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Hood Cleaning Prices What to Charge?

Restaurant Kitchen Exhaust Hood Venting System Cleaning Pricing Guidelines

First, determine your hourly rate. This is based on direct labor cost (hourly wages for the crew), plus indirect labor costs if you offer benefits (called “labor burden”, it can be as much as 20 to 30 %), multiplied by the correct factor for your profit margin level (usually X 2 or X 2.5).

Most hourly rates are somewhere between $75 per hour to $150 per hour, depending upon how many men comprise the crew.

Based on your hourly rate, you should be able to get into the “ballpark” using the following guide.

For a “straight-up” job, average hood, one-story, fan on roof above, the time on the job should approximate the following:

5 ft. hood or less 2 hours

5 ft. to 8 ft. 2.5 hours

8 ft. to 12 ft. 3 hours

12 ft. to 16 ft. 3.5 hours

16 ft. to 20 ft. 4 hours

20 ft. to 24 ft. 4.5 hours

Over 24 ft. 5 hours

Notes:

  1. Hood lengths overlap to allow for higher pricing if the system is dirty.
  2. Oriental Restaurants—double the price due to the type of oil that they use.
  3. Additional exhaust fans—add $50 to $75 each
  4. Cleaning filters—add $5 each.
  5. Charge extra for first time or “forced” cleaning (citation from the Health Department)—it will be dirty.
  6. Charge extra for long or complicated duct runs.
  7. Charge extra if the job requires scraping out the system rather than washing.
  8. Charge extra for access panels (if Required.) approximately: $150.00 each
  9. Discount day work, or volume (multiple locations)

Method 2:

$10.00 to $20.00 per hood linear foot plus $40.00 to $60.00 per fan. Minimum charge: $100.00 to $250.00 Double the above prices for Oriental Restaurants.

(Caution: Some restaurants personnel lose their ability to speak English when it gets time to collect the invoice!) Access panels: $55.00 to $75.00 each Give a discount for scheduling during the day as most work is done at night.

Discount for scheduling during your off hours as most work is done from 10:00 pm until 4:00 am. Charge extra for the first time cleaning.

Charge extra if they are being forced to clean (citation from the Health Department) as it is probably very bad.

The concepts described in Method 1 of the pricing guidelines can apply to all markets because it uses the tried and true method of time and material plus your profit margin.

Typically, charging $100.00 to $150.00 per hour will cover your costs plus a good profit margin. Method 2 is also accurate; however, Jenny does not use these pricing formulas.

The real art in pricing strategies is to accurately control and access your corporations cost structure.

Prices will always converge to what the market will support based on the quality/price trade-off.

However, costs are more company specific and can be manipulated and fine tuned to increase profit margins. This is where a company can gain a competitive advantage over the competition.

Keep in mind the quality of work is assumed to be adequate.

BIDDING MULTI-STORY DUCT

Anybody that lives in a major city is going to run in to multi-story grease ducts at one point or another.

In order to give the customer a fair price for the job, you are going to need a formula that will cover all of your costs and ensure that you make a profit, no matter how long the run is.

You are also going to need to be able to keep the price competitive if you have several companies in your area that can do the same quality of work.

The best formula that I have seen for this type of job is the per linear foot method, which can be modified for the width of the duct and type of grease being removed.

Obviously a larger diameter of duct is going to require more chemical and more duct spinner runs than a smaller diameter duct.

Wok and wood burning char broilers are going to require many more runs as well.

In some occasions the reverse is actually true. The ducts are so big and so long that only a light layer of grease is formed on the duct, which will be very easy to take off.

You can modify the formula if this is the case as well. It can be as simple as charging a standard amount per linear foot of duct and going up and down based on size of duct and type of grease, here are some guidelines:

Standard sized duct (say 2’ x 2’) – $5 per linear foot System with wok cooking – add $2 per linear foot System with char broiler cooking – add $1 per linear foot Larger duct – add $1 per every extra 1 foot of width Here is an example using this formula:

10-story (100’ long) 3’ wide duct with wok cooking; Start with the standard $5 per linear foot and add $1 for the larger duct and $2 for the wok cooking.

