Running a restaurant can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. A lot of your overhead and supply costs depend on our company’s spending habits. Many companies don’t really put a lot of thought into things like wholesalers, appliances, toilets, and light fixtures. But all of these things can make a huge impact on your profitability.
Switch Out Your Bulbs
Switching out your restaurant’s light bulbs can make a huge impact on what you spend on utilities. If you’re still using incandescent lighting, consider swapping these out for LED bulbs. If you’re using CFL bulbs, keep in mind that these pose a special risk because of the mercury in them. If those bulbs ever break during service, you must evacuate the building, open all of the windows, and follow the bulb manufacturer’s special instructions for cleanup and disposal.
LED bulbs, by design, are difficult to break. While they do contain some toxic metals and other substances, their shatter-resistant and shatter-proof bulb casings make them very durable. They also save you a lot more money than CFL bulbs. They do cost more than both incandescent and CFL but, if your utilities are running you several hundred, or thousand, dollars a month, it may be worth it to bite the bullet and make the switch.
While most restaurants buy their food wholesale, many businesses fail to shop around after they’ve established a relationship with someone. It’s understandable. When you’re first starting out, you’re scrambling to meet deadlines. You go with someone who doesn’t offer the greatest prices, but can deliver on schedule.
However, after you’ve been open for a while, and you understand your restocking needs, it might be worth considering other wholesalers who can offer you a better deal – even if you have to order supplies prematurely to make sure they arrive on time. For example, if you’re currently using a no-name or generic supplier for your dessert supplies, you might want to call FrozenDessertSupplies.com and ask what they can do for you.
Install Low Flow Faucets and Toilets
Installing low-flow sinks and faucets is probably the last thing on your mind. But going to the bathroom is a big part of your business. Customers use the restroom – a lot. Installing efficient toilets and faucets will keep your water and sewer bill from getting out of hand.
You should also consider checking the plumbing while you’re at it. Even small leaks can run up your water bill.
Invest In More Efficient Appliances
Stoves. Refrigerators. Fryers. Walk-Ins. Dishwashers. All of these appliances use energy and they cost money. You can’t get around that fact. But you don’t have to pay for inefficient appliances either. Consider upgrading your existing equipment to more energy-efficient counterparts.
You’ll probably see the most savings from upgrading your dishwashing equipment and your freezers and coolers. These use a lot of energy. You’ll be surprised by how much your electricity bill drops the month following the new install.
Albert Stayton has been in restaurant management for many years. He frequently writes for food and restaurant blogs to share his experiences.