Running a successful restaurant generally means that you must watch expenses carefully. More than that, you must find realistic and effective ways to reduce expenses. If your restaurant is like many others, the utilities expenses may seem to be much higher than they should be. Many businesses spend much more money than necessary on utilities, so it makes sense for you to focus on money-saving strategies targeted at this line item on your budget. These are some of the more effective ways that you may be able to reduce your restaurant’s utilities expenses on a regular basis.
Block the Sun
Solar heating can affect your reliance on the HVAC system for comfort throughout the year. In many restaurants, sunlight directly shines into the dining area for at least a few hours each day. By investing in solar shades for your windows, you may be able to take advantage of sunlight to reduce the need to pay for extra lighting. However, these shades also can reduce the impact of solar heating. These shades can be stylish as well, adding to the décor and ambiance in your dining room.
Seal and Insulate the Windows
Regardless of the season, damaged seals on windows can allow climate-controlled air to seep out of the building, and outdoor air may likewise penetrate into the building. This essentially forces the HVAC system to run for longer periods of time than it otherwise may need to. A recent study on the efficacy of solar panels concluded that the absolute best way to affect total energy spending when running the heater was by sealing and insulating windows. This can be done in a variety of ways. Because window seals can deteriorate rapidly, plan to complete this project annually for the best results. This same step can be applied to the seals around your restaurant’s doors for additional benefit.
Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances
All restaurants use commercial-grade appliances that can consume a stunning amount of electricity. These appliances may include walk-in freezers, industrial ranges and more. Consider doing an energy analysis to determine how long it would take you to recoup the cost of upgrading to more energy-efficient kitchen appliances. Remember that you may be able to save money on the purchase of energy-saving appliances if you purchase gently-used equipment, and this could make an upgrade more affordable and cost-effective.
Schedule Appliance and Equipment Maintenance Service
Regardless of the appliances and equipment installed in your kitchen, consider scheduling regular maintenance. Maintenance can ensure that your appliances and equipment function in the most energy-efficient manner. Your appliance maintenance technician may also advise you about the proper temperature settings for your refrigerators and freezers to save additional money on energy. Keep in mind that the source of electricity used for appliances and equipment is also within your control. For example, investing in even a few solar panels can help you to dramatically reduce electricity costs going forward.
Adjust the Thermostat
Your restaurant’s HVAC system likely is used year-round, and it may be used heavily during the summer and winter months. You understandably need to provide your guests and employees with a comfortable environment, but you may not be managing the thermostat in the most cost-effective manner possible. For example, you may consider adjusting the settings so that less energy is used when the restaurant is closed or during off-peak hours.
Invest in Low-Flow Bathroom Features
Your kitchen staff understandably needs to use a specific amount of water to prepare dishes and beverages, but water usage in the bathrooms may be reduced dramatically with the installation of low-flow features. A low-flow faucet, for example, uses aeration to save water while delivering the same powerful stream of water that your customers need to watch their hands. This same design is available for toilets as well. A water-conserving commercial washing machine may also help you to lower your restaurant’s water bill.
Adjust the Lighting
Lighting in the dining room is necessary for functionality and safety, but it also can be adjusted to a slightly lower level to save money on energy and to improve the mood in your space. Consider installing dimmer switches to adjust mood lighting for financial savings. You can also upgrade to more energy-efficient light bulbs to further reduce the expense of lighting your restaurant.
Restaurants understandably have high utilities expenses, but your restaurant may be operating with much higher expenses than necessary. Each of these tips may help you to conserve energy in different ways, and some of them can be implemented immediately for fast results. While you may start by using the tips that are easier and faster to implement, continue the effort by making more significant improvements for additional savings in the future.
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