You now have $8 per linear foot x 100’ = $800 for a 10 story 3’ wide duct with wok cooking.

This can be modified for the pricing in your area by adding or subtracting from your standard duct price. You can also modify this very easily if you plan to give a discount for multiple ducts or multiple locations.

This formula is easy to use on an entire system as well. Let’s say you have an 8’ plenum, 10’ vertical duct with one fan.If it was a standard system and you were charging $5 per linear foot you would have 18’ of duct work x $5 = $90 + $75 for the fan = $165.

This is a pretty standard price to pressure wash a one-story location in but in your area you may be able to go up to $8 per linear foot which would turn the same job in to $220.You can also work the formula backwards and come up with a standard per foot price for your area. Lets say the industry standard for a one-system single story pressure wash in your city is $255.

If you start with the $255 and subtract the fan ($75) you are left with $180 for the rest of the system. $180/18’ = $10 per linear foot of duct work. You can expand this to include the hoods or add-on for lateral ducts and your price will still stay within the industry standards for your city.

Here is an example of a bid for a system with a lateral duct on a wood burning char broiler using $10 per foot: $10 per linear foot + $1 for the wood burning char broiler = $11 per linear foot. A 12’ plenum in to a 1’ vertical riser with 10’ of lateral duct and 10’ of vertical duct in to 1 fan would be a total of 33’ of duct work.

33 x $11 = $330 for the duct work.

Add $75 for the fan and the total for the job would be $405.

You could charge the $11 per foot on the first service to clean the system up and go to $7 per foot on the regular service, which would bring the price down to about $300 on the regular service.

The great thing about this formula is that it is very flexible for all types of systems and customers.

It is also very easy to explain to the customer how his system is being priced, and you are given quite a bit of leeway if the customer wants to haggle.

Pricing

Salesmanship plays a major role in the amount you can get for a particular job.

Some Contract hood Cleaners can get 10% to 100% more for the same job than their competitors.

Pricing becomes even more confusing because people are entering the business with consumer quality pressure washers without insurance, workmen’s compensation, office, or overhead expenses because they are operating from their homes on a part-time basis. They do not have normal business expenses.

But the customer liability (risk) is greater because a lack of insurance and workmen’s compensation. And often deliver poorer quality work because of a lack of training.

This price guide should be used as a reference point. It is not a recipe that will guarantee that you will get every bid. It will have to be modified to fit the economic conditions of competition in your area.

You will have to decide if you are going to bid on quality or price, or somewhere in between.

The economic realities are that you cannot deliver a Cadillac for a Volkswagen Price. Companies that do cannot pay their bills on time or end up in bankruptcy.

Every time you lose a bid ask the customer who they went with, what was the price, and why they did not buy from you.

This will give you the information to start modifying this price guide to fit your market area. Often the customer will not give you this information but most people will give you some information.

This is the start of your market survey so that you can adjust this price guide for you in your market area. If you are getting 100% of your bids you are too low. You need to be rejected about 15 to 20% of the time to assure that you are getting for most for your time and effort (what your market will bear).

After a competitor has completed a job go by and see what kind of work he did and if possible the price he charged for it. Try to determine if your competitor has insurance, or workmen’s compensation.

You should include insurance and workmen’s compensation certificates with your bids and explain the liability that people have if they choose a contractor that does not have this coverage.

When a prospect calls you need to determine how he got your phone number. Was it from: a referral, telephone yellow pages, saw your truck working, newspaper advertising, recommendation from a present customer, etc.

Yellow pages leads tend to be price shoppers and they call every one in the yellow pages.

This needs to be taken into consideration when you bid. The best lead is a recommendation from a present customer.

Track where business is coming from and direct future advertising based on this information. Keep track of all lost bids and their Kitchen Exhaust System Information Sheets. A new Chef will want to bring in his own vendors.

Now you will be able to bid the cleaning without another site visit but you will also know approximately what he was paying. This database can be an extremely valuable competitive edge! It is being done by almost all of the larger contractors.

Terms

Many small companies bite the cash flow bullet on bids for large corporations and the government. They do not have a clear understanding of how they are going to be paid.

