Operators can maximize the service life of mobile bars by becoming familiar with the components and making daily inspections of its various parts. When a service agent does need to be involved, the operator should ask questions and observe the inspection and/or repairs. The agent should be able to give helpful maintenance tips and advice.
George Loredo, service manager at PROTEX Restaurant Services Inc. in Corpus Christi, Texas, explains the necessary cleaning and maintenance tasks mobile bars require.
- A typical cleaning schedule for a mobile bar includes daily cleaning and sanitizing of all components in direct contact with food or beverages. This may encompass cutting boards, beer or soft drink tap mouths, and ice bins.
- Use a soft cloth or sponge to immediately clean any exterior spills. Exteriors also should be cleaned daily.
- Any mechanically refrigerated units should have condenser coils and louvered vents cleaned every three months. Simply brushing refrigeration condenser coils may actually push dirt and lint farther into the finned area. Pressurized air is recommended for cleaning this component.
- Clean and sanitize all components according to health and food safety rules. Generally, food safe sanitizing agents are used and these are air dried. Avoid cleaners with chlorides and phosphates.
- Clean condenser coils and louvered vents with a soft bristle brush and pressurized air.
- Unless there is an obvious component malfunction, an operator should call for a service agent when the manufacturer’s recommended inspection is due or when the mobile bar has been stored without use for extended periods of time to ensure safe operation.
- Generally, the mobile bar’s service life depends on its location, including whether it’s exposed to high heat and humidity or splashes and how frequently it is used and maintained. Most high-use equipment should last at least five years or more.
- Signs the equipment needs replacing include when the basic structure and supports are compromised or if the surfaces that come in contact with food or beverages are no longer able to be sanitized properly.
- Do not expose the equipment to extreme
elements. This includes not exposing wood panels to high humidity or leaving stainless steel surfaces uncovered outside.