Asset and Equipment Management in Restaurants 75

Take Care of Your Equipment -- It Takes Care of You

The following article is a sponsored post.

Independently owning and operating your own restaurant equipment has a multitude of practical benefits, but there are some equipment failures or other problems that require professional help — the sorts of things you might not want to risk attempting yourself. Machinery such as fryers, ovens, and other commercial-grade equipment are essential to any business, and in this article, we will focus on the rental, acquisition, care, and maintenance of these back-of-house staples, as well as how to correctly identify when a problem with your equipment cannot be solved without expert help.

Rental and Acquisition of Commercial Equipment for Your Restaurant

Whether you are replacing existing machinery or just starting out in a new location, your acquisition of replacement parts doesn’t need to be difficult. Online vendors, such as 24/7 Restaurant Parts, provide the equipment you need in a timely fashion, all with the click of a few buttons. Because independent owners are often very busy, online shopping for restaurant parts is the advantaged choice. Vendors that specifically sell restaurant machinery and parts are also well-versed in how to package the equipment in a way that ensures it is kept safe and secure, so when you receive your product, it is in good condition.

Care and Maintenance of Assets and Equipment

There are two broad categories of asset and equipment issues and, while there are many subcategories that apply to one business or another, these two main groups are universal. The first category of equipment malfunctions includes problems that can be solved on your own, and the second consists of problems that require professional help so as not to make the situation worse. For example, the Frymaster Frypot comes with a lengthy, detailed instruction manual that contains information on how to clean the Frypot using the “boil-out” program after filling the machine with a mixture of cold water and detergent. This kind of equipment maintenance is often simple and not overly complex. Detergent is an inexpensive, easy-to-obtain household product. A messy Frypot can be solved on your own, no professional help required, but the second is a little bit harder to identify, but vitally important to be able to recognize. The simple replacement of high-wear parts may, likewise, be a relatively simple matter.

But, of course, this isn’t always the case.

Product Maintenance

Caring for your commercial-grade equipment, whether rented or purchased, is not something that can be done in a stagnated or languid fashion. Consider your restaurant machinery, right down to the nuts and bolts, as an investment that requires daily maintenance and vigilance. This is not just for practical purposes, but also for safety reasons as well. Often, product-related accidents are a result of inattention on the part of the owner. For example, commercial fryers come with a vent that diverts carbon monoxide into the vent hood so as to prevent the poisonous gas from escaping. The malfunction of this safety feature, whether due to rust or common wear-and-tear, can be disastrous and incredibly dangerous. Fires and other restaurant-related tragedies might be avoidable by performing a daily appraisal of how well your equipment is functioning and whether something needs attention or replacement.

When to Call for Professional Help

The key to knowing when you’re out of your depth is when you find yourself either wildly guessing the right way to fix something. When you get to the point of thinking “maybe if I try this…” or “I wonder if this will help” it might be time to step away, for fear of putting a critical piece of equipment in further danger. For example, if there is a jammed switch, banging on it with a hammer can easily cause far more damage to the product than was there before you tried to fix it. The more extensive the damage, the costlier a mistake made while attempting to fix it is likely to be. It will likely save you more money to have a specialist look at the problem with an expert’s eye than to place the equipment — and yourself — at further risk.

Back-of-house staples, such as fryers, ovens, and freezers are vital to the success of your business. Treat them like an investment and take care of them through regimented daily routines as indicated in the equipment documentation can go a long way towards protecting and prolonging the life of your restaurant. The tools of your trade take care of your business every day, and as an owner, you owe it to your business to return the favor. Rely on the documentation and rely on your training and experience, but if these are found lacking, rely on a professional repair specialist.

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How a Classic Car Enthusiast Turned Entrepreneur with a Business Operating in 36 Countries 7

interview claus stig christensen ceo bookaclassic

This is an interview-style post with Claus Stig Christensen.

Q: Hey, Claus. What’s your background and what do you do?

A: I am the CEO of BookAclassican online platform that allows the owners of classic vehicles to rent out their cars, motorcycles, trucks and vans for weddings, events and for use in film and television. I am a classic car owner myself and have a Jaguar MKII. 

I have been self-employed since 1998. I started an import/export company (Cubrix ltd.) where I imported electronic goods from far east and sold it to the supermarket chains (Aldi, Netto, Lidl etc.) and DIY chains across Northern Europe.

While staring up BookAclassic, I realised I had no know-how and knowledge of e-commerce and the mechanisms that drive the internet so I went back to school (Aalborg University) and finished a Bachelor in E-commerce in 2015.

Q: Where did the idea about BookAclassic come from?

A: I was a classic car enthusiast who realised there was a lot of value in my Vespa Sprint that I wasn’t tapping into.

It started when I was a poor student back in 1991. I did not have the money to store my Vespa for the winter so I came up with the idea to offer it as window decoration in fashion shops on the high street.

It took me one hour and I had rented out my Vespa to three shops for the winter. And in return, I got clothing worth about £400 – this sparked the idea that classic vehicles could be a cash cow instead of a money pit!

Q: What can people find on your platform and how does the system work?

 BookAclassic is the go-to source for anyone looking to rent a classic vehicle

A: BookAclassic is the go-to source for anyone looking to rent a classic vehicle and provides an elegant platform for those who want to make a bit of extra cash from a beloved car, bus, motorcycle or other classic vehicles.

We give the owner full control over the bookings they take, whether they’re driving their classic car for a wedding or allowing someone to take the wheel of their vintage bus for a road trip.

The most popular bookings on the site are vehicles for weddings, proms and other events. To facilitate this, we are cooperating with professional owners and car museums, as well as private collectors.

In these instances, the owner has complete control over their vehicle and how it’s driven. There’s also the option to offer your vehicle for events, photo shoots and for use in adverts, television shows and movies. We know how much people love to see their cars on screen, and we’re very happy to make this happen for so many of our customers.

The secure system automates the booking process allowing owners to easily view jobs and accept or decline them. Owners also have control over their profile, available dates and prices.

Q: What dreams can BookAclassic make come true?

A: We want to help private collectors fund maintenance on their vehicles, buy more classics and keep them on the road. As I mentioned before, owners love to see their beloved vehicles on television, in films or used in adverts.

We have one client in Portugal whose Triumph was recently used in a music video. He was over the moon seeing his car be part of that and the money he got from the booking paid for the car’s maintenance too.

Q: What were your biggest challenges when you were just starting out?

A: Everybody said to me an automatic system couldn’t take care of customers needs better than a person on a call – that got me fired up! I wanted to show everyone that I could do it.

I was the only person that believed it could work and it would be the future.

Then I saw the film The Social Network about the start of Facebook and I realised that you just have to think big. The globe is a small place when you are on the net.

I have realised that the limits to what you can do are often in your own head. There is no limit to what you can achieve if you set your mind to it.

Q: How has the business evolved over the years?

A: BookAclassic started in just one country and has grown to serve 36 countries across the world, including the UK. The advanced booking systems allows owners to upload their vehicles for free with the company taking a percentage of confirmed bookings only.

The team are all classic car enthusiasts and we built the platform based on how we’d want to rent out our own classic cars, then developed it with feedback from other vehicle owners. This allowed us to streamline the booking process, ensure peace of mind for everyone involved, and make everything as simple as possible with text and email alerts.

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

A: I have a few:

  • Build your business on what you love – then work will become a joy.
  • You are never going to be the fastest runner if you follow in others’ footsteps.
  • Find your own niche, make sure you are the best, and always work on offering amazing service.
  • You only fail when you stop trying.