They are overwhelmed by the name of a Blue Chip Company and are embarrassed about discussing when they will be paid. The problem is that a lot of these customers regularly pay in 60, 90, and 120 days as a regular business practice and sometimes longer unless you ask for payment sooner.

You need to start your collections before you start the job.

Find out who is responsible for authorization of your invoice and who will actually process or write your check (it may be from another corporate office in another state).

Ask when they normally pay their vendors. Be honest and tell them you are not a large contractor and cannot afford to wait 60 to 90 days for your payment.

Find out what their procedures are. Sometime a 2% discount in 10 days will assure payment in a timely manner.

For large corporations and the government find out who the Accounts Payable Clerk or Manager is. This information should be collected before you start the job and not after the payments are 90 to 120 days late.

If you expect payment when the job is finished this should be stated along with the price.

Do not assume that you will automatically receive payment when the job is finished! On larger jobs that last over 30 days it is normal to receive draws against the total bid based on the percentage of the work completed.

Sometime you can get a deposit before you start the job. On medium size jobs 25% down, 50% upon completion, and 25% net 30 days is common. In the construction industry is normal for the General Contractor to hold back a 10% retainer from all subcontractors until the entire job is completed.

That means that you may not get the final 10% job payment until several months after you have finished your portion of the project.

Travel

Most contractors do not charge extra for travel within a 30-minute to a 1-hour drive of their shop. However, they have a minimum charge of $65.00 to $250.00 to make small unprofitable jobs profitable.

This covers of the fixed costs required in dispatching a crew and wash rig. Some contractors charge a small fee of $25.00 to $40.00 for the time it takes to get a wash crew ready for travel and include it in the bid price.

Some travel rates are: A. 50% to 100% of your normal hourly rate. B. 50 cents to $1.00 per mile. C. 30 cents per mile plus $35.00 per hour. No charge on regular service jobs.

Water

Most Commercial Customers do not question the use of their water, but Residential Customer often complain about you using their water.

This is often because they perceive 500 to 1,000 gallons of water being very expensive. You need to check the water rates for your area. In most areas of the U.S. water cost is about 50 cents to $3.00 per thousand gallons.

As you can see this is a minor expense. However, if you have to haul water to the job site water can become a significant expense. Most contractors charge the regularly hourly rate to go get water and haul it to the job site.

Some contractors doing residential work will add $45.00 for water if they do not use the customer’s water. I would suggest that you explain to the customer the water is a job cost and the less you have to pay for water the cheaper you can do the job. If he increases the cost of water than the price will have to go up.

Minimum Charge 

Most companies will have a minimum charge to cover the cost of showing up at a job location. It is not profitable to spend 30 minutes driving to $25.00 job.

Method 1: $50.00 to $250.00

Method 2: $75.00 to $150.00 for the first hour then your regular hourly rate.

Method 3: Minimum of charge of one or two hours at your regular hourly rate.

Insurance

In today’s turbulent insurance market it is often necessary to obtain several insurance bids. Most states do not have an insurance code for Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning. Therefore the insurance companies that do insure Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning have to estimate their risk without the benefit of market risk history. (i.e., they have to guess at it). Because of this market climate it is often necessary to request 3 to 10 insurance bids. Tell the insurance agents exactly what you will be doing when requesting bids and compare quotes closely.

Bidding

Hourly Rate: Commercial Contractors with Insurance and Workmen’s Compensation: $50.00/hr to $125.00/hr, Average-$65.00 to $75.00/hr- non-environmental $65.00/hr to $150.00/hr, average $75.00 to $85.00/hr- environmental Part Timers without Insurance and Workmen’s Compensation: $35.00/hr to $65.00/hr, Average-$45.00 to $55.00/hr- non-environmental $45.00/hr to $95.00/hr, average $50.00 to $70.00/hr- environmental You should never be making less than $50.00/hr for a one man rig. $50.00 per hour is about break even for a one man rig and you are losing money if it is a two-man rig.

Some contractors will reduce the above hourly rates $5.00 to $10.00 per hour if heat is not required and for cold water washers. Most Contract Cleaners will charge less when starting out until they gain experience. Once experience is acquired and reputation is established pricing goes up. Normally after you have been in business for over a year there will be jobs that you no longer consider profitable and will not accept. But when you first started out you would have dearly loved to have had the job.

