How to Save Money When You’re Opening a Restaurant

Opening a restaurant is a fun and rewarding venture. But, beyond all of that, it’s cost and labor-intensive. Make no mistake, startup expenses can pile up from equipment purchases to running costs. Managing these expenses requires critical thinking and planning. In this article, we explore a couple of cost-cutting measures to help you save money.

Buy used restaurant equipment.

Commercial kitchens require a full range of equipment to function efficiently. This can prove to be very cost-intensive considering the large number of restaurant equipment you need to buy. There’s no gainsaying that getting new equipment can take a negative toll on your finances.

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For example, if you’re running a pizza prep, you’ll most likely need pizza prep tables to create masterpieces. In addition to a pizza prep table, the prep area will require shelves, cabinets, and other accessories. Even more, the cabinets will house items like casters, food pans, and stainless steel drawers. Finally, you’ll need a refrigerator to preserve perishable foods. All these pieces of equipment are costly.

The good news is that when equipping your kitchen, you don’t have to break the bank or go beyond your means. Moreover, you’re not under any obligation to purchase new equipment. Fortunately, an alternative option will be to purchase used equipment.

Contrary to popular belief, used restaurant equipment is also as reliable and efficient as new ones. The upside about buying used equipment is that you get to save a considerable amount of money, which can go into solving other pressing needs that may arise. There’s no shortage of premium-quality used equipment in the foodservice industry, considering the massive turnover that takes place there. The key takeaway is that you should find vendors that offer good deals on used restaurant equipment and take your pick.

Lease equipment to reduce starting costs.

As mentioned earlier, a restaurant isn’t complete without, amongst other things, quality foodservice equipment. Unfortunately, not every restaurateur can afford the type of equipment needed for the smooth operation of a commercial kitchen. If the cost of a specific equipment you want is above your budget range, consider leasing or renting it from a rental store. Outrightly buying restaurant equipment can impact your starting costs. That’s why leasing the equipment you need seems like an ideal option.

By leasing, you get to minimize your expenses while still using high-end equipment for your operations. What’s more, some rental stores make provisions for restaurant operators to own the pieces of equipment when the lease is up.

Certainly, the rental industry has significantly evolved in recent years. Equipment rentals have never been more accessible, thanks to technology. For the most part, rental businesses now incorporate technology solutions into their processes. For example, you can use equipment booking software to reserve any piece of equipment from your preferred equipment rentals. More so, you can use rental software to get real-time booking information and sync it with your calendar.

Keep your food and beverage costs in check.

Food and beverage costs account for one of the most significant operating expenses for businesses in the foodservice industry. In-between fluctuating sales and perishable ingredients, controlling these expenses in restaurants can be daunting. But, it goes without saying that staying on top of food and beverage costs is crucial to the success and profitability of your restaurant.

Keeping your food and beverage costs in check can positively impact your bottom line. That said, one way to minimize these expenses is by Investing in QuickBooks inventory tracking software that will help you to keep the track of every ingredient that comes into your commercial kitchen. Manually tracking your inventory can be time and energy-consuming. Fortunately, you can leverage inventory management software to streamline your inventory process. Also, consider syncing software solutions with a POS system to track inventory using sales data.

Bulk purchase is another way to minimize food and beverage costs. For one, it allows you to work out details of the transaction with the wholesaler. For example, if your restaurant will be involved in the sale of alcoholic beverages, find a reputable alcoholic beverage distributor and negotiate favorable costs.

Enroll your staff in an OSHA training program.

Accidents and workplace injuries in restaurants can negatively impact your restaurant’s bottom line. That’s because the cost of repairs and hospital bills comes from profits. Also, if one of your employees gets hurt on the job, you’ll to give them a day off, which might affect your business’ productivity.

The best thing to do in this sort of circumstance is to have good safety principles. That’s where OSHA training comes into play. OSHA is an acronym for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Much like construction and manufacturing industries, the foodservice industry is expected to maintain total compliance with OSHA rules and regulations.

As a restaurant owner, employer responsibilities demand ensuring the safety of your employees and customers. With that in mind, enroll your employees for the OSHA certification program at an authorized test site. The OSHA program will ensure a safer restaurant environment. After the training, your employees will be able to recognize, avoid, and prevent workplace hazards. In addition, they’ll get information regarding workers’ rights and employee responsibilities.

You have the option of enrolling your employees for either the OSHA 10-hour or OSHA 30-hour class. The former is more appropriate for employees that don’t perform activities that make them vulnerable to hazards like bussers and servers. Conversely, your supervisors, chefs, prep cooks, and kitchen managers must possess an OSHA 30-hour card since they’re susceptible to more significant risks.

Recycle your cooking oil.

After cooking or frying, most restaurants dispose of used cooking oil in drains. In most cases, the oil clogs the drainage and sewer system. If you’re not sure how to handle your used cooking oil, there’s the option of recycling. Used cooking oil is an excellent source of environmentally-friendly biodiesel for power generation plants. The demand for biodiesel has significantly increased over the past year.

In addition to lowering the cost of cleaning, recycling creates an alternative source of revenue for restaurants. Nowadays, restaurants get compensated by recycling companies for dropping off their used cooking oil at their drop-off locations.

Get a sealable oil collection container that’s compliant with environmental standards to store the used cooking oil. Also, choose a location that’s minimally disruptive and easily accessible to place the container. Once you notice it’s getting filled up, take it to the oil drop-off location of the recycling company.

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