As you close one year and start another, it's a good idea to implement some cost-saving practices in the new year.

Here are some ideas for saving money in your restaurant.

  • When opening in the morning, only turn on the equipment you need. Many cooks come in first thing and turn on every piece of equipment obligatorily. If we don’t deep-fry until 10:30 we probably don’t need the fryer on at 7:00.
  • During the day leave the blinds and shades open as much as possible to enjoy the benefits of the natural heat and light source known as the SUN. Most of us do this in our own homes, why not in our restaurant?
  • Have your heating and cooling equipment checked at least twice a year to ensure these tools are functioning properly. Including but not limited to the following: stove, grill, fryer, cooler, oven, furnace, a/c, dish machine, laundry system.
  • Make sure that cooler closing mechanisms and gaskets are in good repair. If a cooler gasket is cracked or loose, make sure to replace it. A good rule of thumb is if you can pull a dollar bill through the cooler door with it closed, you are losing money.
  • Check all of your cooler units to make sure that the air intake near the compressor is free of debris and the filter is clean. After a summer of back doors being open and the summer breeze blowing through the kitchen, there will usually be a build up of dust and debris clogging the unit and making it work harder.
  • Take a hard look at your kitchen layout and see if there are places where you can move a cooler away from a cooking apparatus. If you have a cooler near a piece of hot equipment unnecessarily, you are making that cooler work harder to generate cold air and costing yourself money.
  • Before periods of high volume business have the cooks ice down a large hotel pan and keep key ingredients in an ice bath during service. This will keep them from constantly opening and closing the cooler door during peak times of business and heat.
  • In the restrooms offer a choice between air dryer and towel for hand drying.
  • Upgrade dining room lighting. If the light fixtures in the restaurant are 8 years old or older, they are costing you extra money. For every dated light fixture you update, you can usually expect to save a minimum of $6 on your monthly bill by converting to energy efficient light bulbs.

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