Easy way to get an employee to clean restaurant hood baffle filters on a daily basis
Keeping employees productive in a restaurant is always an ongoing task, and below I will offer a simple solution for one area. Cleaning is another responsibility that the kitchen staff usually hates. Sometimes it can be the amount one is given to clean in the kitchen on any given day. Many restaurant operators will wait until the cooking, and other kitchen equipment is heavily caked with grease, and dirt to finally get on the staff about cleaning.
This is the same way with the hood filters, and it is usually a cook that complains about the smoke, and heat that are not leaving the kitchen through the exhaust system. The reason is the filters have been neglected and not cleaned on a regular basis or cleaning schedule, and are now not doing their job. The restaurant exhaust fan’s motor is overloaded, and straining to pull heat and smoke through the clogged filters. An overloaded motor on any day, especially on a hot day will cause motor breakdown, and possible restaurant closure until the motor can be replaced. Depending on the situation you may have another fan on the same hood system to help take the place of the failed motor which will eventually also overload, or having just a one fan hood system which will surely stop food production, and revenue for the restaurant.
The hood filters have a job to do for your hood system. Filters are designed as a flame block in the event of a cooking grease fire below, and to catch grease laden vapors before it reaches the duct system. The filters capture the grease in the baffles and allow the grease to run down the baffles into the bottom of the filter. There the filter has small holes that drain the grease into the lower filter track, that is also know as the trough. The grease runs down the trough and into one end of the hood system where there is a grease cup for the grease to drain into. The grease cup is emptied on a regular basis to keep the process from flowing onto the floor, or onto cooking surfaces.
When the filters are clogged, and have been neglected the grease will make it past the baffles and into the duct system, and up to the kitchen exhaust fan, and grease laden vapors is then sent into the outside air, and onto the roof. If the exhaust fan has no grease box to catch the grease that enters the bowl of the fan, it then drains onto your roof. Grease on any roof system will lead to many costly repair problems down the road.
Filters that are cleaned on a regular basis, will help eliminate most of the grease laden vapors from entering the kitchen exhaust system. The tip that I have told many restaurant operators, and/or management is to implement a regular filter cleaning schedule preferably on a daily basis.
This tip will make an employee more productive, and able to accomplish other tasks set for them. Instead of dumping a whole set of neglected filters on the kitchen staff, simply clean one( minimum) filter a day, every day. This will alleviate an entire day of scraping and scrubbing. It is always better to maintain the filters on a daily schedule which will make employees more inclined to keep doing it on their own without having to be told.