your phone. You can easily be sucked back into emergencies which require follow-up and phone calls. Communication prior to your vacation is critical. Establish back-ups for your projects and complete an "out of office" automatic email notification. Talk to your supervisor and vendors who may be in the middle of your projects. Let critical individuals know you will not be available. I'm on vacation now in historic Philadelphia and enjoying every minute. Tomorrow is our nations Independence Day and I can't think of a better place to celebrate.

I know it sounds easier said than done but both you and your organization will benefit from your time off.

Have a safe rest of the summer.

Dover and out.



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

Tags:  refresh  time off  vacations 

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Hot Weather is Back!

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2019

Hello RFMA members,

Cool weather has long since disappeared. Summer is here again. It's already hit triple digits in many parts of the US and it's not even July yet. It is going to be another hot summer. How are your restaurants doing? Had any emergency calls in the past 20 minutes? Check out this Summer facilities checklist to keep emergency calls down and efficiency up!  

Check out the following items to ensure your stores are operating at an efficient level this Summer:

- Air balance: Check to see the restaurant is 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.

- PMs: When was the last PM completed on the HVAC units? When were the filters changed? Due to the longer run times during the summer, the frequency of filter changes may need to be increased. 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 in preparation of summer storms. Also, pick up any loose screws and other items that could potentially cause a leak if stepped on.

- Carpet/Floor Cleaning: After a wet 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.

- Parking Lot/Sidewalks: Check for cracks and possible shifting of underneath soil due to warm, dry weather 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.

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

- 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.

- Ceiling Tiles: For good "branding", replace any stained ceiling tiles which may have been damaged from leaks over the spring

Hot weather can be damaging to your restaurant facilities. Completing these tasks will protect your brand and assets and again 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:  air balance  doors  floors  Hot weather  parking lots  roofs 

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Educational Calls

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2019

Hello RFMA Members,

Since our conference in Austin, we have had numerous Peer to Peer and Peer to Partner educational calls with great participation and engagement discussing topics unique to our industry. Our last Peer to Partner call discussed Disaster Management and there were numerous takeaways. Following are brief notes from the call:

- Disaster Plans are the heart and soul of keeping your employees and customers safe along with protecting company assets.

- The plan needs to have the involvement of several internal departments, namely, Risk Management, Accounting, IT, Facilities, Supply Chain, and Operations. All need to have input in developing the plan and rehearsing it periodically.

- Priority #1 is keeping employees safe. It's better to close the restaurant a bit early rather than late to minimize potentially Brand liabilities.

- Most on the call noted they do not have employees boarding up or sandbagging the facility. Insurance should cover any damage done to the building.

- Corporate should be sharing their Disaster Plan with their franchisees.

- The decision on when to close normally is made by regional operations personnel or the corporate Risk Management or Supply Chain departments.

- Most agree the store closings should be done 4 days prior to the event (hurricane) plan activities commence.

- Flooding was noted to be the number 1 disaster in the restaurants.

- Negotiate contractor costs as part of your plan prior to a disaster. This minimizes the chance of get price gouged after the event.

- Disable or cancel your on-line ordering for each closed location as locals may try to order food and even come to the restaurant to pick it up.

- Building good relationships with your food provider(s), recovery contractors, and local municipal inspectors is a must to minimize downtime and get back open.

Check out our website for future Peer to Peer and Peer to Partner calls and join in. It's a great way to learn, further your education, and protect your Brand.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

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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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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