Susan Daywitt, Founder & CEO of SLM Facility Solutions Nationwide, Wins Award from Restaurant Facilities Management Association

Green Lane, Pennsylvania – March 30, 2017 – Last week at the 2017 Restaurant Facilities Management Association Convention in Orlando, Susan Daywitt, President and Chief Executive Officer of SLM Facility Solutions Nationwide received the RFMy Marvelous Mentor Award for helping to develop a new industry professional.

Susan Daywitt, CEODaywitt received the award during the organization’s Fifth Annual RFMy Awards ceremony on Tuesday, March 7th.

In 1998, Daywitt launched SLM Facility Solutions Nationwide based on her extensive knowledge and professional experience in sales, operations, administration, and management in the waste service industry throughout the United States. She is a graduate from the University of Colorado with two BS degrees in both Business/Marketing and Psychology.  Daywitt is a fully licensed WBE and WBENC entity throughout the United States. She is also an avid writer for both the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association and the Restaurant Facility Management Association magazines educating retailers in the different areas pertaining to facility services.

SLM Facility Solutions Nationwide is the chose management provider for well over 15,000 clients coast to coast, including many of the top businesses in retail, equity groups, and high-profile restaurants nationwide. The Philadelphia suburb based company provides facility service solutions in the fields of waste and recycling, grease trap pumping/jetting, plumbing, cooking oil removal, kitchen exhaust cleaning, HVAC, an array of handyman services, general contracting, and sustainability consulting among several others.

With a national network of over 12,000 licensed and insured vendors, SLM designs and manages comprehensive programs to meet a client’s individual needs.  Additional information about SLM Facility Solutions Nationwide is available at their new website, http://www.slmfacilities.com.

 

Media Contact:

Jim DeLorenzo, Public Relations, MediaMark Spotlight

215-680-6917, Jim@MediaMarkSpotlight.com

Sustainability in the Restaurant Industry

Restaurant sustainability

Doing what is right for the long-term success of your business, as well as your community and its environment, is the responsible way to achieve business sustainability. Being a sustainable business optimizes your facility – in striving for zero waste, you can save money, and energy is conserved.

Since the start of the 21st Century, the importance of sustainability has grown, as has our awareness of the need to operate in a sustainable fashion.   Industry estimates are that a restaurant uses five to 10 times more energy per square foot than any other business.  Because restaurants and food service businesses are such energy consumers, it is up to facility managers and business owners to continue to seek out the best new equipment, materials and processes to minimize energy use, water use, and waste.

“Going Green” is a very popular, and important, topic for the restaurant industry, and “going green” gets facility managers and business owners much closer to achieving sustainability.

There are many reasons that restaurants should go green. Besides a genuine concern for the environment, a restaurant can increase its profits by going green. Savvy foodies flock to restaurants that specialize in food made from local, organic ingredients, and those restaurants that advertise green practices in their marketing strategy are winning a greater market share.  It’s also a positive public relations practice to incorporate sustainable measures into the operations at any food service location, leading to greater credibility for your business in a crowded and touch market.

Going green can be expensive, if a strategic approach is not taken.   But it can also be more expensive if you must pay fines and upgrade practices and facilities to get into compliance with local laws and Federal mandates.  For some people, going green can be as simple as buying a farmer’s market tomato – but that is not nearly enough for a restaurant to be considered “green.”

Restaurant managers know there is so much more to running a successful restaurant than cooking great food — what happens in the kitchen and behind the scenes is crucial. Buying, growing, serving and recycling the food and solid waste presents just as powerful of an opportunity as the menu does. While being green may not be the top priority, it is still an opportunity for a restaurant to increase its business base and help improve the environment.

Single-stream recycling of bottles, cans, aluminum, plastic, cardboard and paper is the standard for U.S. businesses, but it is important for facility managers to find the right vendor to help them maintain their recycling efforts as well as dispose of the materials properly.  Grease traps are also important for facility managers in any food service setting, providing a responsible method for collecting waste materials, but again, it is important to find the right way to dispose of the collected grease without having a negative impact on your environment.

Businesses that recycle bottles, paper, plastic, etc. can experience an increase in business and positive public perceptions if they advertise and promote that “best practice.”  An even better way to make a positive community impact is donating leftover food to a community food bank or shelter.  In your customer’s eyes, you will be a business that cares about your community, your environment, and that you want to make a difference.