When you are bidding a work you are not familiar with you can always fall back on bidding by the hour with a “not to exceed” amount. Also you will find that when bidding by the hour the customer is not nearly as picky as when you are doing the job at a fixed price. Sometimes it is difficult to decided whether to bid by the job or by the hour. Normally if you bid by the hour then your customer is taking the risk on how long the job will take. If you bid by the job then you are taking the risk for how long the job will take.

Therefore, most contract cleaners will expect a higher hourly rate for bid jobs than for jobs by the hour to cover their risk for jobs they miss bid. In a perfect world there would not be a price difference between bid jobs and an hourly jobs.

Note: Kitchen Grease Exhaust Cleaning in normally bid by the job. When estimating jobs it is best to figure the price several different ways. For example if you were bidding a parking lot figure the price based on a cost per square foot. Then figure the price based on a time estimate times your hourly rate. Again in perfect world these two figures would the same. If there is a large price difference then you had better study the situation some more. If you are bidding by the job you should be aware of what hourly rate you are earning and adjust future pricing (bids) accordingly.

Also during a job if your earnings are too low you should start adjusting your work accordingly and start looking for ways to speed the job up. This sounds too simple but come contractors will ask the customer what they are willing to pay for a job. And if the price is one you can live with you have the job! Be aware of the “perceived value” of Power Washing. Normally it is between $50.00 to $150.00 per hour.

Should you give notices of price increases for hood cleaning?

If you are doing regular work on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis should you give notice of price increases? With a room full Kitchen Exhaust Contract Cleaners there is no agreement on this item. It is done both ways. Some will give notice and some will not. If you give notice it will draw the attention of your customers and may cause all of your work to be reviewed! On the other hand if you do not give notice the following will happen. A. The Customer will not notice. B. The Customer will notice but will not complain. C. The Customer will notice and call. You have three options:

  1. Tell them it was a clerical error.
  2. Exclaim: You only got the price increase now!!!!!
  3. Explain how your cost has gone up and a price increase was necessary.
  4. Fire some customers if they are too hard to deal with.

Tips For maintaining kitchen exhaust maintenance

As a kitchen exhaust system owner, it is crucial to keep up and care for every piece of equipment that makes your business run properly. 

One of the most important pieces of equipment to maintenance and keep clean in an eatery is the kitchen exhaust system.

This is the one area that should never be neglected in any degree. Not only can a dirty kitchen hood and exhaust contaminate food and cut the quality of cooking, it can be a potential danger.

Grease fires, explosions, and smoke damage are among a few common hazards associated with unkempt kitchen hoods and exhausts.

To be sure this doesn’t happen to you or your beloved restaurant, catch up on tips to cleaning and maintaining your kitchen hood and exhaust equipment effectively.

Proper Maintenance for Kitchen Hoods and Kitchen Ducts, Vents.

Kitchen exhausts hoods need required maintenance schedule check-ups. Along with the kitchen exhaust vents, ducts require equal maintenance.

These areas should be cleaned and inspected every three to six months by a certified commercial cleaning company.

In fact, the NFPA 96 Fire Code mandates that all commercial kitchens have to be inspected by a qualified company.

Commercial cleaning companies keep the proper technologies, training, and knowledge to responsibly and reliably detect any dangerous issues or complications with your kitchen exhaust system.

Unfortunately, commercial kitchen fires are more common than you would think. According to the NFPA, more than 11,000 kitchen fires are reported every year. Regular cleaning and maintenance of commercial kitchen equipment is imperative to reducing these statistics.

Commercial Kitchen Hood and Exhaust Cleaning When a professional company comes in to service, inspect, and clean your restaurant kitchen, there are several places they will cover.

Areas such as deep fryers, grease traps, stoves, ovens, open grills, ductwork, and ventilation systems are all examined.

They will work to improve the kitchen’s airflow, keep up fire code compliance, ensure a safe working environment, and cut fire risks. This will keep you in compliance with the fire marshals, health inspectors, and insurance companies.

For more in-depth details call for a free consultation.

