Is Hood Cleaning A Good Business?

Is Hood Cleaning A Good Business?

A hood cleaning business can be rewarding, both personally and financially. Once you’ve become an expert in this kind of business, this can be your regular source of income. There are a lot of hood cleaning businesses out there that have proven their success in this industry.

If you want to venture in a hood cleaning business, you have to invest first in yourself. Learn all the skills and master the craft. Get the proper certifications if necessary. There is a great opportunity to earn higher profit for a start-up hood cleaning service. Commercial kitchen operators are mandated by law (NFPA-96 Standard) to have their kitchen hoods regularly inspected for compliance and so there is the need for their kitchen hoods to be cleaned at regular intervals. Other establishments like schools, hotels, hospitals, malls and airports also need this service. You can have a lot of potential clients when you think about it. These establishments are willing to pay for hood cleaning not only to be law-abiding business but also because of the numerous advantages it can give to them- minimizing fire hazards, improving air circulation inside their kitchens and many more.

Hood cleaning is usually done at night to avoid inconvenience. A regular cleaning takes 3-4 hours to finish. Another good thing about this business is it only needs a minimal start-up cost. You can start a hood cleaning business for a minimum of $2,000. As a beginner in this industry, you also do not need to rent a space to serve as your office. You can use your own home. You can also operate part-time if you wish to do so. The profit margins of a hood cleaning business usually range from 20-45%. Moreover, if you’ve become an expert on this field, you can earn bigger.

The chances of succeeding in a hood cleaning business may not be far from achieving. Just like any business, you must study and learn all the areas of your business to succeed. If you have the passion and the necessary skills to start a hood cleaning business, it might just give you the  financial success you’re aiming for.


Restaurant Fires in the United States

Restaurant Fires in the United States

Restaurants have all the necessary factors for a fire to flame out of control. Some of these are open flames, cooking equipment, electrical connections, a hot kitchen environment and paper products. It would be a great disaster for a business owner if he experiences such unfortunate accident. It could mean a great loss of fortune for the business or worse, closure of the business venture.

SOME FACTS ABOUT RESTAURANT FIRES IN THE UNITED STATES

These data are taken from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These are informative statistics that might interest you if you are interested to venture in a food business like a restaurant.

  1. According to NFPA, from 2010-2014, approximately 61% of restaurant fires in America are caused primarily by cooking- with cooking equipment as the main cause. This constitutes three of five fires and 38% of direct property damage. When you think about it, it really makes sense that cooking equipment is the main cause of a restaurant fire since it is the constant source of heat and fuel throughout the day.

 

  1. Approximately 22% of these fires were caused by failure of cleaning, 14% due to electrical failure or malfunction, 12% is caused by mechanical malfunction and 8% is due to unattended equipment. If you leave your kitchen equipment unclean over time, the possibility of grease build up arises. A major build-up of grease in the kitchen can also cause fire hazards.

 

  1. The major cooking equipment that can contribute to a fire are the following:
  • Deep Fryers- 21%
  • Cooktops or ranges- 14%
  • Cooking grills- 6%
  • Ovens- 5%

 

  1. Restaurant fires resulted in property damage of about $165 million every year. It is important to know here that not only the restaurant building is affected but also other nearby establishments if the fire is not controlled right away. Also, lives of people can be at risk when a fire accident occurs.

RECENT RESTAURANT FIRE INCIDENT IN THE UNITED STATES

On the evening of July 16, the Michelin restaurant Manresa in Los Gatos was damaged by fire. Fire fighters saw significant damage to the roof and the facilities inside the restaurant. The establishment is still close for business.

BASIC RESTAURANT FIRE SAFETY MEASURES

The best thing to prevent this kind of accident is to have preventive measures on hand. There are many ways to do this but let’s focus on two major ways.

  1. Preventive Maintenance
  • Install a fire suppression system in the kitchen. This one is important because as mentioned earlier, majority of the cause of restaurant fires is because of cooking equipment. This system can help supress flames by automatically dispensing chemicals. Always see to it that your fire suppression system is also well maintained.
  • Have fire extinguishers in different areas. These portable fire fighting items can come in handy whenever a small fire starts and can still be controlled.
  • Always have a regular maintenance of electrical wirings and equipment. Another cause of kitchen fires is the electrical wirings and equipment. Always check with your contractor for any fayed cords or electrical wiring, cracked or broken switch and other combustible electrical materials.
  • Have your kitchen exhaust systems regularly inspected. NFPA-96 Standard calls for a regular inspection of the kitchen exhaust systems installed in commercial kitchens. This can be done monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually depending on the classification of the business. It is done to prevent grease build-up which can also cause fire in the kitchen.

 

  1. Proper staff training
  • Train your staff to be familiar and to use fire extinguishers. It is better to stop a small fire before it burns up the whole establishment. Conduct trainings and seminars on the proper use of fire extinguishers as these can be of great help when an emergency arises.
  • Always inform your staff to clean the kitchen equipment regularly. This is done to prevent any build-up of grease in your kitchen equipment.
  • Inform your staff of proper disposal of cigarettes. Tell them also not to smoke near storage areas and make sure that cigarettes are out before disposing them in trash bins.
  • Handle chemicals properly. This goes especially to fire igniting chemicals. Always place them in well ventilated areas and keep them away from supplies, food supplies or any source of flames.

These are just some of the few methods that you can use to minimize the occurrence of a kitchen fire in your establishment. It is always better to prevent this than suffer a great loss of investment, property or even a life.


