The first image counts
From the moment a client arrives at a gastronomic facility, he begins to decode an infinite number of perceptions that generate a series of codes about it and come to be like a photograph in order to issue his quality criteria and establish standards for references, both positive as well as negative, which can make the place.

These perceptions will be supported by all those aspects that make up the structure of the environment in which they will satisfy their need for food and that not only cover those internal resources such as furniture, supply, presence and professionalism of the staff and the speed of service, but also due to the state of conservation of the property, air conditioning and lighting, among others.
It happens quite often, and not only in the field of business, but in personal life, that the fact of being continually subjected to the same environment, does not allow us to perceive the degree of deterioration or neglect of certain elements that make up our environment . Particularly in the restaurants, the very fact that they make use of the available means, people with different patterns of behavior are the source of these changes occurring more frequently, in addition to issues that are beyond our control, such as the different states of nature that arise.
Predicting that there are no service failures due to the occurrence of misuse and / or breaks in the available means, is a relevant factor for the organization to meet the financial objectives that have been proposed.
That is why, to guarantee the conservation and improvement of the physical environment, as well as the optimal operation of all the machinery that intervenes in this production and service process, technical and / or maintenance services come to constitute an essential activity for the restaurant.
Leverage capacity
The restaurants They have the means to produce the service and, logically, they require adequate use and conservation in order to prolong their useful life and not affect the offer.
Generally you can find in a restaurant the following equipment:
- Coffee maker
- Ice chests
- Refrigerators
- Scrubbers
- Kitchen
- Lasqueadoras
- Fryers
- Cold and hot table
- Mixers
- Ovens
- Dispensers
- Kneaders
- Griddle
These are just some of them, the variety, brands and quantity varies from one restaurant to another; but what should be clear is that each one of them fulfills a certain function and therefore their handling and care must be subject to a certain control; control that begins with the commitment to manipulate them properly and the sense of belonging that one has towards them.
Therefore, it can already be said with all certainty that the dish or cocktail served, "or served", directly to the customer is the end result of a whole process of "manufacturing" that has been helped by these means , which may well be for mechanical or electromechanical use and that most of the time their provision depends on electrical energy. Also many of these means are used to guarantee the conservation of raw materials and they require, as well as the others, a controlled use and care. The efficient use of their capacities is a necessity for the organization, motivated by the following reasons:
First. The maximum performance of the equipment and the physical environment is ensured
Second. You can more quickly recover the investment you were subject to.
Third. It can lengthen the useful life process of equipment whose use is similar.
Fourth. The depreciation process will occur more slowly so they will have less influence on the costs of the organization.
Fifth. The replacement of the same can be carried out in a term nuanced by the appropriate selection, at the appropriate moment and at the best possible price, since the necessary time will be available to evaluate the conditions and characteristics to which they aspire.
Mathematical models help
Generally, means are bought for kitchen and bar production, and their productive and potential capacities are not determined, putting them into operation without adequate preparation of the personnel who will handle them, as well as over-exploiting them, anticipating their wear.
It becomes necessary, as well as knowing how many clients are able to attend the restaurants In a moment of maximum load or when there is a sale explosion, know how much and to what extent it is capable of producing the available equipment. How many times should maintenance actions be carried out on it and with what solutions does the installation have in the event of an unplanned rotuna.
The first step that the restorer must take is to identify the real capacities of each of the technical means for the service it offers, based on the determination of the potential and available productive capacity of each one of them, and for that it is important to with all the necessary information in order to execute all kinds of action in a timely manner.
Following the proposal made by Professor Segismundo Mojicar Caballero1 in his article “Contribution of Maintenance to the use of production capacity"2, it is convenient, in order to obtain a greater degree of information, to apply the following calculations, of which I will only refer, given that they are treated in greater detail in the reference article and exemplified for the sector in the book that will soon see the light “Quantitative Techniques of Efficient to Restaurants3”, Of my authorship:
Determination of the Units Produced in a period of time.
UP: units produced.
CMax: maximum installed production capacity.
CC: capacity utilization coefficient.
TC: planned calendar time for the fulfillment of the productive mission (days).
A: operational technical availability of production equipment.
UT: use of production equipment.
Determination of Technical Operational Availability.
ΣTEM Is the total time waiting for maintenance, that is, the total time lost.
Determination of Lost Time due to Unplanned Maintenance.
ΣTEMnp = Td + Tl + Tr + Tp
Td : failure detection time and evaluation of its significance to other components.
T1: logistics assurance time (technology, materials, spare parts, workforce, etc.)
Tr: repair time itself (including the access time to the faulty component)
Tp: test time
Determination of the Use Time.
TO is the time that the system is in operation and is obtained from the application of the following formula:
TO = TCxA - ΣTP and TC x A = TC - Σ TEM
y TP It is the time that the equipment has been unexploited, for reasons beyond maintenance or failure.
