Monday, December 7, 2009

PM Day

You'd think that things would be pretty slow at the restaurant on a Monday given that we're closed to the public on Mondays. But Mondays are when things happen around here: deep cleaning, remodeling, repairs, plumbing, web site maintenance, server and PC maintenance and upgrades, reprinting wine lists, and so forth and so on.

And today's a pretty busy Monday. It's PM Day as it is every six months, the day when we do preventative maintenance on all our refrigeration equipment. We have two freezers, three refrigerators, and an ice maker that need to be kept up.

And we're just a small restaurant. Imagine the constant maintenance and repair that a big restaurant has to contend with. Worse still, imagine you're at a restaurant that is open 24x7, like the local pancake house or full service hotel. When do you get time to pull equipment out of service and work on it?

The scene at the restaurant is a mess at this moment. The ice machine is in about 25 parts, many of them in the pot sink soaking in de-liming agent. Calcium build up is a huge problem here in the Shenandoah Valley where we're sitting right on top of limestone. Our water is a mess.

Our small reach-in refrigerators are all pulled apart too. Keeping the refrigeration coils clean is a nightmare: as the fans pull air through the coil, the air brings grease into the coil and that acts like glue for any dust that might be in the air.

This is all the non-glamorous stuff that you never hear about on TV or read about in books and which they never teach in culinary school. Non-glamorous, but really necessary. Next time you wonder why we're closed on Mondays, you have part of your answer.

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