4 Sustainability Tips to Maximize Restaurant Profitability for 2024
While profitability is always top-of-mind for any restaurant owner, a lot goes into achieving both high profits and consistent and long-term profits.
What’s keeping your restaurant from maximizing its profitability?
There are three major management aspects that, when left unoptimized, would continuously pull your restaurant away from achieving its maximum profit potential.
And they’re your restaurant’s energy, equipment, and inventory management systems.
1. Lack of a standardized energy management strategy can lead to runaway energy bills
Not having a consistent energy management system means your restaurant could consume more power than it should throughout its operating hours.
Without a clear and reliable way to monitor the temperature around your restaurant, your HVAC and refrigeration units could be burning a hole through your wallet, keeping everything comfortable for your customers.
This management issue is also connected with another aspect of your restaurant, as the power you consume is tied to the state of your equipment.
2. Faulty refrigeration units consume more energy than usual
Refrigeration units are a crucial component of any food service business. However, if they’re not maintained regularly, they can be the source of many financial headaches.
The healthy functioning of your refrigeration units heavily relies on the state of their crucial components. Once compromised, these components will increase your energy bills over time right under your nose.
The compressor is vital for generating cold air within your refrigerator. It links to coils outside the fridge that facilitate heat exchange. At the end of this pipe system is an expansion valve where a refrigerant is released as a fine mist.
Should the coils or expansion valve become obstructed, the compressor will operate continuously—consuming excessive energy. All while being unable to deliver any cool air to the refrigerator compartment.
And that’s just one component failing. Usually, you would only need to replace the faulty component. The worst case scenario is that you’d have to replace the whole refrigeration unit—either way, big expenses for you.
Energy bills aren’t the only things faulty refrigeration components raise. They also raise the food safety risks concerning your perishable inventory storage.
3. Perishable inventory loss events will cost you
Whether you’re a small start-up restaurant or an established multi-location restaurant, the challenge that never changes across the food service industry is maintaining the quality (and safety) of your perishable inventory.
Your expensive high-quality ingredients are just as expensive thrown away as they were bought. The restaurant industry loses $162 billion annually in food waste. To put that into perspective: 10% of food you purchase won’t even make it to your customers’ plates due to common inventory loss events.
With a lack of temperature and humidity monitoring systems, you won’t be able to catch early signs of equipment breakdown. Once you do notice any faulty refrigeration components, it may already be too late for your perishable inventory.
This trinity of restaurant management risks feed into each other, slowly eating away at your restaurant’s lifeblood. So, what can you do to address these management issues?
It’s time to revolutionize your restaurant operations
2024 is just around the corner, making it a great time to start developing your restaurant’s strategies for a more profitable and sustainable year ahead.
Based on this year’s trends, restaurants are shaping their operations more according to what today’s customers look for in a modern restaurant and operation efficiency.
And it just so happens that these sustainability trends benefit the customers and improve a restaurant’s bottom line.
Here’s a breakdown of tips you can consider for your restaurant’s 2024 sustainability plans:
1. Embrace smart technology
Lessen the burden on yourself and your staff by employing the marvel of modernity: smart technology.
- Smart thermostats: Automate climate control for optimal comfort and energy savings.
- Smart kitchen equipment: Invest in energy-efficient appliances with pre-programmed settings and automatic shut-off functions.
- LED lighting: Switch to LED bulbs throughout your restaurant for superior lighting while drastically reducing energy consumption.
- Demand response programs: Participate in programs that offer incentives for reducing energy use during peak hours.
2. Prioritize efficiency
A lot goes into creating a more efficient restaurant operation. These strategies would involve routine operations and proactive measures to ensure everything runs smoothly with as little waste as possible.
- Regular appliance maintenance: Ensure equipment operates at peak efficiency to avoid energy waste.
- Water-saving measures: Install low-flow faucets and toilets, and utilize water-efficient dishwashing practices.
- Optimize cooking processes: Use cooking methods requiring less energy, like pressure cookers or convection ovens.
- Implement proper ventilation: Regularly clean and maintain your ventilation system to optimize air circulation and energy usage.
3. Embrace a circular economy
While you lose some food before it reaches your customers, diners would leave restaurants with 17% of their meals uneaten. This is due to over-portioning, where restaurants tend to serve 2 to 3x the recommended serving size—leading to more food waste.
- Reduce food waste: Implement practices like menu planning, portion control, and composting to minimize food waste.
- Repurpose and recycle: Reuse materials like old bottles and jars for storage or decorations. Recycle paper, cardboard, and plastic whenever possible.
- Source locally and sustainably: Partner with local suppliers to reduce transportation emissions and support your community.
4. Engage your team and customers
Restaurant sustainability is a team effort. You’ll need to train and educate your restaurant staff to follow sustainability standards consistently, as this is a continuous process.
- Train staff on sustainable practices: Educate employees on energy-saving techniques and empower them to take initiative.
- Communicate your sustainability efforts: Inform customers about your green initiatives to build brand loyalty and attract environmentally conscious patrons.
- Offer eco-friendly options: Provide reusable options for takeaway containers and utensils, and consider offering plant-based menu items to reduce your environmental footprint.
It all starts with smart temperature and humidity monitoring
Going back to energy, equipment, and inventory management, we believe you can implement a starting solution to address all three simultaneously. Smart temperature and humidity monitoring technology can help mitigate risks from all three.
With the right monitoring system, you’ll be alerted to the earliest signs of equipment breakdown—giving you ample time to conduct preventive maintenance.
Implementing more proactive measures will encourage fewer equipment failures. Well-maintained equipment would then lessen the risk of food spoilage and keep energy consumption from running rampant.
So, what’s our top recommendation for your 2024 sustainability plans? Start with monitoring for smarter optimization. Try the Therma Monitoring solution now.