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‘What is 86 All About?': 86 Repairs on The National Restaurant Owners Podcast

Stephanie Bernstein
August 19, 2021

“So what is 86 Repairs and how did you guys get started with all this?”

86 Repairs CEO Daniel Estrada joined Kyle Inserra on The National Restaurant Owners Podcast to answer this question and give him a taste of what 86 is all about.

Looking to resolve a $26 billion blindspot in the restaurant industry, Daniel and co-founder, Joe Gallagher created a way to make equipment maintenance and repair as simple as sending a text. Literally.

“With 86, the request process is very easy,” said Daniel. “95% of customer communication comes through text.”

On the receiving end of texts, calls, or emails is one of our Customer Success Managers available 24/7/365 to field service requests, help customers troubleshoot on their own, or manage the service incident from start to finish.

The first step: the Customer Success Manager looks at the data to solve the problem. For example, 23% of the time a walk-in cooler goes down, resetting power to the condenser will solve the problem.

Whether flipping a switch or making a replacement recommendation based on the total cost of ownership, our team makes recommendations based on the Comparative Data by Segment and Market that we’ve collected from tens of thousands of customer service incidents and assets. This data directly informs better business decisions made by our team, vendors, and customers alike. 

Although 18.7% of 2020 incidents were resolved through troubleshooting, should outside help be needed, our team reaches out to the best fit vendor for the job. We get an ETA and manage the whole process from start to finish. We specifically structure communications so that whoever needs to be in the loop is, and anyone else only receives updates as needed.

This allows our customers to first, get back some time, and second, eliminate the stress and frustration around repairs. “The staff appreciates it, especially in a post-COVID world -” said Daniel, “taking something off their plate.”

TAKE REPAIRS OFF YOUR PLATE
Since January 2021, average service incidents have increased from 1.7 per location per month to 3 – equipment may be used for the first time in a while, or repairs were put off in earlier months of the pandemic. Additionally, restaurants are short-staffed due to the labor crisis - “there’s less time to be managing this stuff.”

Simultaneously, service provider resolution time is increasing due to staff shortages, parts are hard to come by, and both franchisors and manufacturers are dealing with the heat of global supply chain strains.

“Some things as simple as replacement blades for meat slicers used to take a day or two, and now take months,” Daniel said.

One recommendation for combatting continued COVID chaos is preventative maintenance. “We’re seeing that our customers who invest in it deal with less downtime, and fewer repairs since their equipment is well-maintained and less susceptible to supply chain delays.”

Preventative maintenance contracts also tend to increase responsiveness among service providers.

While many restaurant operators doubt the importance of preventative maintenance based on bad past experiences, Daniel doubles down on the recommendation. Overall, increasing structure in the equipment repair and maintenance process can benefit an otherwise unstructured industry.

“There’s complexity and fragmentation in vendor relationships,” said Daniel, adding that QSR operators face additional difficulties with multiple locations - and therefore, multiple processes and vendors - nationwide.

How does 86 glue these pieces together? “We put ourselves in the middle of this ‘service journey’ so we can track all this data.”

Restaurant operators simply don’t have time to track every service incident and all the data points within them. Luckily, we do.

"Holy crap. Why didn’t anyone think of this before?"

Restaurant technology companies are changing the way restaurants do business in all aspects - from front-of-house to back-of-house. In order to recover from time lost in 2020 shutdowns, restaurants are adapting and accommodating customers to achieve projected growth in 2021. To keep up with competitors, tech-averse operators have no choice but to onboard solutions that overall optimize their business.

One thing Daniel is sure of: “The data-driven restaurant is here to stay.”

Listen to learn more about what’s next for 86 Repairs: