The five most common maintenance issues in a commercial kitchen

Businesses that invest in planned preventative maintenance packages are much less likely to uncover problems with their kitchen machinery. However, some common maintenance issues can pop up frequently and will require immediate technical assistance, even when a preventative maintenance plan has been put in place.

Here at Sylvester Keal, we have listed the five most common maintenance issues that occur within a commercial kitchen, so you can keep a lookout and be prepared for its occurrence.

Cooker issues

It’s the equipment most frequently used in the commercial kitchen, which is often why cooking appliances are most likely to draw a fault.

The main issue that tends to occur with cooking equipment is overheating due to a lack of filter cleaning. However, this can be prevented through regular cleaning of the filters and vents.

Fryer temperature problems

One of the biggest issues a fryer can have is a problem with its temperature control. If a fryer is heating up too high or cannot maintain its heat then this will have a corresponding effect on your restaurant’s dishes, as your food will not cook correctly. One way to keep an eye on the temperature of the fryer is to use an external thermostat for a regular check on oil heat.

Warewasher not cleaning properly

While it is the case that commercial warewashers are built with better materials than your average residential one, it doesn’t mean it isn’t partial to faults.

The most common issue we see when it comes to warewashers is the appliance’s ability to clean properly. If, at the end of a warewashing cycle, the dishes are still stained with food, then there could be a number of reasons for this, it could be down to a faulty spray arm, a blocked filter or incorrect detergent used.

To prevent this from happening, Sylvester Keal would recommend cleaning the filters regularly and checking users are using the correct detergent for the appliance. However, if there is an issue with the spray arm, it is best to ask for professional assistance.

Clogged sinks

Unfortunately, restaurant sinks tend to be on the receiving end of clogging more often than a residential kitchen sink and this tends to be because of the amount of food processed within a restaurant kitchen.

Restaurant drain blocks are always a hassle and can often happen at a time when you least expect it. The most effective way of keeping drain blockages at bay is through operating a hygienic sink routine: using a drain sieve, keeping a plunger at hand and using an effective and powerful drain cleaning solution are all ways to keep a drain healthy and clear. If after committing to all these solutions, the problem still occurs, then this would be the time to ask for professional support.

Refrigeration issues 

Routine maintenance is essential on any commercial refrigerator, freezer or cooler. To maintain an active fridge, it’s crucial as a caterer to check gaskets and air filters as too much dirt and grease can spoil a healthy gasket, or even block the filter and stop air from properly ventilating. Clean the refrigeration condenser and evaporator coils regularly (once every couple of months) with a brush or vacuum to help prevent the most common refrigeration issue.

If you are still having any issues with your commercial appliances after trying the above solutions, then get in touch with the Sylvester Keal team. We can offer repairs, servicing and maintenance as well as breakdown cover, simply contact 01472 352033 or email

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