Prepping Your Restaurant Refrigeration for Heavy Holiday Traffic
Today is Cinco de Mayo, the kickoff for a heavy run of May holidays that continue throughout the summer. While holidays were one-off January through April, May has many celebrations that cause friends and families to flock to restaurants for quality time. Mother’s Day, graduations, and Memorial Day occur in May and restaurants need to be prepared for the heightened traffic these celebrations bring. While every good restaurant manager knows the importance of food ordering and staff scheduling during busy times, many forget about the refrigerator that is working overtime with the influx of traffic. To help you prepare, here are some tips to get your restaurant refrigeration ready for holiday traffic.
Clean It Up
The interior of the refrigerator should be cleaned thoroughly, either every day or every week, to improve the quality of food and help the unit run more efficiently. Dirty refrigerators will work the odors and dirt into the products and will build up overtime, blocking air flow.
Keep Restaurant Refrigeration Clear
Be sure the location of your refrigerator has some breathing room on the back and sides so none of the air flow is blocked. Stacks of boxes or butting the unit against walls or counters will decrease air flow, causing the refrigerator to be inefficient in operation and use more energy.
Opening and closing the restaurant refrigeration doors all day long will definitely raise the temperature in your refrigeration unit. This is why it is important to set the temperature in the morning and keep an eye on it during the day. Temperature that is set too high will increase the risk of food spoilage, and therefore foodborne illnesses, especially with the door being open more often to meet demand. However if you are trying to be proactive and set the temperature too low, it will cause your refrigerator to work even harder throughout the day and shorten the life of your unit. Keep the temperature setting at a safe level and keep an eye on it if it is working too hard or not keeping items as cool as they should be.
Turn the Lights Out
If you have walk in units that do not have motion activated lights, be sure to emphasize to your employees to keep turning the lights out. The lights produce enough heat that will raise the interior temperature of your restaurant refrigeration unit, causing it to run efficiently and shorten the life of the system. Consider installing motion activated sensors or fluorescent lights that put out less heat.