You’ve seen everything that should be considered when choosing a premises for your restaurant. In fact, you’ve done it, you’ve opened your restaurant and have already sold your first three-course meal. Congrats! But, the hard work starts now, and something you should be working hard to do for your restaurant business is cut down and reduce the bills it has to pay. For advice on how to do so, make sure to read on.
1. Take A Look At The Facts First
Before you begin with your bill reducing endeavour, you should know the facts. And the fact is is that gas and electricity bills always have been and always will be the largest operating cost that restaurants have to face day in, day out because of the fact that the food that is sold to customers has to be cooked using both gas and electric. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that commercial kitchens will always require at least 2.5 more energy per square foot than usual business workspaces, which means your restaurant could realistically be paying two and half times more for your gas and electric than other businesses and business owners that you know.
But, even though your gas and electric bills are naturally high, it doesn’t mean they can’t be reduced.
2. And Then Take A Look At What You’re Serving On Your Menu
Yes, it may not be ideal, but if you’re serious about saving some money on your gas and electric bills then your first port of call when it comes to reducing them is to take a look at your menu and make suitable saving changes. This is because of the fact that different dishes demand different pieces of equipment to be turned on. And, when your restaurant is busy (as yours undoubtedly always is) you’re going to be serving up many different dishes a night, and each one of them is going to need a certain piece of equipment to be used and turned on. And when many different things being used at the same time, each and every night, your gas and electric bills are going to skyrocket as a result.
So, have a sit down with your head chef (if that’s not yourself) and have a look at your menu. Have a look at what pieces of equipment need to be used. And have a look at both cheaper ways to prepare your food, or look at ways to stop serving a certain food altogether if it will mean you save on your bills and don’t lose out in the form of custom. You never know, by doing so you might even be able to fashion a new, exciting dish by doing this. And this dish could then end up being your restaurant’s unique selling point!
3. Pay Attention To The Little Things
Of course, your saving endeavour doesn’t have to be all about making drastic changes such as changing your menu around. No, it’s about remembering to pay attention to the little things too, such as remembering to switch things off when they’re not used, as they can end up making a huge dent in your bills.
One way to do this is replace all of the incandescent light bulbs that you use to light up your kitchen and restaurant area with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). You should do so because CFLs use far less energy than their incandescent rivals — they use 75% less, to be precise. What’s more, they last a lot, lot longer than them, which means the costs of having to buy new bulbs (which is high because of many bulbs you will have to buy for your restaurant) is cut dramatically too.
Another little thing that you can do to reduce your bills and subsequently save some money is remember to switch all of your cooking equipment and general electrical appliances off when they are not being used. And, yes, this means not allowing things to fester ons standby or sleep mode, this means switching them off so that no power is getting to them and ultimately being wasted! If this proves too hard a task for you, then simply set your equipment and appliances to timers so that you can be sure that they’ll turn themselves off at a point when they are not being used, even if you forget to do it.
When you do all of these things once, you won’t see a big difference in what you spend and save on your bills. But, if you remember to do these things and if you do them consistently, you will eventually see a big chunk of your monthly bill outgoings chopped.
4. Go Green In Your Kitchen
By going green with the way it not only cooks its food, but the way it provides itself with energy, your kitchen could help you save on a bucket load of cash.
Specifically, you and your chefs should cease using traditional hobs to heat up food and instead switching to electric induction hobs. You should do so because electric induction hobs are up to 50% more energy efficient than their hob predecessor as they don’t demand as much ventilation and only produce heat that is deemed to be ‘clean’. You and your team of chaffing experts should also switch from a 5KW grill to a gas-fired grill, because the energy wastage in the former is too much to even comprehend. The latter, however, is not only far cheaper to buy outright but it is far cheaper to pay for in terms of the bills it induces, even if it is left on the not needed from time to time. And, the final green change your kitchen team should make to the actual equipment that they use is to swap out all your old ovens and bring in Combi ovens. They use up to a whopping 60% less energy than traditional ovens, and can even replace a wide number of other kitchen cooking equipment too. What this means is that by going Combi you won’t just save on your energy bills, but you can reduce on actual food wastage as well (up to 75%, if you’re clever).
But, as stated, going green in your kitchen isn’t just about saving when it comes to the cooking of food. No, it’s about saving when it comes to providing itself with its own energy too. And, to do this there is one simple formula: generate energy from the food your restaurant wastes! Yes, you can do this, and it’s not even that hard of a thing to do. You’d just have to gather all the organic foods, oils and greases that your kitchen has left over after a shift or an accumulation of shifts. You’d then have to have this waste transported to the most local Biogas plant to your restaurant’s location. You’d then have to mix the sludge you’ve created with Biosolids — basically, the organic materials that are born from sewage treatment and are rich in nutrients. You’d then have to feed the slop created to biogas excreting microorganisms. And you’d then have to collect the gas you harvested and use it to power your kitchen. And, rest assured it’s actually far easier to do, far less messy and far less disgusting than it all sounds!
5. Get Help From Others, Including Your Staff
As much as you might want to take this energy saving endeavour alone to prove to yourself and to fellow business owners that you have what it takes to reduce your bills alone, you will need help. So, never attempt to take it alone!
Specifically, never attempt to service your electrical appliances and equipment alone in an attempt to tweak them in a way that makes them far more energy efficient. By doing so, you could end up damaging your equipment to the point where it cannot be fixed, and then you’ll have to spend big to replace it. So, get in touch with an electrical company that offers electrical services for commercial customers, such as you and your restaurant. Well, do this if you want a peace of mind when it comes to knowing that the electrical equipment you have paid good money for is not going to cost you much else.
But, professional electricians aren’t the only people out there that you should get help from in keeping your electric bills down. No, you should get help from your staff too. From your accountant to your concierge to your maître d’hôtel to your food service staff to your bar staff to your kitchen porters to your chefs — all your staff can help you in your saving endeavour. And they can do so by remembering to switch EVERYTHING off when they are not using it.
Being the owner of a restaurant can wield you a great return on investment; it can also mean you have to pay over the odds when it comes to your bills too. But, if you take heed of the advice above, you can cut into your restaurant’s energy bills. So, get scrimping, get switching and get saving! And, whilst you do, remember to keep your customers happy!