In the last few months, I’ve been struck by the amount of money restaurants and bars spend, or more accurately, throw away, needlessly. Before you stop reading, take a minute to think about your restaurant or bar like your home. In your house, you do everything you can to minimize your expenses on utilities such as electricity, cooling and heating. Why not your restaurant/bar? A few simple and easy moves (keep reading!) can go a long way towards netting you significant savings as well as keeping customers coming back and happy.
We tell kids to turn off the lights and close the refrigerator door to save money. We also pay attention to things such as defrosting, nighttime ice production, and ensuring refrigerators have the right amount of space around them to maximize savings. Why not also at work? (more here 3 Easy Refrigeration Energy Consumption Tips To Save Money)
Enclosures can also save you a considerable amount – again, we tell kids to close doors and not linger in the doorway. If you don’t have double doors at your location, every time a customer walks through the door your heat and/or air conditioning dollars go right out the same door. Consider adding double doors or a temporary winter entryway. I’ve also seen some restaurants use an even simpler approach by adding a big curtain in front of the door. Nothing is worse than sitting down to a nice meal with your coat off only to have that gust of freezing or hot and humid air hit you every time the door opens.
During the summer months, turn down the AC – the last thing your customers want is to feel like they stepped into your walk-in freezers! If the outside temperature is 90 degrees and humid, having your restaurant set at 75 degrees and dry will feel nice and refreshing. Rule of thumb – if your customers are rubbing their arms or reaching for a sweater, it’s too cold.
A few more quick and easy tips – if you notice drafts, go around and seal them up – a peel-off silicon sealer goes for $7 dollars a tube. Turn off lights that are not in use and replace inefficient bulbs with high efficiency ones. Replace old inefficient appliances. An old dishwasher or refrigerator will cost a home owner $20 – $30 extra per month to run. Do the math – you’re throwing money away and letting it blow out the door.