Whether you run a restaurant or any food-type of business, then you must know how important it is to keep hygiene up. Routine maintenance is one of the most significant, yet overlooked parts of running a kitchen, and the exhaust hood system is often neglected. With that in mind, people don’t pay attention to it until it stops working or simply gets caked with grease, dirt, and grime, which can be a nightmare to clean.
Just like many other things, we only take action once something is broken or it doesn’t work properly. This system needs to be cleaned professionally regularly, especially if you’re working with grease. When it comes to bakeries, for example, it doesn’t need to be maintained as often, but this step is needed either way.
Now that we have intrigued you, today we’ll take you to some basics and teach you something you should know before diving into the search for professional cleaning.
Before submerging into prices and costs, an additional awareness should be raised regarding this overlooked issue. These systems are made out of stainless steel, and with that in mind, they are inflammable. But don’t feel safe just yet: grease building up in the vents, fans, filters, and hood can contribute to the unit becoming an object of a possible kitchen fire. If flames get to the dirt and grime buildup on the equipment, rest assured there’s a predisposition for the fire to grow out of control.
Extinguishing fire will be very difficult, due to the cooking oils, vegetable fats, and other substitutes used in the room, as fire suppression systems are not made to put up with flames of this sort.
Hood cleaning process
So how does a system like this get properly cleaned? Firstly, the owner or whoever is in charge should make a report of anything hazardous near the equipment, such as wiring issues, fans, etc.
The filters have to be removed for easier access to the vents, ducts, and fans. Afterward, fans should be tested for vibration and noise confirmation.
Let’s not forget the restaurant roof which should be cleansed of all the dirt before taking care of the rest. The person who is in charge of this part of the job secures plastic bags to the hood so that everything could go in there – chemicals, water, or muck. That way you avoid smudging the gunk all over your floorings and other equipment.
After that, you need some thorough scraping so the majority of the build-up can be removed. Once all the food-safe chemicals are applied onto the countertops and let sit for a while for any additional grease, they need to be washed off with hot water. Everything is wiped down and cleaned thoroughly, and also polished to perfection. Everything needs to be inspected once it’s put back together to make sure it’s working properly.
Seems pretty simple, right? Believe it or not, it isn’t, and finding a good team that could do that for you, without having you worried is not easy. You should always do your research before making that call, and companies like Premier Grease is the way to start. Their experts have all the necessary equipment that will definitely make the cleaning so much easier, and your countertops and exhaust hood system happier.
Now let’s jump onto the part no one is super excited about. The price can’t be formed right away, because it depends on numerous factors.
The first one would be a location. Strange, you’d say? If your place is closer to the center, then the cost will be lower. However, if your restaurant is not that near, bear in mind the bill will be higher. Why? Because, well, think if it’s profitable for a company to drive for an hour just so they could make $150-300. If you have more than one restaurant, you could get the advantage of using a single cleaning service. If you hire them to do the maintenance for you, and in multiple locations, the chances you’d get a discount are pretty high, especially if you do this monthly, or more active in general.
The size of the place and the appliances play a huge role as well. If the ducts are longer, you’ll be charged more for the polishing and purification. The number of hoods will add to the price, as well as having more than one exhaust system as well.
Water? This is probably overlooked. For the job to be done properly, the services will need water. You could let them use your restaurant’s water for the bill to be lower. Anyone responsible will cover the appliances and would be extra careful while executing the sanitization.
The condition of the equipment: the worse, the higher. If it hasn’t been maintained properly, you’ll most definitely be charged more for any extra work cleaners do. If, however, you’ve taken good care of it, costs should be acceptable.
So, let’s do a rough count on how much this would cost. Usually, the maintenance companies would charge you a fixed rate per hour, but as we said, it can depend on many factors mentioned above. On average, the hourly cost is around $135 to $180 per hour, and if the crew is bigger, so is the total.
But, like in any other job or renovating, be prepared to always expect additional charges that can arise, such as $50- $75 for extra exhaust fans, $5 for filters cleaning, $150 for access panels if it’s needed, and let’s not forget the minimum charge for showing up at work. This can go from $50 to $250, depending on the team and location itself. You can also expect some extra fees if this is the first clean, and the gunk is built up because it would be laborious. As for the equipment, the average for hood cleaning is between $400 to $425, but the price can rise. It can be $10 – $20 per linear hood foot, $40 – $60 per fan and $55 – $75 per access panel.
It’s definitely crucial to keep your environment safe and clean for yourself and others. That way you’ll ensure everybody is happy: the inspection, the staff, customers, and most importantly – yourself. Do your homework and find what suits you best, but don’t feel shy to spend a little more on the maintenance, since it’s beneficial to any business!