Buying New Equipment!

January 17, 2013

I got to buy a new convection oven last month. It’s very exciting. When the one you bought 20 years ago dies with a dramatic clunk on Sunday evening, and it is one of your most important pieces of equipment in the kitchen, you have no choice but to spend the money. I had just paid $450.00 for a repair 10 days earlier, that was no joy, but I love spending money, so I was excited.

So here I go. I had to buy an electric oven 20 years ago because the hood system was not long enough to accommodate a gas one in the old location. When we did the build out on the house, I specifially designed the hood system and line to fit a gas one in. Electric oven doesn’t need to go under an exhaust hood, gas one does.

I called a couple of distributors to see what gas ovens they had in stock. I called Blodgett to see which model they recommended for our usage. My regular heating and air guy was in a deer stand. I met with the other heating and air (and gas) engineers (more expensive)to see if I had enough BTU’s coming into the building. We literally walked through the restaurant with a pad and paper, dug out old equipment manuals and totalled it all up. I was OK, though not great.

Blogett Oven customer service did not approve of the cheap one that was at Atlanta Fixtures. Said it wouldn’t do the job. Blogett wanted to ship me one but it would take 10 days to receive it. The Southbend one was too small. I found what I needed, luckily at a discount restaurant supply company. My husband and I went to pick it up and put it in his pickup truck. (One of the reasons I married him).

I called a couple of my cooks to schedule them to come in at 8:00 am the next day to move the oven from the pickup truck into the kitchen. Did I mention that I have 13 steps out front and none of the professional delivery options would move the oven up the steps? I scheduled the heating and air guys to tap off of the gas lines and add a connection to the line. That concludes Monday.

Tuesday morning my cooks and sous chef and husband and gas guys meet at the restaurant at 8:00 am. The gas line guys need to go get another part. Of course.??? We are stuck with putting the old 435 lb oven on a dolly. We have to take the legs off to get it through the doors. Oh wait. That’s not good enough, we have to take the kitchen door off it’s high powered $150.00 hinges. Then we have to take the door to the handicap ramp off the hinges. The oven goes out to the parking lot. This takes 1 1/2 hours. The new 435 lb oven is loaded on to the dolly. It is pushed up the handicap ramp, through the door openings and into the kitchen. The legs are put on the new oven.

The gas guys still aren’t finished.

We put the old oven into my husband’s truck for recycling. We put the handicap door back on. Two of the cooks leave so they can get stuff done before they have to come back for the night shift. Did I mention this was my sous chef’s day off? We are waiting on the gas guys. I take one look at the heavy duty hinges for the kitchen door and call my contractor. I can’t or don’t want to “handle it”. The gas guys help us put the new oven in place and hook it up. We lovingly pull off all the sticky stuff to reveal beautiful stainless steel on the sides and top. We turn it on. It doesn’t work. I call the Blodget customer service guys and they walk me through getting it going for the first time. I think I have to stand on one foot, press a button and wait 30 seconds.

It works.

My contractor came and put the kitchen door on in 10 minutes. His bill was two single malt scotches on his next visit in for dinner.

The gas pulled from the new oven affected two outdoor heaters that had been hooked to the kitchen line. My other heating and air guy had to pull the gas from another part of the restaurant two days later.

We’re up.

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