As a restaurant owner, you track Labor, Food, Beverage, Rent, Taxes, Waste Removal, Utilities, etc. And somewhere toward the bottom of your P&L lies equipment and building repairs.
They’re easy to overlook, and so is the time your team spends each month dealing with R&M. But did you know the national spend for repairs and maintenance – across 2 million multi-unit businesses – is estimated at over $100 billion!? And sadly, $20 billion of that sum is estimated as unnecessary spend.
As we enter 2019 and the industry continues to innovate, competition is ever-rising, and every dollar that seeps through the cracks has a bigger impact on your company’s future. Luckily, streamlining your facilities management procedures isn’t as difficult (or time-consuming) as you might think.
Step 1: Track Your Equipment Assets
Your business relies on more equipment than the typical retail enterprise. Everyone has bathrooms, floors, sinks and a roof – but you deal with drink machines, cooking equipment, refrigeration and so many other particular appliances that require specific maintenance. Loosen your grip for just a minute – and your looking at health code violations and some pretty upset staff and customers.
So step 1 is getting a strong handle on your assets. Compile your equipment’s purchase dates, prices, warranty information and authorized service providers. It can mean the difference between a healthy business and some very irritating (and costly) mistakes when things breakdown.
Step 2: Empower Your Team
One of the most obvious (and difficult) components to a strong facilities strategy is providing your team the tools and information they need to resolve equipment issues. Many companies hire an FTE to focus on their facilities – but that alone doesn’t always protect you from delayed and mismanaged repairs.
Just like you, that person can’t be everywhere at once, so they don’t always know right away when repair needs arise nor do they always have the information at hand to resolve the issue properly. That said, with or without a facilities manager, your business could benefit greatly by using Simple Tools to track and manage repair needs.
Step 3: Manage Your Vendors and Share Them With Your Team
Most restaurateurs understand the value a trustworthy plumber, electrician or handyman can offer to your bottom line.
As managers come and go, new team members sometimes hire the vendors they’ve worked with at other businesses; so ensuring everyone knows who you want them to call is extremely important.
Papers tacked to the office bulletin board get lost and each time you need to make an update, you have to repost those pages in multiple places and still there’s no guarantee everyone will get the message.
If you maintain your vendor list in a shared space (that you can manage centrally) you can save time for yourself and hold your staff accountable for calling the right vendors every time.
Step 4: Communicate With Your Team
It doesn’t matter if you have 3 managers or 30. Effective communication is vital – especially when things break down. With so many people performing the same functions, managers need to remain in-tune with what’s happening even when they’re off-shift.
Group email chains, text feeds, and platforms like Whatsapp and Slack are helpful to a certain point, but they fall short when you need to go back and reference specific information.
“What day did John say the plumber is coming again?”
“Which technician came by to fix this fryer last week?”
Finding quick answers is often anything but quick when team messages aren’t organized correctly. And easily accessible repair logs and team notes can make a big difference – especially if they are organized for each repair individually.
Step 5: Utilize An R&M Data Reporting Tool
It’s 2019. There are metrics for everything in your life. How often you make it to the gym each month, how many texas margaritas you sold on Thursday, how many of your servers didn’t make it to their shift last quarter. Using current technology to gain visibility into your business is a no-brainer… so you would think.
With so much data floating around acting on it can seem overwhelming. But don’t let this dissuade you from using analytics to track R&M.
All these small decisions add up quickly and you can save dozens of man hours and thousands of dollars provided you have the data reports you need to quickly understand where you stand with your facilities – no matter how many of them you have.