Commercial Catering Equipment Technician

Occupational overview

This occupation is found in the engineering sector working in the catering industry, in a variety of sites that prepare food in kitchens using commercial catering equipment. Sites include restaurants, public houses, hotels, cafes, schools, hospitals, prisons, care homes, Ministry of Defence sites and many more. They work for catering equipment distributors, catering equipment maintenance specialists, catering equipment manufacturers or importers.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to install, commission, maintain and repair commercial catering equipment, such as combination ovens, fryers, grills and griddles, cooking ranges, dishwashers, microwave ovens etc. Equipment may be gas or electrical and may involve plumbing and electronic controls. Technicians’ work on commercial refrigeration equipment will be limited to mechanical and electrical work and will not include any work relating to refrigerant circuit. Some technicians specialise in certain types of equipment, the majority will work across a wide spectrum. Depending on the work required, they may spend the day at one site or working across a number of venues, working to deadlines. They will travel to sites and might need to work shifts or unsociable hours.

Installations involve unpacking and in some cases assembling equipment, connecting in accordance with the equipment manufacturer’s instructions to suitable services (gas, electricity, water and drainage) and commissioning. Where an installation involves the removal of equipment, they disconnect the redundant item, remove it to a safe area for disposal and make safe any services no longer required. On maintenance visits, they visually inspect the equipment, check the services for any problems, carry out maintenance tasks as specified by the manufacturer, and test the equipment is functioning as designed. On repair visits, they establish the problem from the customer, check the faulty item to confirm the problem, diagnose the fault, adjust or repair or replace faulty components, and test the equipment after repair to ensure that it is working correctly. 

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with venue personnel, such as chefs, catering managers, facilities managers, managers/owners and kitchen staff. Personnel from equipment manufacturers technical support services, and equipment and spares suppliers’ sales and technical staff. They may also liaise with Environmental Health Officers and other trades personnel, such as builders, electricians etc. Internally, they will interact with company management, office staff and other technicians.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for planning their schedule and logistics to meet customers’ requirements and location. Reporting to the correct person in the customer’s premises and agreeing the purpose of their visit and managing customer expectations. At all times, presenting a professional image of the company. Technicians usually work on their own and unsupervised – self-managing, however occasionally on maintenance visits to larger kitchens, they may work alongside other technicians or a supervisor. They must ensure the quality and accuracy of work carried out, ensuring the health, safety and welfare of self and others - working in line with legislation. They have the authority to determine action, including the disconnection or isolation of equipment. They are responsible for ensuring that their tools and equipment are fit for purpose and that their vehicle is roadworthy. They may be responsible for maintaining a stock of spares to an agreed level.

Knowledge

  • Principle of operation of commercial catering equipment, including, combination ovens, fryers, grills, dish/glass washers, microwave ovens, induction units, water boilers.
  • Requirements of basic preventative maintenance tasks and procedures for commercial catering equipment; maintenance checklists and procedures.
  • How to identify specific servicing procedures.
  • Principles of electricity, systems and circuits including earth bonding. Electrical safety testing.
  • Gas – working safely and the function, set up and adjustment of gas components such as regulators, burners, thermocouples, thermostats etc. Air quality measuring, Safe isolation and capping off redundant gas supplies.
  • Water and drainage - types of materials and installation processes. Safe isolation and capping off.
  • Regulations and Legislation: The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, Electricity at Work (1989) Regulations, Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 (WEEE), Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 relating to temperature and cross contamination, General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000, Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR),  normative standards and documents; or subsequent editions or modifications.
  • Use of tools – hand tools, power tools and test meters including Electrical Multimeter, Ohmmeter, Air Quality meter, Flue Gas Analyser, Electronic Gas Leak Detector, Manometer.
  • Health and safety practice including confined spaces, working at heights, personal protective equipment, Construction Skills Certification Scheme Compliance, vehicle safety, risk assessments including dynamic versions, method statements including dynamic versions, manual handling and permits to work.
  • Environmental practice considerations including recycling, fats, oils and grease, food waste and redundant parts.
  • Fault finding and diagnosis procedures including error codes for most common appliances.
  • How to use manufacturers’ instructions, including commercial catering kitchen design considerations. Manufacturers’ warranty terms,
  • How to identify parts, descriptions and part numbers; fitting timescales.
  • Procedures for replacing faulty components, installation, commissioning, and decommissioning and making equipment safe.
  • Planning techniques including time management skills and journey planning.
  • Customer training, mentoring and coaching techniques.
  • Equality and diversity in the workplace considerations.
  • Professional relationships including etiquette, expectations and responsibilities; internal and external.
  • Documentation requirements (manual and digital formats) including job sheets, safety inspection sheets, vehicle safety checklist, safety notices/advice and waste transfer documents.
  • Information Technology including email systems, internet searches, service management systems, connecting equipment to networks, programming control systems, smart technology and emerging technologies.
  • Company operation insight, including Service Level Agreements, employer/employee responsibilities, limitations, commercial contracts (customer expectations, response times), systems of work, key performance indicators.
  • Industry insight for example appropriate timing, peak business hours, local geography, parking restrictions, vehicle restrictions, access, industry stakeholders.
  • Stock management including how to identify requirements, value, handling, safe storage and transportation, ordering and return of parts, equipment and tools.

