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BACK STORY: Always Read The Directions

When a five-star hotel remodeled its foodservice facilities, the team at AIS Commercial Parts & Service, Erie, Pa., was on hand to install the foodservice equipment. Once the remodel was complete, the hotel held a grand reopening. 

“That first weekend we got a service call that the flight-type dishmachine wasn’t cleaning the dishes well,” says Randy Gray, director of service at AIS.

The upscale hotel often hosts weddings and other special events on the weekends.

The customer chose to wait until Monday for AIS to make the service call because it didn’t want to pay overtime charges. 

“On Monday, my techs checked the dishmachine and couldn’t find a problem,” Gray says. “The unit worked fine throughout the following week, and then that weekend, we got another call. The dishmachine wasn’t working well again, and they wanted to wait until Monday for the service call.”

The techs went out a second time the following Monday and, again, there was no problem with the dishmachine. 

On the third weekend, AIS took yet another call from the customer about the dishmachine. Realizing something odd was happening on the weekends, Gray decided to go to the hotel himself Saturday afternoon. “I went to the dishroom, opened the dishmachine, looked inside the tank and the water was like mud.”

Like most large commercial dishmachines, the units require staff to empty the tanks of dirty water and refill with fresh water after every meal. The weekend staff was emptying the tank only once, at the end of a heavy day of use. That’s why AIS received the complaints over the weekend, during high-peak periods, and why on Monday morning, the techs couldn’t find any evidence of a problem. 

“I gathered the staff together and walked them through what they needed to do,” Gray says, noting that the front of the dishmachine lists step-by-step instructions in oversized letters.

“After that, the customer appointed a supervisor to the dishroom to make sure the employees were using the equipment properly,” Gray says. “The hotel is still a good customer of ours today.”

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