There have been far too many negative headlines lately: rising energy costs are impacting businesses across the country. Restaurants, in particular, are feeling the pinch of rising utility bills. In fact, rising energy costs can account for up to a third of a restaurant’s total operating expenses!
In the News:
Here is just a sampling of what we’ve seen recently in the news:
This one is from over the pond. Chain owner David Fox, who owns five restaurants employing a total of 140 people, says that rising energy costs have forced him to raise prices and cut staff hours. Two years ago a typical week’s utility bill from one of his restaurants was £325. Today, it is a stunning £3,557 per week. He says he may be pushed to close some of his locations soon.
The news is nothing short of an emergency, according to experts. With average energy bills going up an estimated 300 percent, the situation is not sustainable in the long term. All of this added onto the impact of the pandemic could be nothing short of catastrophic.
This article explains the ripple effect caused by rising energy bills. It hits suppliers, which means restaurants cannot get all of their normal produce, meat, and other goods. It impacts delivery services, which are also contending with high gas prices. And it impacts the consumer, who now often sees certain dishes crossed off the menu or listed at a more expensive price.
The news paints a grim picture, but the rising costs of energy don’t have to spell disaster for restaurant owners. There are ways to manage rising energy costs without sacrificing customer service or quality.
Reduce Energy Costs and Save Money
North American restaurant chain owners echo the same fears. With rising energy costs, the thought of rising overhead is daunting. But there are ways to reduce energy costs and still keep your restaurant viable.
There are steps that restaurants can take to reduce their energy costs and save money. This includes:
Evaluate Your Energy Usage
The first step in reducing your energy costs is to evaluate your current usage and determine where you could be saving money through efficiency measures. Start by evaluating any existing systems or equipment currently in use at your restaurant—such as refrigeration units, HVAC systems, and lighting—and see where you can make improvements.
Also consider any changes you could make to your daily operations, such as reducing the amount of time spent prepping food or running certain machines.
Finally, look into renewable energy sources (like solar panels) that may be available in your area.
- Check for air leaks in the restaurant: One of the most common sources of rising energy costs is air infiltration. Have your restaurant checked for drafts, and plug any holes or cracks that could be causing a leak.
- Take advantage of off-peak hours: Many utility companies offer discounts on electricity during off-peak periods. Utilize these off-peak hours to run your appliances and save money.
- Invest in energy-efficient equipment: Invest in appliances that have the Energy Star rating. These are more efficient than their standard counterparts, so they use less energy and cost you less money over time.
- Upgrade insulation: Check the insulation in your walls, ceilings, and floors for areas where energy is escaping. Fixing any gaps could lead to significant savings over time.
With rising energy costs continuing to plague businesses across the country, restaurant owners need to be proactive about finding ways to manage their overhead. By following some of these tips, restaurants can reduce their energy costs, save money, and remain viable despite rising prices.
Of course, our biggest piece of advice is to partner with GSE Pro to take action on all of these recommended steps. Fulfilling the goal of creating energy-efficient restaurants that can stand the test of time is easier with an expert — or an entire team of them — at your side.