Skills

  • Undertake routine servicing of commercial catering equipment.
  • Interpret, follow and adhere to Service Level Agreements, legal requirements, specifications, and customer needs.
  • Plan, organise and schedule own/others' work for example task delegation, work-flow, route planning, time management.
  • Conduct site survey, including recording and updating risk assessments and method statements.
  • Interpret job requirements for example job specification, technical drawings, wiring diagrams and Manufacturers’ Instruction manuals.
  • Determine and source resources for example materials, parts, time and equipment.
  • Manage stock levels.
  • Install connecting pipework for gas, water and drainage to mains service.
  • Conduct electrical connection, disconnection and/or isolation of catering or ancillary equipment.
  • Conduct gas connection, disconnection and/or isolation of catering or ancillary equipment.
  • Conduct water and drainage connection, disconnection and/or isolation of catering or ancillary equipment.
  • Operate and maintain tools and instruments in correct working order, including drills, power tools, spirit levels, specialist tools/instruments.
  • Commission/re-commision catering and ancillary equipment.
  • Diagnose faults in catering or ancillary equipment; identify and implement solutions including fitting replacement or repairing parts.
  • Test catering or ancillary equipment and quality assure to manufacturers’ specification.
  • Report completion of work carried out to customer and/or management/office.
  • Categorise decommissioned catering or ancillary equipment for reuse, disposal or recycling.
  • Complete documentation for example asset management records, work sheets, waste environmental records.
  • Collect, record and provide data, for example gas, water pressures and air quality readings.
  • Use IT equipment including computers and smart phones and software for example email, internet browsers, word processing and spreadsheets.
  • Communicate effectively with stakeholders, internal or external, for example customers, colleagues, managers, general public.
  • Provide information, guidance or training to stakeholders including demonstrating the correct operation of equipment.
  • Conduct all duties in adherence with health and safety directives and environmental policy and procedures.
  • Store and transport materials, parts, equipment and tools.

Behaviours

  • Prioritises Health & Safety.
  • Reliable, for example, acts with integrity, punctual, meticulous, trustworthy, honest, determined, perseveres.
  • Adaptable, for example, responds to unforeseen circumstances, improvises in environment or time challenged conditions, resilient under pressure, works independently.
  • Takes responsibility for job, for example, a desire to see a job through from start to finish, checks that it has been completed to required standard, self-motivated.
  • Quality focus for example attention to detail, accuracy, customer orientated, implements quality and lasting repairs.
  • Professional, for example, represents themselves/employer well, presentable, passion for product, ambassadorial nature, instils confidence.
  • Team player, for example works with others toward a common goal, with an obvious willingness and positive attitude, has regard for equality and diversity considerations.
  • Maintains a commitment to continuous professional development in order to ensure growth in ability and standards of work.
  • Recognises personal and professional limitations and seeks appropriate advice when necessary.

Entry requirements

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL. 

Duration

Typically, 30 months.

Professional qualifications

Mandatory qualification 1: CCCN1, Core Commercial Catering Gas Safety Natural Gas

Mandatory qualification 2: ComCat 1, Commercial Catering Appliances – Group 1 boiler burners, open/solid top ranges, hot plates and bain maries

Mandatory qualification 3: ComCat 3, Commercial Catering Appliances – deep fat and pressure fryers, griddles and grills

Mandatory qualification 4: ComCat 5, Commercial Catering Appliances – forced draught burner appliances

Mandatory qualification 5: CONGLP1 PD, Commercial Catering Appliances – Changeover from natural gas to Liquid Petroleum Gases core domestic gas safety for permanent dwellings

Basis for mandatory qualifications: Regulatory requirement

This is a level 3 apprenticeship.

Originally published on Gov.uk, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

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