When it comes to the kitchen exhaust cleaning industry, there are four main “influencers” that drive current standards and conduct. These four influencers include the customers, those that own or manage commercial kitchens; the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), otherwise known as the fire department; the vendors that provide the cleaning services; and most importantly, the third-party influencers that can provide validity for services from vendors. These four different groups encompass the quality control maintained by the industry.
For many customers this is a required service, however it is out of sight and therefore out of mind. Most commercial kitchen owners and operators do not fully understand or are not properly educated on how their kitchen exhaust systems work or how their cooking operation affects their ductwork over time. It is the responsibility of the other three influencers (the vendors, AHJ and third-party institutions) to educate the customer on what is required and what services they should expect to receive. It is also important to inform the customer of how crucial routine maintenance and cleaning is for their kitchen exhaust system in order to remain up to current fire safety codes.
A local fire marshal may inspect a kitchen exhaust system for up to date and compliant documentation and proof of service, but they may not inspect the quality of the cleaning service itself. Many inspectors are spread thin and need to rely on vendors to be the leading experts in the industry. They also need to count on vendors as the experts in the industry and are reliant on these vendors to be providing a cleaning service that keeps local businesses fire safe! It is up to vendors to notify the customer of any system deficiencies or even inaccessible areas. This notion is changing somewhat, however, as the increase in commercial fires has local fire marshals getting more involved in their communities and pushing for additional certifications.
Institutions can be vital to an industry by offering certifications to compliant vendors. The International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association (IKECA) pushes higher standards and works to educate kitchen exhaust cleaning vendors on how to properly provide a quality service that keeps businesses safe. Before IKECA’s initiatives, there was little to no compliance or service verification in the industry. This allowed vendors who supplied poor work to still be considered “certified.” While this still occurs in the industry, IKECA is doing a better and better job pushing for stricter regulations and more quality control.
Much of the responsibility to keep local commercial kitchen fire safe is up to the vendors. Vendors must continue to innovate and develop cleaning methods and processes that clean complete systems and earn back the trust of commercial kitchen owners and operators. Many customers have given up on trying to find a quality supplier of this service and end up hiring just anybody to do it. However, a better option and service DOES exist. Bare Metal Standard, with the support of the AHJs and third-party verifiers, can change the minds of the modern customer! We are working hard to ensure our standardized cleaning methods and strict adherence to fire code spreads far and wide under the Bare Metal Standard franchise.
The kitchen exhaust cleaning industry is at a tipping point and ready to burst through with innovation and ambitious franchise owners. Bare Metal Standard has already been providing revolutionary service for the past 50 years and remains dedicated to servicing the complete kitchen exhaust system to bare metal. Our hard work to awaken a better and higher quality service lays the groundwork for becoming leaders in the industry.