4 Biggest Restaurant Maintenance Challenges (And 4 Potential Solutions To Handle Them)

Restaurant Maintenance Challenges
Photo by Emran Yousof on Unsplash.com

Managing a restaurant involves a lot more work than just serving delicious food on busy evenings. While comfort and taste are what customers visit a restaurant for, creating a safe, clean and healthy environment requires regular maintenance. This ‘behind the curtain’ work significantly contributes to keeping the restaurant running efficiently and safely.

At first sight, restaurant maintenance might seem simpler compared to production plant maintenance due to the smaller space and fewer systems. However, maintaining a restaurant has its own challenges that must be tackled carefully to avoid failures that might bring the business to a halt. Here are four of the biggest challenges in restaurant maintenance and their potential solutions that your restaurant can utilize.

1. Scheduling asset maintenance

Restaurants require multiple assets management, in the front as well as the back, to function and create the ambiance that customers want to return back to. The HVAC units, fryers, stoves, kitchen appliances, water supply systems, and fire safety equipment are just some of the basic requirements when starting your new restaurant.

Such valuable systems and assets require regular and proper maintenance to avoid damage and failure during operations. This is also why modern restaurants can cost dearly to run and maintain. However, asset management isn’t a challenge that you can throw money at and get solved.

The time available to work on assets is probably the biggest challenge in a restaurant setting. Your restaurant might be open all day serving every meal from breakfast to dinner. Moreover, some assets like refrigeration systems might have to run 24×7 posing yet another challenge. So, how do you get out of this maintenance scheduling mess?


One of the first things to tackle this restaurant maintenance nuisance is getting a CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) that suits your restaurant. A suitable CMMS improves the maintenance schedule based on the history of assets and the priority assigned to them. You also get better visibility of tasks based on their importance to make quick changes in the plan.

A CMMS can also help you come up with a preventive maintenance plan which can minimize unplanned downtime. With a preventive maintenance plan, you can plan downtime for the assets based on their maintenance needs to reduce the possibility of failure during operation. Monitoring maintenance also becomes easier using a CMMS with a simplified user interface and graphical representation of data.

2. Safety and regulatory compliance

Safety is always the first priority in any work environment, but restaurants have twice the responsibility here due to customers being present virtually all the time. Making sure the safety systems are in place and working is also important from the point of view of regulatory compliance.

Restaurant Maintenance Challenges and tips
Safety compliance. Photo by Shangyou Shi on Unsplash.com

There are multiple guidelines issued by OSHA that your restaurant should be following to achieve the necessary safety standards. This also involves maintenance guidelines for various systems and equipment to ensure worker safety. 

While workers can be trained for safety, customers are a different challenge. Restaurants see customers of all ages, backgrounds, and physical health. Simply put, a safe restaurant for workers isn’t necessarily safe for a child or an old man. Here are a few things you can do to avoid any accidents in your restaurant.


  • Make sure the OSHA guidelines for worker safety are followed properly as they can help create a primary level of a safe environment for everyone at the restaurant.
  • Avoid slips and falls by ensuring cleanliness in all areas of the restaurant. Wet floor signs and marking areas that might be unsafe are basics but must be followed devotedly.
  • Keep your fire safety equipment in the best condition possible and train employees to handle fire incidents keeping the presence of diners in mind.
  • Use CMMS to monitor overall maintenance and avoid missed maintenance tasks that can create hazardous conditions.

3. Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is always a challenge irrespective of the type of facility. Restaurants require HVAC, lighting, water heating, and baking which require a lot of energy. Restaurants often run on low margins due to the high competition in the industry. Energy efficiency can give your restaurant an edge over others and bring down operating costs.

It can be achieved through multiple solutions, and maintenance can play a key role in your plans. Here are a few tips to keep your restaurant’s energy consumption in check as a maintenance manager.


  • Use electrical appliances with Energy Star ratings to reduce power consumption.
  • Get automated lighting for areas where possible.
  • Use smart appliances that can turn themselves off once the required job is done.
  • Use energy management software to analyze energy consumption and act on the insights generated by it.

Watch this for some more energy saving tips for restaurants:

4. Maintenance cost

Keeping maintenance costs in control can become a challenge if the maintenance is not planned according to the restaurant’s needs. Maintenance managers have to work under an assigned budget and once you make cuts it can become hard to catch up with pending tasks.

What is worse is that assets that don’t get serviced on time utilize more resources and are more likely to fail unexpectedly. This creates a feedback loop that can magnify the costs to the restaurant and affect routine operations severely. Here are a few things you can work on to keep the maintenance cost under the budget.


  • Utilize CMMS features to schedule and track maintenance activities to reduce tendencies
  • Create a preventive maintenance plan that can reduce part failures and hence the cost of maintenance
  • Prioritize maintenance for critical systems that have the highest cost of maintenance

Maintaining your restaurant is a difficult job even on the best of days. With a large number of tasks and a busy working environment, scheduling maintenance becomes complex. The challenges like asset management, regulatory compliance, and energy efficiency have to be solved at a maintenance cost that doesn’t hit the pockets too hard. It is always a good idea to take the help of expert maintenance managers when you face such challenges.

Further, using your CMMS to its full potential should be one of the goals to improve the visibility of maintenance tasks and finish them on time. Once you have the cost in control and a CMMS by your side, just follow the schedules as well as possible to overcome all the challenges in restaurant maintenance.