It’s every restaurant owner or manager’s nightmare: during peak rush hour, your equipment breaks down. Sound familiar? Malfunctioning or broken equipment is not uncommon, but it’s a real blow to QSR sales. Not only does it affect your revenue and frustrate your employees, but it also affects your brand, since disappointed customers now can’t get their favorite treat. It can also lead to negative online reviews as a result, which can severely impact your business. What is the true cost of restaurant equipment failure? And what can you do to avoid this scenario?
Why QSR Equipment Fails
When your equipment fails, it’s typically due to one of two common reasons:
Old or overused equipment
Is your equipment due for an upgrade? Is it a piece of equipment you use every day—say, a combination oven or a freezer? While most restaurant equipment is made for the gruel of commercial use, it will still wear out eventually (and much faster, without preventative maintenance). Your team may also not be evenly using high-capacity equipment such as fryers or grills, causing portions of them to wear out faster than others.
Lack of proper preventative maintenance
Equipment needs constant care, including frequent cleaning, inspections, quality control checks and immediate replacement of missing or broken parts. For example, the most common reason freezers fail is because the condenser coils aren’t cleaned regularly. A combination oven often malfunctions because it’s cleaned with the wrong chemicals or not frequently enough. Fryer food quality drastically decreases when oil isn’t filtered or replaced when needed. While it may take a bit of planning in between prep and rush hours, creating and sticking to a preventative maintenance plan for your restaurant equipment can save you thousands of dollars.
The Cost of Equipment Downtime
Did you know that the average restaurant owner spends between $500 and $2,500 every month for equipment repair and maintenance—and that’s per location! The same report reveals that only 46% of restaurant operators have preventative maintenance plans. Aside from costly parts and labor, you’re also bleeding money due to equipment downtime.
Let’s do some quick math. Let’s say your iced dessert machine is down for a day. You could miss out on 200 or more item sales in a day equaling $600 in sales and $450 in gross margin profit.
That one equipment breakdown just cost you $625 in sales in a single day!
Of course, these costs could be less or more, depending on variables such as what time of the day it is (rush hour vs. slow), what your average number of orders is per hour, the average order amount, etc. Since the QSR environment is fast-paced, equipment breakdowns happen more frequently, which means you can have more than one malfunction across multiple locations—you could be losing thousands of dollars to downtime at any given time. The point is: if you’re not taking care of your equipment, you’re shortening its lifespan and wasting a ton of money on an emergency that could have been easily avoided.
The Snowball Effect of Equipment Failure
Think that broken espresso machine or warm walk-in cooler isn’t a huge deal? The truth is, equipment failure—especially if it happens frequently—has a real snowball effect, including:
How to Maximize Equipment Uptime and Lifespan
It’s not all bad news. In fact, most of the above can be avoided with a regular preventative maintenance schedule. Here’s how to make the most of your equipment:
QsrSoft’s Equipment Management Solution is a one-stop software for all your equipment maintenance needs. It lets you create and customize your very own PM schedule for each piece of equipment. Easy to set up, this PM solution takes the guesswork out of taking care of your equipment. When a maintenance task is due to be completed, you’ll get an alert on your desktop or mobile app, and you or your staff members can simply check off the task once completed. And even with great planned maintenance, equipment can still break. With our PM solution, if your equipment does break down, you’ll get an immediate alert so you know what’s broken, and can fix it quickly to avoid loss of revenue. QsrSoft Equipment streamlines the repair process, helping you stay organized and providing visibility into the repair process at each step. With this solution, it’s easy to keep your equipment working at its best—and manage all your equipment across locations in one place. Schedule tasks and assign them to your employees, and get instant accountability with each completed task.
To learn more about our Equipment Management Solution, request a demo today.