Contact us today 1-800.932.1969

In Compliance With NFPA 96

A RECENT NFPA 101®, LIFE SAFETY CODE®, committee meeting for healthcare occupies included a discussion about when cooking operations should be required to be protected.

The conversation was triggered by a proposal for the 2015 edition of the code that would allow portable cooking devices in certain areas in nursing homes.

In a larger sense, the discussion was a continuation of the many changes made to the 2012 Life Safety Code that allow health care occupies, particularly nursing homes, to become more residential, or homelike, for residents.

The changes included allowing limited items in corridors, allowing residential or commercial cooking for 30 or fewer persons to be open to the corridor, and other major amendments.

The new proposed changes include allowing devices such as microwave ovens, hot plates, and electric skillets for reheating and limited cooking.

Subsection 9.2.3 of the Life Safety Code covers commercial cooking equipment and references NFPA 96, Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Equipment. It is important to note that both documents use the term “commercial cooking equipment.

The scope of NFPA 96 states that it applies to both public and private cooking operations, including residential cooking equipment used for commercial purposes, though it does not apply to cooking equipment located in a single dwelling unit. The scope also excludes cooking where only residential equipment is used, a fire extinguisher is located in the kitchen, the facility is not an assembly occupancy, and the authority having jurisdiction has approved the installation.

An annex note to the scope further states that the judgment should include consideration of the items being cooked, the type of cooking — for example, deep fat frying versus oven baking — and frequency of cooking.

The annex also states that this standard applies to “… all other auxiliary or ancillary components or systems that are involved in the capture, containment, and control of grease-laden cooking effluent” and includes examples of operations that may not require compliance with NFPA 96, such as daycare centers that warm bottles and lunches, therapy cooking in health care occupies, and others.

The Life Safety Code also allows limited cooking in certain occupies. Typically, the limitations are that the equipment be a residential type and that it only be used for food warming or limited cooking. Such provisions are found in Chapters 15 and 16 for new and existing day care facilities, and Chapters 20 and 21 for new and existing ambulatory health care.

For other occupies, the code includes provisions permitting cooking operations that are not protected in accordance with NFPA 96 where it is outdoor equipment, portable equipment that is not flue-connected, or equipment that is used only to warm food.

The bottom line is that not all cooking operations require protection in accordance with NFPA 96, which does not address cooking equipment but rather the quantity of grease-laden vapors produced and whether that quantity is sufficient to warrant protection.

If the requirements of NFPA 96 do apply to cooking operations producing grease-laden effluent, then the Type I (liquid tight) hood and exhaust duct and the fixed extinguishing system are required. However, there are many cases where only food warming or limited cooking are done, and NFPA 96 requirements are not applicable.

 

Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Fan Maintenance

 

We all know the importance of providing our customers with the necessary services to assist them in realizing longevity from their commercial kitchen exhaust fan.

Lubrication of the kitchen exhaust fan bearings during the course of the job is one definite way to provide a genuine service to our customers – and it is a task which involves very little time and effort to accomplish.

Since our work regularly takes us onto the roof or into the mechanical penthouse, it makes good sense to provide the essential services such as bearing lubrication to kitchen exhaust fan while we are conducting operations.

Equally important to providing this type of service to our customers for their kitchen exhaust fan to realize a full life is the application of the correct medium of lubricant, in an amount sufficient to do the job right.

Manufacturers of kitchen exhaust fan type provide either lifetime lubricated (sealed), or lube-able type bearings on their equipment. Due to the higher rotation speeds and elevated temperatures with which this equipment is known to operate, chances are you will encounter the lube-able type more often than not.

The pre-lubricated type of kitchen exhaust fan will generally require no service under normal operating condition for seven to ten years, and then they will require replacement. The greaseable type of bearings will generally not require re-lubrication for the first six months of operation because they are most often lubricated at the factory.

Kitchen exhaust fan shaft bearings are best served by lubricating them with a blue lithium type grease applied with a manual grease gun. Excepting safety hazards, the shaft bearings are best lubricated with the shaft rotating, and the grease gun should be slowly pumped until a slight discharge of grease is observed at the lip of the grease seal.

Because bearings are precision made, the grease fitting nipple should always be wiped off prior to applying the grease gun to prevent forcible contamination of the unit.

