Are you open?

As the Earth continues it’s path around the sun each year we are reminded that not every day will have 12 hours of daylight. We begin to leave for work when the sun is peaking out and often find the sun tucking away on the other side of the the hemisphere when we head home for the day. Weekends feel shorter and schedules seem tighter. The shorter days remind us of the inevitable “winter season” fast approaching.

The sun setting in Alexandria, MN

What we aren’t often reminded of are the tasks that we need to do each year to prepare for the changes in seasons.

Many times we realize after it’s too late that there were steps we should have taken to prepare for the change in seasons. For example, we may forgot to order ice melt and the first rain/snow of the fall freezes at our doorstep, or we forget to turn on a vestibule heater and find the pipes frozen/burst in the entryway.

Waiting until it’s too late is never a great option, and when you are a restaurant operator you can easily be in the mindset of the changes in the seasons, but focused much more on the operations side. You may be adjusting the hours you are using for a decrease in sales. Planning to be less busy in the afternoon and have more sales during the “dinner rush”. You could be planning to hire for seasonal “Black Friday” sales, or taking into account “requests off” for your team member’s holiday plans. Not every restaurant operator runs with both operation and facilities mindsets, and many smaller restaurant chains, partnerships, or franchises do not have facility departments or training procedures in place for this.

One very important task the MUST be performed each year is adjusting the signage timer in your restaurants. In the picture to the left all the establishments appear to be open, but the one towards the middle has no lit signage and appears closed.

Don’t lose sales because you forgot to adjust the timer and customers drive by your restaurant. If the lights aren’t on they may think you are closed. Below you will find some tips to ensuring you are “lit up” for fall and winter sales.

Some more modern style light timers have atomic clocks built in and are able to self adjust, but these are much less common with smaller companies and restaurants looking to build with lower costs. Knowing where your timer is, and what your timer looks like it the first place to start.

This is a common timer for signage.

In the summer time you probably have your timer set to turn on around 6 or 7 PM. As Winter approaches and the sun sets earlier and earlier you will find that you may have to set your timer to turn your signage on as early as 4PM. If you live in a state that utilized Daylight Savings Time you will also have to take into account the time change.

Most signage-timers have two small set screws. One is for the “on” time, and the other “off. To set the on time loosen the on screw and move it to the desired on time. Do the same for the off screw. (labeled on the set screw). Then ensure your “time” dial is pointing to the current time, and you are all set.

Facility tasks can seem overwhelming, daunting, and often they are not included into training materials for operators. Preventative maintenance plans with Paranoid Android Maintenance always include tasks like verifying signage, checking heater in vestibules, or validating dates on filters. These are tasks are often left out of operation manuals, franchise training materials, and unknown to new restaurant owners/operators.

Let Paranoid Android design a Preventative Plan for your restaurant. We can not only be the providers of the preventative service, but our Consultant can assist your team with instilling these practices into your procedures. We can leave you with the plan to implement. We can assist in implementations. We can even provide you with routine audits and additional training. If you are looking to outsource the tasks we are the only call you need. If your long-term goal is to ensure you have these tasks in-house, call and speak to our professional to see how we can assist. I

If you are able to find your signage-timer, and adjusting the time settings don’t appear to be working, or if there is an issue with the sign itself give us a call. Our signage expert can make the repairs you need and leave you set up with the timing you desire.