Being sustainable is the optimum way to increase your business, serve cleaner and healthier food, and be environmentally friendly – all the good things we want to be.

Don’t be Cheap about your Grease Traps!

grease traps

Facility managers have many priorities that require their daily attention, and grease management can be easily overlooked.   Restaurant and food service managers naturally focus on improving their customer experiences, controlling costs, and working hard to ensure that their facility continues to operate efficiently without any unnecessary interruptions of service.

With such overwhelming responsibilities, grease trap management and choosing the right grease control device can seem less important than other priorities. But a facility managers’ goals for their facility are impacted by their choices in grease control.

Facility managers are increasingly being held accountable for grease effluent control and regulatory compliance. Lack of compliance can mean costly fines, facility shut downs, and damage to the corporate brand and reputation.

Questions regarding compliance can distract the owner or facility manager from delivering a great customer experience.  In the worst-case scenario, it becomes a nightmare. Complicating this is the corporate pressure to strengthen the restaurant’s brand, enhance the customer experience, manage costs and deliver profit goals. Doing what is best can take a back seat to doing what is necessary at any given time.

Facility managers can be caught in the middle of corporate financial management, engineering design and construction teams, regulatory and stewardship teams, purchasing, human resources, restaurant management, operations and outside regulatory agencies. In the case of grease control, some organizations have driven the process to the lowest common denominator to buy what is cheapest to keep them in compliance.  Companies that take a long-term approach can satisfy the brand manager’s initiatives, while becoming good stewards of the community, the environment, and their bottom line.

Plumbing and building codes simply require an approved grease capture device to be installed. But just because a device follows the local code does not mean that the facility is in environmental compliance for wastewater discharge or can operate trouble-free. Regulators and grease inspectors manage sewer use with environmental ordinances. They are becoming very aggressive in monitoring grease effluent and enforcing grease control standards. A food service establishment must operate in a way that does not disrupt the safe operation of the sewer system and the treatment plan.

Meeting plumbing codes does not mean that your restaurant is in environmental compliance. When sizing grease interceptors to ensure compliance, work with your supplier and local regulator who can verify the grease interceptor is sized to accept the peak flow from each grease-discharging fixture.

Spending the “bare minimum” on your grease traps to stay compliant with local regulations will ultimately hurt you in the long-run, and severely impact your bottom line.  Finding the right long-term solution for your grease traps will save you money, time, and hassles today and in the future.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the SLM family! 🙂

Preventative Maintenance on your Drains Avoids Problems & Costs

Preventative Maintenance

Receiving calls from your facilities reporting blocked drains, flooding, disrupted operations, and crippling damages have become daily setbacks to many facilities managers across the nation.

The best way to minimize, and even prevent, such problems is to develop, implement, and carefully manage a preventive maintenance program for drain cleaning.

Identifying the locations with the most common drain blockage problems, and exploring drain-cleaning equipment options enables a facility manager to effectively coordinate the equipment, time and activities, and minimize disruptions to the daily routine.

Traps, turns and constrictions in plumbing systems are the most likely places for drain and pipe blockages to start. A building’s “as-built” drawings (usually on file with the building owner or the architect) will show the drain system from the fixture to the municipal sewer system and waste-treatment facility. These drawings provide an overview of the entire drainage system piping runs, both horizontal and vertical.

Front-line staff can also identify the locations of inspection and cleanout plugs. They can remove the plugs, usually threaded into a Y-fitting, to check the condition of a pipe’s inside walls or to insert cleanout tools, inspection equipment, and drain-cleaning tools.

The most frequent blockage problems in institutional and commercial buildings involve toilet and sink traps. These traps serve two purposes: to hold a quantity of water between the drain opening and the sewer and prevent sewer gases from backing up into the environment, and to stop objects from becoming lodged farther into the drain line, where they are very difficult to locate and remove.

Sinks, toilets, and floor drains all have traps. Commercial kitchens have grease traps to keep large quantities of grease out of the drains. If not collected and removed periodically, the grease eventually will solidify in large enough amounts to totally block the flow through the pipe.

