06 / Mar / 24

Given the Sophistication of Today's Equipment, Is It Worth Risking?


With food prices and wages soaring, restaurant managers must make difficult decisions regarding equipment upkeep. Hourly rates and overtime charges vary widely in the industry, so choosing your service provider wisely is important. After all, when a key piece of equipment fails, it can severely impact service. With this, it is easy to fall victim to quick DIY or "Chuck in a Truck" repairs; while these may seem attractive at first, in the end, they usually cost more and extend downtime. Is it worth the risk on an expensive piece of your critical operations just to save a few bucks?    

Twenty years ago, most equipment was pretty simple to repair — mainly basic mechanical controls. However, today's commercial food service industry kitchens have touchscreen controls, PLCs, and other sophisticated parts to make them more efficient and easier to operate. Because of this, repairs today require specialized training, certifications, and access to proprietary software. Considering this, deciding on the right repair service can be daunting. There is always someone who knows someone who may be handy with tools, but again, are you willing to risk your operation to a friend or a friend of a friend? Not all repair service companies are equal, while some focus on HVAC and refrigeration, while others offer Cooking equipment and electrical services. Here at SSI Services, we have certified technicians skilled in all four areas. Before you call for a quick fix, ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • Is the service company certified to work on this equipment?
  • What resources do they have if they run into problems?

If the answer to either question is unclear, is it worth risking it?

In contrast, most equipment manufacturers have established a national network of service providers to assist with warranty service calls. But sadly, after the warranty period is over, most go for the cheapest option when it comes to repairs. Be mindful that your local Authorized Service Agent (ASA) has far more reach than other companies, especially those friends or DIY solutions. When it comes to repairs, more often than not, parts are required to complete the repair, while company "A" service rates are a cheaper option, but what is the turnaround time if and when a part is needed? Now we look at company "B". Their rates are slightly higher, but they have an inventory of the most common parts, thus shortening or eliminating the wait for repairs due to having parts on hand. In addition, company "B" voluntarily holds itself to a higher standard to comply with its respective manufacturers and be in compliance with the (ASA) standards. Not adhering to these practices puts companies at risk and can have severe consequences. Unfortunately, not all service companies stick to these standards.

So, the next time your Alto-Shaam or Lincoln pizza oven fails, consider how calling the wrong repair company can impact service, not to mention your budget. It is said to have several options when it comes to equipment repair, but having one good one will reduce the need to call several companies, especially when it comes to multiple pieces of equipment, as well as the daunting task of tracking numerous invoices.   

In short, all equipment will fail at some point, so it is worth finding a service provider that can quickly and professionally accommodate your needs. If you are looking for a service provider or considering replacing your current one, look no further than SSI Services for all your facility needs.

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