Determination of the Capacity Coefficient.
Ci is the partial value of capacity at which the system is exploited during a period of time of operation TOi (CiCMax)y n is the number of capacity levels at which the system has been exploited during TO, such that? Ti = TO
In this sense, Segismundo states that any value below the Achievement Coefficient is generally due to:
  • The raw materials do not meet the requirements specified in the purchasing process, which forces the system's working regime to be reduced or much more time to produce or obtain the product to be used.
  • Poor technical condition of the medium.
  • Little command of the system operator
Utilization of Installed Capacity
Sometimes the papers help
In some partial conclusions, it can be said that in order to ensure the reliability of the plan and the maintenance, it is necessary to know the Technical Status of the System. But it is not only enough to carry out all these calculations, it is important that once these quantitative values ​​have been identified in terms of time and capacity, it is necessary that the administration have the Technical documentation, that facilitates or speeds up all the necessary information, so that the design and instrumentation of the Preventive Maintenance plans as Unplanned includes:
  • Construction plans, technical networks, etc. for a better interpretation and action at the required time.
  • Operation manuals for each of the installed equipment
  • Rules and legislation in force.
  • The list of all the equipment available in the restaurant With his correspondant DATASHEET, that details all the characteristics that compose it. (Type of energy, breaks and maintenance to which it has been subjected, production capacity, type of raw material that is compatible with them, etc.).
  • The application of a checklist by area, to identify where they are really needed, in what quantities and their frequency of use.
  • The Planned and Unplanned Maintenance Plan, by its own means or through third parties.
  • The list of suppliers of the same, of the complementary supplies, as well as ways of locating the technicians in an emergent situation.
  • The documentary grouping of equipment with a similar use, to plan its exploitation adequately and for when there are times of low tourist use only the necessary and keep the rest.
  • The implementation of a Work Order system, which in addition to reporting the needs for technical assistance at a given time, will offer statistical information on them (frequencies, quantities, etc.)
  • The Planned System of the ordinary checks that will be carried out on the equipment, and that will not only be subject to the moments of failure.
  • As well as the planning for the training of the personnel who will use them, as well as the group that will assist them (Maintenance department).
Once these indicators are determined, it corresponds to the specialized personnel to program, according to the uses and characteristics of each one, the maintenance to which they will be subject. This will consequently allow those in charge of its manipulation, as well as the organization itself, to create the necessary conditions so as not to affect the service offered and in which each of them intervenes.
Machinery and human resources, a marriage for convenience
Although it is true that all bureaucratic procedures such as the preparation of records and the adequate planning of these technical services for the equipment that our restaurant it has, they help the service to be much faster and with the quality that today is demanded anywhere; It is human resources that are most responsible for ensuring that these services meet the standards that have been set.
If the man who operates a machine is unable to love and care for it, nothing has been done. So many papers and so many calculations have been in vain. Everything must begin with respect for what you have.
That is why, I dare to advise, those who learn and those who know, that the first, the essential, the most important thing is to ensure that the man knows how to manage the team, that they see him as their partner; And the worst mistake is that we robotize our actions and passively subordinate ourselves to comply with the hygiene or maintenance plans designed and we are not able to realize that a simple sound can constitute a warning signal to a future problem.
Supervision, through empirical research methods, such as observation, should be a working tool, not only for maintenance personnel but for the group that interacts within the restaurant. Thus, with the commitment that is generated every day, both human and material regrets can be avoided, so I propose:
- Before putting any type of machinery into operation, make sure that whoever is going to handle it is prepared for it.
- Buy the equipment you really need. Don't try to match the competition if it really isn't to your advantage.
- Do not wait for the dates that have been set to make sure that everything is going well. Always watch; observation will allow you to ensure that you are not throwing money away.
- Always have someone to help the client when operating a medium (coffee machines, toasters, refrigerators, etc.)
- A simple leak or the spillage of a small portion of liquid on a machine can become broken over time; make sure the supplies are available to portion raw materials (coffee, milk, oil) in adequate amounts
- Do not want to save money buying raw materials at low prices incompatible with the equipment. Use the recommended one.
- Do not abuse the machine. She doesn't complain, but when she does it costs money. Use it rationally
This is a topic with a lot of fabric to cut through. We all have experiences, not only at the work level, but at the level of our own houses, that we acquire means that are necessary and others for luxury, but that unfortunately when we are not instructed in their use or overexploit them, believing that they are eternal, we lose them faster than it could last with a prior preparation of how to handle and preserve them.
Speaking of the future ...
In future articles, I intend to address some issues with the rational use of energy and the corresponding calculations for energy accounting, which also, in some way, is interrelated with this topic, but which, in my opinion, should be treated independently , as well as exposing some of our experiences in this field and its link with the number of clients and income obtained.
I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"
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