Some blockages also occur from the permeation by tree roots into underground lines. The roots take advantage of pipe walls that have collapsed due to age, settling or that have been damaged by construction equipment inside or outside the building.

Newer low-flow toilet fixtures also can be a source of blockages, especially if the flush valves were added to the system as part of a water-conservation upgrade and if bowls were not matched to the valve’s flow rate. Some older toilet bowls were not designed for lower water flow. If installation of low-flow valves did not include replacement of the old bowl design, a clogging problem might result from an insufficient water flow.

Tackling problems before they happen by having detailed knowledge of your drains and your plumbing system will save you a great deal of time, and money, in the long run.

SLM’s Handyman Service

No job too big nor too small for our vendors!

Our vendors cover everything from major repairs all the way to minor odd jobs, and everything in between!

Learn more about our Handyman Service here, or call 888.847.4449.

Water Leaks Can Cost You

Water Leaks

Being a property or facilities manager is a career that requires wearing several hats. You must be informed of current trends and regulations in various fields directly related to managing several properties simultaneously – such as plumbing, HVAC, electrical, fire safety, OSHA, and waste removal regulations.

Plumbing is at the top of the priority list for property and facility managers to handle daily. For example, if you currently oversee commercial properties with millions of square feet of space, or are a property manager of an apartment community boding 400 units, you are certainly bound to come across some form of plumbing issues regularly.

Commercial property managers know plumbing issues are a challenge all its own. It can take the pressure from you when you know you have a reputable plumbing contractor to work with.

Did you know that a single leaking toilet can waste up to 90,000 gallons of water in a month? This can result in huge water bills. Spread this across numerous toilets and numerous properties and the water bills can be beyond exorbitant.  Working with a qualified plumbing professional can help you track down leaks of all types, as well as help you reduce your water consumption and your water bills. Not only is tracking down a leaking toilet good for your pocket book, but it also helps save our natural resources.

There are multiple issues you may face that require calling a qualified plumbing professional for a quick remedy, such as broken pipes, or overflowing toilets and/or flooded bathrooms, corroded pipes, gas line leaks, or sewage leakage.

It is your obligation to ensure that all your facility’s tenants are working in the building safely and happily. Having a plumbing issue does not have to ruin your day, you simply need a reputable service to handle all jobs big or small, and fast!

Cleaning the Exhaust Hood Now stops Problems Later

Exhaust Hood

Greasy buildup inside hoods and ductwork can become a safety hazard of its own. Protecting against this hazard requires regular and thorough cleaning of the exhaust hood, exhaust hood filters, and ductwork. Grease buildup inside the hood duct system is among the leading causes of restaurant fires, and proper maintenance and cleaning can drastically reduce this risk.

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) requires professional exhaust hood cleaning for all commercial kitchens. Failure to meet these requirements not only increases the risk of fire, but also can put a restaurant at risk for hefty fines and mandatory closure.

Exhaust hood cleaning requirements and best practices are outlined in NFPA 96: Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, including the frequency of cleaning for various types of kitchens:

  • Monthly – Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations;
  • Quarterly – Systems serving high-volume operations, such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling, wok cooking, etc.;
  • Semi-Annually – Systems serving moderate volume cooking operations;
  • Annually – Systems serving low volume cooking operations, such as day camps, churches, seasonal businesses, etc.

While restaurant employees are expected to clean the exterior surfaces of exhaust hoods as part of their normal hood cleaning procedures, the thorough cleaning outlined in NFPA 96 is to be carried out by trained, certified kitchen exhaust cleaning professionals.  A trained and certified kitchen exhaust cleaning professional can provide the necessary services to keep the restaurant current and in compliance.  The scope of their work includes:

  • Disassembly, cleaning, and degreasing hoods, including hood filter tracts, grease troughs, and removable grease cups;
  • Removal of roof and/or wall mounted fans from ductwork to degrease the base, shroud, and blades;
  • Inspecting exhaust fans for loose or worn out fan belts;
  • Cleaning and degreasing all hood filters, hood parts and accessories, and replacing if necessary;
  • Cleaning all accessible parts of ductwork from exhaust fans to each individual hood;
  • Applying food-safe polish to stainless steel ductwork;
  • Thoroughly cleaning all affected areas (remove plastic, mop, remove any debris, etc.);
  • Providing a complete, detailed written report of all work performed, and deficiencies in the exhaust system, and recommendations for addressing any problems;
  • And provide a certificate showing company name, person performing the work, and date of cleaning to each hood cleaned.

