Check Your Catering Equipment Before the Holiday Rush

The holiday rush is real: Christmas is coming up, and you’ll no doubt have to make sure that your business will need to run smoothly. With excess food and drink to store – not to mention more people to cater for – a kitchen appliance breaking down over the holidays can be a total nightmare.

But don’t fret! We have teamed up with Dishwashers Direct to share exactly why (and how) you should check your equipment before the holiday rush.

Contaminated Food

If your fridge or freezer stops working, then unfortunately, most of your food will be contaminated and will need to be thrown away.

Research has shown that food stored in a broken fridge should be fine for approximately 4 hours, after which, perishables should be chucked. Non-perishables including condiments, and uncut fruit and veg will be fine to store in the cupboard.

It’s a similar situation for broken freezers. Food will last for around two hours, but then most of it will have to be binned. You can find a full list of de-thawed food that can and can’t be kept here.

The worst possible time this could happen is Christmas obviously! Not only will you have literally thrown your money away (most likely in the form of a turkey, complete with trimmings), but the shops will be shut, meaning you can’t replace any food. Beans on toast for mains, anyone?

Hygiene Concerns

Whilst a broken fridge or freezer can cause huge hassle, other appliances breaking can be an inconvenience too. A broken dishwasher for example, can result in a lot of wasted time and present huge hygiene concerns. In order to remove germs, dishwashing is key, and is both a safer and quicker alternative to handwashing plates and cutlery.

High Costs

You may have taken out insurance on your appliance, so if they break down, you can get them replaced at no extra cost to you. However, if you don’t have insurance, then it’s a different story: it can get especially costly if the appliance is irreparable, and you need to buy a new one. Christmas especially, is an expensive time – the last thing you want is an unexpected cost looming over you.

Checking your appliances beforehand will save you a lot of money in the long run and cost very little if seen to quickly.

How to Check Appliances

Routine maintenance checks won’t take long, but they could seriously help you in the long-run.

To check your fridge is working as it should be, firstly ensure the door is completely sealed, and no cold air is leaking out. Clean the racks of your fridge with soapy water to ensure any food residue is wiped away, and then dry it.

You should always try and keep your fridge full if possible (although avoid overfilling). If your fridge is getting empty, fill it up with a few jugs of water, as it will help it to run properly.

You should clean your freezer twice a year. Use up your food, and then allow the freezer to completely defrost, before cleaning and drying it. It’s also worth taking the time to vacuum the condenser coils – if dust accumulates over time, then your freezer will need to work a lot harder to maintain a lower temperature, and that’s when problems can occur.

Your dishwasher can also benefit from being regularly maintained – don’t just assume that because it’s cleaning dishes, it will be squeaky clean too, because it won’t be.

Cleaning a dishwasher will only take 15 minutes of your time every couple of months.  Clean the drain, unclog the sprayer nozzle arms if needed, and replace the racks if rusted. Don’t forget to check the manual to see if it suggests doing something else, specific to your model.

The holidays are such a busy time, it can be easy to forget to check your appliances are all working correctly to avoid unnecessary stress and costs for your business.

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. She studied English Literature at Fairfield University in Connecticut whilst taking evening classes in journalism at MediaBistro in NYC. She then pursued a BA degree in Public Relations at Bournemouth University in the UK. With a background working in the PR industry in Los Angeles, Barcelona and London, Charlotte then moved on to launching Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden and has been running the online magazine for the past 10 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a bit too much effort into perfecting her morning brew.