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  • M. Villarreal

How Your Vent Hood System Could Be Costing Your Business Money?

As a restaurant owner, there are many things you must watch out for. For instance, are your employees and customers satisfied? How much do you spend on utility bills each month? Or—when is the last time you've cleaned your vent hood? We will focus on that last one in the text you're about to read. As if you couldn't have guessed that just by reading the title. However, we won't refrain from tackling the first two questions. We will show you just how your vent hood system could be costing your business money and what there is to be done about the issue.

#1 Employee motivation and productivity

Needless to say, a clean restaurant pleases both your employees and your customers. A fresh customer will be motivated to visit the place once again, and your employees will have a reason to actually enjoy their workplace (since many people can't say that they do). Anyway, a kitchen that is dirty and greasy is not something you would call a productivity booster. Quite the opposite. It can significantly demotivate your employees, which will subsequently lead to your customers leaving your place without wanting to ever return. You want to make a good first impression, right?

So, what happens if your vent hood system isn't working the way it is supposed to? Well, it will result in your restaurant kitchen being filled with greasy and odorous air. You can't really imagine anyone being satisfied in working surrounded by such conditions. Also, you can't picture the food you serve being something your customers would call phenomenal or mind-blowing when it was made by unmotivated employees. Therefore, a clean vent hood doesn't have an alternative when it comes to running your restaurant in the best possible manner.

#2 Customer dissatisfaction

If the air inside your place is affected by an improper kitchen hood vent system, that kind of scenario won't be so appealing to your customers (besides the fact they're being served by unmotivated people). This will cause your customers to experience discomfort and dissatisfaction in the front of the house in the way of smells, smoke and even physical issues like, eye irritation. Not only can it greatly lower the chance of them returning, even more concerning is what they can share about their experience online through social media that can end up directly (and immediately) impacting your business.

#3 Utility bills

You probably already know that an improperly sized, badly installed, improperly maintained or dirty vent hood system inside your restaurant's kitchen will eventually lead to greater energy consumption and higher utility bills. For instance, if your system's too "strong" for the cooking operations your employees are conducting, you are only wasting energy and money. Also, we have mentioned that a dirty kitchen is another energy drainer. That's because a dirty vent hood system will have to work harder in order to pull the same volume of air putting more strain, wear and tear on your HVAC and exhaust system. Ultimately, when not properly maintained and cleaned, a dirty and unbalanced exhaust system can cost you thousands in excessive energy cost and repair costs.

#4 Balance your ventilation

Now, it is safe to say that all the operating machinery inside your restaurant's kitchen will need to be regularly maintained and repaired in order for your business to function optimally and without much trouble. Your vent hood system's no different, of course. If you've noticed excess smoke inside your kitchen, that means your vent system's not balanced well. Needless to say, impure air isn’t a good thing for both your employees and customers. It can be a serious health hazard. So, how does one re-balance the vent system? It is fairly simple. You will just need to call a trained professional to take care of it.

#5 Suction optimization

Another way to save money with your vent system is to optimize the suction. Here is how you'll do it: place all cooking equipment and gear directly below the hood. That way, you will make sure that the produced smoke and heat leave the room immediately. There is another thing— your vent will not be sucking up clean air that surrounds it. Additionally, you might also want to think about installing side panels to enhance the efficiency of your kitchen's hood system. According to Verified Movers, not only will you save money, but you'll also avoid searching for a moving provider that will help you evacuate your kitchen inventory. Once your restaurant runs out of business due to poor optimization of the vent system, that is.

#6 Group the "heavy" equipment together

You should keep all the cooking equipment you use fairly frequently under your kitchen's vent hood. Also, you'll want to separate the so-called heavy cooking items inside your kitchen from the lighter side of your cooking inventory. That's because you want to ensure that your vent's exhaust fans are working in accordance with the volume. All in all, you will steer clear of under-utilizing your vent hood exhaust system with mismatched equipment under the same roof (hood).

Last thought: Just keep it clean

Your vent hood system filters will need to be cleaned regularly and how often is set out in the NFPA96 codes for commercial kitchens. That is because is traps all the grease inside your kitchen's air and when improperly maintained is the number one source of fires in commercial kitchens. If the filters aren't clean and maintained every once in a while (the stronger the frequency, the better), you'll deal with a grease build-up. Grease will find a place to hide within your ducts and damage can occur to your so-called upblast (EXHAUST) fans as we discussed earlier. So, how can one make sure the filters inside the kitchen exhaust system are always clean as a whistle? You can do it by scheduling a regular commercial kitchen exhaust fan cleaning service. It is as easy as that! Lastly, by being proactive, you'll significantly reduce the risk of your restaurant incurring added energy costs, expensive repair bills and most importantly... avoid fires.

If you are interested in a free estimate, call Cornerstone Commercial Services today. 1-800-274-3905

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