When you’re running a restaurant or bar, you’re well aware of how much difference a dollar can make. Over time, costs that initially seem small can really cut into your profits substantially. The key to maximizing revenue is eliminating costs. And quite frankly, there are some costs that are just wastes of capital.
Grab a pen and take notes – or, type your notes on your smartphone, and stop buying pens and notepads for your office! These investments are fairly common in most restaurants, but by choosing cheaper alternatives you can slash your budget overnight.
Switch Out Your Light Bulbs
Quick calculation: how many light bulbs are regularly turned on in your restaurant? 50? 200? The traditional incandescent light bulbs we’ve been using for decades are already relics of the past – energy efficient light bulbs developed in the last few years can last 20 times longer or more. If you replace all of your light bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives, you’ll save approximately $22 per bulb per year. For many restaurants, that’s a yearly savings exceeding $1000!
Reduce Dishwasher Use
For convenience, you might often kitchen staff running the dishwasher at regular intervals in order to keep available dish and silverware at a maximum. But if you insist on your staff waiting until the dishwasher is completely full to initiate a cycle, you’ll greatly reduce your overall water bill every month. Plus, you’ll save on soap and energy costs.
Ditch the Plastic
This switch is a win for the environment, and it can save you a lot of money in the long haul. If you’re running a fast-casual restaurant and still using disposable flatware, cups, and plates, you’re wasting resources. Investing in proper glass or ceramic dishware will cut back your garbage bill considerably, and it will eliminate monthly costs for plastic and paper utensils, plates, etc. Conservation isn’t just the moral imperative – it’s good business sense.
Upgrade Your Faucets and Toilets
The industry initiative to transition to low-flow toilets and faucets is another blend of practical investment and environmentally conscious conservation. When your restaurant or bar is outfitted with low-flow faucets and toilets, you’re looking at a monthly water bill 20 to 40% lower. In one year, you’ll be saving hundreds (possibly thousands) of dollars and helping the planet.
Embrace Room Temperature
Many restaurant managers would scoff at the notion of setting their thermostats to 68 degrees. But lowering the temperature in a restaurant by a couple of degrees will most likely go completely unnoticed by your customers. Patrons don’t complain about being cold unless they’re sitting directly under a vent. Keeping the temperature slightly lower than your norm will really cut costs on your monthly gas bill.
Out With the Old
Take a hard look at your menu and go for the “less is more” approach to menu design. If certain menu items aren’t selling well, simply remove them instead of trying to rework them. Eliminating menu items will reduce food spoilage and help keep your food costs as low as possible.
Cutting costs and ridding your balance sheet of unnecessary expenditures will increase your bottom line and streamline operations. It’s a win-win situation for you and your staff!