Asset Management

Restaurant Equipment Maintenance Guide

February 23, 2024 • 5 min read

Practicing optimal restaurant equipment maintenance is of utmost importance in the food industry. After all, restaurant equipment—from deep fryers to walk-ins to dishwashers—ensures that a restaurant’s daily operations run smoothly. 

In this article, we will zero in on why restaurant equipment maintenance is so essential and how to best track restaurant equipment maintenance. We will also discuss how restaurant equipment maintenance software can help you streamline this process. We’ve also included a free restaurant equipment maintenance best practices checklist to help you get started.

Why is restaurant equipment maintenance so essential?

Restaurant equipment maintenance is critical because it enables everyday operations to run smoothly and on budget. In other words, when your restaurant sets its schedule and estimates its profit margins, it accounts for all equipment functioning properly. But if equipment malfunctions, labor costs increase, and so do the distractions that prevent your team from focusing on food quality and customer service.

For example, a broken dishwasher can force employees to focus less on expediting orders because they now need to hand wash dishes. Or, if a grill malfunctions, your restaurant may only be able to offer a partial menu—if it can remain open at all. These types of equipment malfunctions can make your back-of-house scramble and negatively impact your guests’ experience. And as overtime costs increase, revenue decreases—even if you’re fortunate enough to offer a full menu during equipment failures.

 This is why preventative maintenance is so essential for restaurant owners. Preventive maintenance helps ensure that equipment functions at its best for as long as possible—and that any potential issues are addressed and remedied long before the asset malfunctions.

Related: Types of Equipment Maintenance and Why They Matter

Types of restaurant equipment that require maintenance

Virtually every asset or piece of equipment in your restaurant requires maintenance…or at least the occasional inspection. From deep freezers to coffee makers, the first step of an optimized restaurant equipment maintenance strategy is creating an exhaustive list of all assets on hand and their maintenance requirements and schedules. We will provide a sample  maintenance checklist for some of the most common restaurant equipment later in the guide.

Here are some of the categories of restaurant equipment that require maintenance:

  • Ovens
  • Ranges, griddles, and grills, plus ventilation
  • Commercial mixers and food processors
  • Commercial slicers
  • Knives and knife-sharpening equipment
  • Microwaves, toasters, and air fryers
  • Ice makers
  • Deep fryers
  • Coffee makers
  • Fridges and freezers (all sizes)
  • Steam tables
  • Catering equipment
  • Dishwashing equipment
  • Safety equipment
  • Computers and point-of-sale equipment

How to track restaurant equipment maintenance

There are three common ways to track restaurant equipment maintenance: Manually, using a spreadsheet, or using restaurant equipment maintenance software.

Using a manual equipment maintenance system tends to be successful only when there are very few pieces of equipment to track. For example, a hot dog cart or coffee kiosk might be able to track its equipment maintenance using just a sheet of paper. After all, these operations likely rely on only a few pieces of equipment.

Operations that utilize more than a dozen pieces of equipment likely need to track maintenance digitally. Often, restaurants begin tracking restaurant equipment maintenance on a traditional spreadsheet. This works better if equipment maintenance is limited and only one restaurant location exists. Usually, restaurant employees will create an additional tab of an inventory spreadsheet where all preventative and reparative maintenance on all equipment is tracked.

Often, spreadsheet users will need to maintain a separate, very well-organized calendar to remind them of upcoming preventative maintenance. They will also need to maintain either a physical or digital folder with all records of maintenance work. This can quickly become complicated and inefficient as your restaurant grows. 

More restaurants are turning to restaurant equipment maintenance software to streamline, automate, and organize their maintenance. Inventory management software like Sortly allows users to track restaurant equipment maintenance alongside inventory consumption. 

Chef tracking restaurant equipment maintenance on a tablet

Another benefit of using inventory management software to manage your restaurant equipment is that it allows your team to set customized alerts and reminders for warranty end dates, preventative maintenance dates, and more. You can decide who gets notified, how far in advance, and whether that notification occurs via the app, e-mail, or both.

Additionally, with Sortly, users can create custom fields to track all sorts of details about an asset and its five types of maintenance. Because software like Sortly makes it easy to upload pictures and attachments, users can quickly enclose manuals, maintenance documentation, work orders, and more in each item’s inventory details.

Then, with a quick scan of a barcode or QR code, all information about the asset’s maintenance history is available to any user at any time.

Custom alerts aren’t just great for tracking equipment maintenance. Reminders can also be set for expiration dates, ensuring expensive food and ingredients that expire quickly are utilized in time.

Related: How Food & Beverage Professionals Use Sortly’s Inventory Management System 

Free restaurant equipment maintenance checklist

Whether you’re just beginning to organize your equipment maintenance list or want to start with a spreadsheet before bulk uploading your equipment inventory into your chosen software, our free restaurant equipment maintenance checklist is the perfect place to begin.

Free Download: Restaurant Equipment Maintenance Checklist

Download and print our free restaurant equipment maintenance checklist! The checklist is outlines common restaurant equipment and suggested daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance actions to take in order to keep your equipment running smoothly.


About Sortly

Restaurant inventory management app shown on a smartphone

Sortly is a top-rated inventory management software that helps restaurants of every shape and size take control of their inventory, assets, and restaurant equipment maintenance. With essential automation tools that make tedious tasks easier and faster than ever before, there’s no simpler way to keep track of your busy restaurant’s comings and goings than with Sortly.

With Sortly, you can track inventory, supplies, parts, tools, assets like equipment and machinery, and anything else that matters to your business. It comes equipped with smart features like barcoding & QR coding, low stock alerts, customizable folders, data-rich reporting, and much more. Best of all, you can update inventory right from your smartphone, whether you’re  on the job, in the warehouse, or on the go.

Whether you’re just getting started with inventory management or you’re an expert looking for a more efficient solution, we can transform how your company manages inventory—so you can focus on building your business. That’s why over 10,000 businesses globally trust us as their inventory management solution.

Start your two-week free trial of Sortly today.