Why Vent Hoods are Important for Restaurants

Why Vent Hoods are Important for Restaurants

A range hood or vent hood is sometimes the largely overlooked appliance in commercial kitchens like restaurants. But although least appreciated, in reality it is one of the most valuable assets in a kitchen. Aside from providing a substantial filtering support for your stove or cook top, a range hood is designed to remove odors, heat and smoke that can occur when cooking in the kitchen. Restaurant owners make sure to invest in a good quality range hood to maximize the benefits it can give to them.

Below are some of the reasons why a range hood is a necessary appliance in food businesses such as restaurants.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE A RANGE HOOD?

To further understand the importance of this particular kitchen appliance, let’s try to define first the meaning of a range hood. A range hood is basically a device containing a fan that hangs above the stove or cook top. It is also commonly known as a vent hood or an exhaust hood. As mentioned earlier, it is designed to remove gases and odors in the kitchen.

Many vent hoods have filtration systems that exhaust the air to the outside environment while some vent hoods circulate the air back to the kitchen.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING RANGE HOODS IN RESTAURANTS

  1. A range hood contributes to a more clean air in the kitchen.

Notably the most important role of a range hood is to remove any unwanted gas and odors in the kitchen. When cooking or preparing for a meal, other people might end up dealing with the smoke and the odor that comes with it. With the help of a range hood, it drives away any unwanted particles in the air.

On another note, a range hood is good in cutting down the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a gas that has potential health dangers in humans. Some studies conducted revealed that kitchens with no vent hoods have elevated levels of carbon monoxide than those kitchens that have vent hoods installed.

  1. A range hood makes your cooking more comfortable.

A range hood can contribute to a clean and comfortable cooking environment. Cooking produces heat so sometimes it is uncomfortable dealing with all the smokes around the kitchen.

A good quality range hood can make the life of a chef easier and all the other kitchen personnel. It will give them the freedom to explore more and be creative with their cooking style. When you’re comfortable in your working environment, you will be motivated to perform better.

  1. A range hood makes kitchen cleaning easier.

Cooking sometimes leave excessive moisture in the air and it is also a factor for grease build up which is sometimes hard to remove. Having a range hood prevents those things and makes your cleaning a little bit easier.

  1. A range hood provides better kitchen lighting.

An additional good feature of a range hood is the additional lighting it provides. This feature will be most beneficial to the chef because he can see well if he is preparing the dish in the right manner. Same goes when cleaning, a person can see much better and can clean all the areas in the cook top thus preventing the build-up of grease in the kitchen.

  1. A range hood is a good kitchen investment

This can come in handy if you want to re-sell your restaurant. A restaurant with a range hood installed has a higher market value than a restaurant with none. For this reason, a range hood is considered a luxury in every restaurant.

These are just some of the wonderful benefits of having a range hood installed in your restaurant. Having a good quality range hood can make a food business last because of the benefits and comfort it can give to the kitchen employees and to the employer as well.


Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

KITCHEN EXHAUST CLEANING

Building owners especially restaurant owners, should comply not only with proper sanitation standards but also with proper cleaning of their exhaust systems. Kitchen exhaust cleaning is the process of removing greases that have accumulated inside the exhaust systems of commercial kitchens. A proper cleaning of the entire kitchen exhaust system includes the hoods, filters, fans and all associated horizontal and vertical ductworks. It is important to monitor this because when left unclean, these exhaust systems can accumulate grease over time which is extremely prone to fire hazards. Approximately one of three restaurant fires are caused by grease. However, when an exhaust system is cleaned regularly, chances of a duct fire is extremely low. Exhaust systems must undergo inspection at certain intervals, with constant usage, to know if sufficient grease has accumulated and if cleaning is already necessary.

GOVERNING REGULATION

The actual commercial kitchen exhaust system cleaning guidelines are stated in the National Fire Protection Association Standard 96 otherwise known as the Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations. This regulation provides the minimum fire safety standards related to the design, installation, operation, inspection, and maintenance of all public and private cooking operations. All commercial kitchen operators and kitchen exhaust hood cleaners must observe strict compliance with this regulation.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD KITCHEN EXHAUST SYSTEMS BE CLEANED?

The answer lies on NFPA-96 Standard section 11.4, “the entire exhaust system shall be inspected for grease build up by a properly trained, qualified and certified person(s) acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and in accordance with Table 11.4”

Type or Volume of Cooking Frequency Frequency
Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations Monthly
Systems serving high-volume cooking operations such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling or work cooking  

Quarterly

Systems serving moderate-volume cooking operations Semi-annually
Systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as churches, day camps, seasonal business or senior centers  

Annually

 

METHODS OF CLEANING

There are two primary methods of cleaning kitchen exhaust:
• Scraping- This method is the more economical and is extremely effective when done properly. It’s accomplished by a person simply scraping the accumulation of grease from the walls of the exhaust system. Although scraping is an effective method of removing grease for the exhaust system, it’s not the most thorough method because there are certain areas which are unreachable due to human’s limit.
• Pressure washing or steam cleaning- This method is the alternative to scraping. Though the down point of this method is that it is more costly and time-consuming since it requires considerable preparatory work to control wastewater and more expensive equipment is needed. However, this method will clean ductwork down to “bare metal” which is the recommendation of the NFPA-96 Standard. This method delivers impressive results and provides an absolute thorough cleaning of every corner of the exhaust system.

Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning At Regular Intervals

Most kitchen exhaust cleaning companies offer both methods for cleaning kitchen exhaust systems. They even recommend doing both methods at regular intervals to maintain maximum efficiency and prevent grease build up.

A responsible commercial kitchen operator must know the importance of maintaining the exhaust system clean of grease, prevent build up and reduce the risk of a fire hazard. After all, a well cleaned and a well maintained commercial kitchen brings safety to the employer, employees and its customers.