Certified professional hood cleaning is a necessity for any commercial cooking operation, both to reduce the risk of fire and avoid noncompliance.

Tackle your Storage Challenges with a Bulk Pick Up

Bulk Pick up

Last month, a Philadelphia news website was given a tour of Philadelphia’s City Hall, and the big takeaway from the coverage was the over 500 pieces of outdated office furniture stacked up for hundreds of feet in a sub-basement of City Hall.  Mountains of old desks, filing cabinets, chairs, lamps and other equipment, some of it dating back to the 1920s, sitting in darkness, taking up space.

Do you have a pile-up like that somewhere hidden away?  Holiday displays, old promotional materials, unused and unwanted office furnishings, damaged or out-of-fashion merchandise or goods – let’s face it, almost everybody has a “stack of stuff” that they just can’t find a way to get rid of.

Have you considered getting rid of it in a more responsible manner, with a Bulk Pick-up?

With a Bulk Pick Up, you can safely and efficiently tackle your overwhelming storage challenges.  Bulk Pick Up is a cost-effective recycling solution that takes your unwanted items directly to a certified recycling center. With the right provider, you will receive detailed reports of the waste recycled, amount recycled, and the date it was processed, which is a great boon for management reviews and “Green” initiatives at your company.

Here’s a quick list of items you may have just gathering dust, that you could consider incorporating in a Bulk Pick Up scenario:

  • Microwave and/or toaster ovens and other small appliances;
  • Menu boards and signs;
  • Electronics, including speakers, computers, monitors, printers, dry batteries, lamps;
  • Scrap metal, pipes, shelving units;
  • Clothing, jackets, backpacks, purses, belts, suspenders, shoes, towels
  • Carpets and padding, floor mats, area rugs;
  • Office furniture, including desks, filing cabinets, chairs, bookshelves, tables.

Face it, there’s a slew of old, outdated items everywhere that needs to be put into its proper place!

Think of the convenience of using a Bulk Pick Up service provider, as well as the safety benefits:  your team members would not be required to handle the bulk items and you will have a vendor who is properly trained and equipped to handle the job.  Imagine how much better your business site will look once that “stuff” is gone!

This is the perfect time of year to get rid of the mountain of clutter, both mentally and physically, with a Bulk Pick Up of your problem.

Stop Contributing to your Community FOG

FOG

Fats, oils and grease (FOG) continue to plague sewer systems across the country by reducing sewer line capacity, clogging sewer lines and gumming up wastewater treatment plant works. Part of the reason is that the fats, oils and grease that make up FOG are distinct, entering the sewer system from different sources and possessing unique chemical makeups.

Animal fats and tallows are generally introduced from manufacturing or rendering facilities and can harden in pipes over time, limiting sewer capacity and impacting sewer component longevity.  FOG can be introduced from food service establishments as well as residential users.   The best strategy for reducing FOG problems remains source control, through a combination of mechanical separators, and regulatory and educational efforts.

Many communities require that food service establishments and other related industries employ interceptors to separate FOG at those sources, but many do not. Source control is a major component of industry best practices. Encouraging source control nips the problem before it can become a threat to property and public health.

While additives such as degreasers, emulsifiers, enzymes and bacteria can temporarily break down FOG deposits, they’re only a temporary solution. They are “spot” treatments that will break down FOG or liquefy it long enough to move it further down the sewer line, or into the treatment plant. In many systems, the use of enzymes, emulsifiers and grease gobbling bacteria by businesses is now illegal, because they can disrupt a sewage treatment plant by shifting its pH or introducing the wrong enzyme or bacteria.

FOG may collect in some areas because of poor pipe cleaning and maintenance, pipe defects, pipe sags or root problems. Therefore, the best way of dealing with FOG in sewers is source control, coupled with an effective preventive maintenance program.

Proper maintenance and education are crucial in keeping your establishment “FOG Free.”  It is recommended that key “on site” personnel have FOG Certification, and that you have a qualified service provider work with you on grease trap maintenance to ensure that your facility is “FOG Free” and not contributing to your community’s FOG issues.

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