Restaurants owners and managers, like all businessmen, seek to answer the same basic question on a daily basis – how to maximize the bottom line? The simple answer to this query is to maximize revenues while minimizing costs. It’s no secret that achieving these two ends is needed, but it’s also no easy task (especially when it comes to keeping costs low). In fact, one category of cost that many businesses struggle to contain is utilities. Electricity, gas, and water are among the key components towards making any restaurant run. Therefore, any reduction in the costs of these natural commodities can significantly improve a restaurant’s profitability. So, what are some ideas as far as how to lower your restaurant’s utility bills?
The great thing about lowering utility bills is that it can be accomplished via different avenues both big and small. Some of those avenues will be discussed in further depth:
A well-lit restaurant always seems more inviting than a dimly lit one. Still, methods exist for keeping a business properly illuminated while actually using less energy. Instead of regular light bulbs, consider using LED or incandescent bulbs. Occupancy sensors are a great option for areas that don’t see constant use (think bathrooms and storage spaces). If a restaurant already utilizes lots of natural lighting, then dimmers can be an excellent adjunct for enhancing this lighting.
Regular, proper maintenance of the Heating, Vacuum, and Air Conditioning can go a long way towards more efficient energy utilization. Some tips for HVAC maintenance include the following:
- Replace air filters as needed to ensure proper air flow.
- Clean condenser coils to remove debris to ensure adequate air flow.
- Upgrade insulation to shell and pipes
Refrigerators / Coolers
Refrigerators are a well known “energy eater”. Still, they don’t have to keep taking big bites out of your bottom line. Here are some tips for more efficient use of these important machines.
- Ensure that doors properly keep all cold air in while keeping any warm air out.
- Check the fan(s) to ensure that they’re running properly.
- Make sure there’s proper, adequate insulation in your refrigerator.
- Constantly review the temperature settings.
- Consider using ceiling fans.
- Purchase Energy Star Equipment
- Train employees on smarter energy use and practices
- Work with local water conservation agency on more efficient water usage.
While utility costs are unavoidable, they don’t have to be consistently high either. Knowing how to lower your restaurant’s utility bills should help provide a healthier margin all year round. It’s this type of cost management that can activate a restaurant’s favorite energy source – a smile on the owner’s face.