Over lubrication will inevitably lead to premature failure of the bearings due to both the excessive volume of grease unseating the grease seals, allowing foreign matter to collect and contaminate the bearings, and elevated operating temperatures caused by friction as the overfilled bearings rotate at high speed.

Certain considerations should be made concerning the frequency of lubrication of shaft bearings. Generally speaking, an exhaust fan operating 12 hours per day would be best served by lubricating two to four times annually, provided the establishment is opened year round, and the above procedures are followed.

Decreasing the schedule should be considered if the establishment is seasonal, or operates fewer hours per day; increasing the schedule may be warranted if the fan is serving a high temperature system such as solid fuel cooking, or operating 24 hours per day.

Prevent accidental over-lubrication, and mixing of different types of greases, and know if the establishment maintenance staff are providing preventative maintenance of the fans regularly prior to your service commencing.

Electrical motors employing ball type bearings may as well be equipped with either sealed bearings or grease able bearings, however, motor bearings are considerably more sensitive and should be maintained only by staff familiar with the application.

Motors with lube able type ball bearings will either be equipped with a grease fitting, or a removable screw for applying grease. Similarly, most will also use grease relief screws which need removal to ease drainage of excessive grease during a 20 minute operating period after lubrication, and then the drain screw requires replacement.

As a general guide only, your average motor sizes 1 /8 to 7.5 horsepower will only need re-lubrication once every 5 years if operated 5,000 hours annually and equipped with lubrication points.

On units with grease nipples, only I to 2 strokes with a grease gun are required on NEMA frame sizes 215 and smaller, 2 to 3 strokes on NEMA 254 through NEMA 365.

If equipped with a screw type fitting, a 2 to 3 inch grease string should be applied to each bearing on NEMA size 215 and smaller, and a 3 to 5 inch string on larger motors. Again, drain plugs should be removed and the motor operated 20 minutes before replacement.

Motors should always be lubricated at a standstill. Their grease fittings must be cleaned before lubing. Also, only use clean grease obtained from a sealed container.

When possible, manufacturers’ recommendations should be followed when selecting the brand of lubricant to use on a motor, and extreme care should be used to ensure petroleum and silicone greases are not mixed.

Because most lubricants will deteriorate motor winding’s, they should never be over lubed!

More Info: 1-800-932-1969

Hood Cleaned Professionally

FIRE SAFETY FOR COMMERCIAL KITCHENS

The damage that can be caused by a fire in a restaurant or commercial kitchen can be quite significant. Preventing fire damage is a priority when it comes to commercial kitchens.

Having a commercial kitchen ventilation system cleaned regularly by a professional hood cleaning company can cut the potential for any types of fire hazards.

Because a commercial hood will accumulate large amounts of greasy residue as a result of the cooking process, it is important that this residue be fully removed, as it will act as fuel for any fire and allow a fire to quickly spread around and within the ventilation system.

Frequent, thorough cleaning can prevent many problems in a commercial kitchen. Nearly all restaurant fires begin in the kitchen.

There are many specifications when it comes to the proper cleaning rules for commercial hoods. The commercial hood must be cleaned completely, both inside and out.

Exhaust fans need to be taken apart and cleaned down to the bare metal. It is important to have professional consultation because many of the chemicals that must be used can be caustic.

The fire suppression system must be thoroughly inspected during the cleaning process as well. The end caps on the nozzles must be kept clean, because in the event of a fire, the automatic activation cannot be impeded by any type of grease blockage.

If grease has accumulated in the nozzles, then they will not effectively put out a fire. Utilizing the services of a professional hood cleaning company is a wise move for most restaurant owners.

The cleaning that is necessary extends beyond mere soap and water. There is some specific equipment that is required to properly clean the system and keep it in good working order.

High pressured hoses, scrubbing brushes and vacuums are all part of the process when it comes to cleaning a commercial kitchen ventilation system.

Taking chances with a restaurant kitchen fires can have costly and potentially deadly consequences. Having the right fire prevention plan will help keep the commercial kitchen ventilation system in good working order.

For more in-depth details call for a free consultation.

Contact us today 1-800.932.1969