Running a restaurant or bar can cost an exorbitant amount. Fortunately, there are so many ways that you can save money. Some are straightforward methods, while others are more complicated. Keep on reading to find out some great and effective ways for your business to save money.

1. Encourage open channels of communication with your employees

You might have great plans for your restaurant. However, they will only come to fruition if you have your team’s full and enthusiastic support. If they are left in the dark, they may feel resentful, or simply confused. Be sure to share key facts with your employees about what cost-saving measures you are implementing, and how they benefit your employees and the business itself. Many steps require proactive staff involvement, such as ensuring that unused equipment is turned off.

2. Save on Insurance cost

Business insurance cost for restaurant can often be a quite big-ticket item. Yet it’s unavoidable. So, one way of saving money on restaurant insurance is to compare quotes on a comparison website, you might be able to save a good amount on restaurant insurance.

3. Invest in staff training

You might have the most amazing scheme in place, but if your staff don’t know what to do, then it will never succeed. For instance, you may want to separate your recyclables or set your thermostat manually. So be sure to train your staff on your new initiatives to make sure that they succeed.

4. Never leave your dishwasher half-empty

This point will yield massive energy savings. You may run your dishwasher 50% less than you usually do if you make sure that it is always fully loaded. You will also conserve your dishwashing detergent and save on your water bill.

5. Leave your dishes in warm water

Many restaurants pressure-blast their dishes with hot water to loosen food before they put them in a dishwasher. The same result can be achieved by simply soaking dishes in a sink full of warm water for a few minutes or hours instead. This will save on your power and your water bill. It will also allow you to divert your employees time and attention to other tasks.

6. Heating and A/C aren’t compulsory

Just because you’ve got a heating or an air-conditioning unit doesn’t mean that you need to run it every day. In fact, the temperature that you set your thermostat at will depend on the size, layout and ventilation of your premises. Some days I may not be necessary to crank the air-conditioning. Alternatively, you may only need to run the heater during the colder hours of the evening, and not during the late afternoon. Your patrons will still feel comfortable and you will be amazed at just how low your power bill is.

7. Offer smaller serving sizes

These days, many customers actually want to purchase smaller servings of food. This is because consumers have become more health-conscious and waist-line focused. You can also offer smaller menu options at lunchtime, a children’s menu, and down-sized side dishes.

8. No more freebies

You don’t have to offer bread, chips or crackers for free. Many health-conscious customers would prefer to go without the temptation. And customers that do want these items will be more than willing to order them. Likewise, remind your staff to take beverage orders before providing table-water. You will be surprised how many customers request a soda or juice instead of water.

9. Lighting matters

Every restaurant uses lighting. You can replace your old fluorescent bulbs with LED bulbs. Each LED bulb saves you $22 a year. They also have a longer life-span, meaning you don’t have to replace them as often.

10. Tighten up your menu options

Have a hard look at your metrics and determine which of your menu items aren’t selling as well as expected. Cut these dishes from your menu offering, particularly if they are difficult and time-consuming to prepare or use unique ingredients that cannot be used in any of your other dishes.

11. Digitalize your inventory

There are so many benefits to digitalizing your inventory and keeping it automatically updated. You can avoid overordering food and supplies, which can lead to spoilage or wastage. You can also effectively identify and prevent against theft by comparing your actual stock levels and digital inventory reports. Another benefit is that foodstuffs can be automatically reordered if their stock levels fall to low, saving your staff valuable time puzzling over your weekly ordering.

12. Cut down on your weekly deliveries

You might be getting food and supplies delivered to your restaurant multiple times a week from various vendors. Each vendor will likely charge their own delivery fee. Consider using one vendor for more of your deliveries. Additionally, negotiate to find a delivery time that is convenient for you and your staff. For instance, Friday, right before the weekend might be a very busy period for your restaurant, while the Thursday might be a lot quieter. This means that you will not have to roster on extra staff to deal with the delivery.

13. Silverware and glassware may be cheaper than disposable plastics

As well as being extremely environmentally unfriendly, plastic cutlery, dishes and cups can actually work out to be very expensive. If you choose to use glassware, you and your staff will not have to waste time accounting for disposables stock replenishment and organizing extra garbage deliveries. This works out to be especially cost efficient if you have an energy-efficient dishwasher.

14. Be wise about your marketing and follow social media trends

So many businesses make incredible use of Instagram and Facebook. By posting enticing and well-lit photos and inviting influencers to dine at your restaurant for free in exchange for a photo and a review, you can generate an incredible amount of exposure for your business. You should also spend 20 minutes or so a day simply browsing social media to keep on top of trends, and then implement these trends into the content that you create.

You can participate in local community events and then share the snaps on your social media accounts. This will also generate plenty of goodwill towards your business within your local community.

15. Be smart about your rostering

Overstaffing is tantamount to throwing money down the toilet. Every hour that a staff member is idle is wasted money. Your staff may need the hours, so be smart about which hours you give them. Additionally, you don’t want your staff to be overworked during your busy periods. Calculate which days and hours you make the majority of your profit and then roster accordingly.

16. Second hand is sensible

No restaurant can function without the proper fit-out. The cost to fit out a kitchen can run into the 6 figures, and the dining space itself may cost tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, you can source many items second-hand, ex-display or otherwise heavily discounted. It is not too difficult to find opens, dishwashers, tables, chairs and more in almost-new condition.

17. Install water-friendly taps and toilets

This tip does not come intuitively but putting in toilet and tap fittings to reduce water flow will save you massively on your water bill. This is also a great promotional tactic for your restaurant. You will come across as conscientious and socially responsible given Australia’s current drought. Customers will be more likely to recall your restaurant favourably and choose it over competing options.

18. Make sure that your appliances have good energy ratings

You may not be able to afford purchasing a new fit-out of eco-friendly appliances but be sure to choose the energy saving option each time an appliance needs to be replaced. You will be getting better value for money and will definitely thank yourself every time you have to pay your power bill.

This is the most important point of all, so we’ve put it last to make sure that it remains top-of-mind. Each staff member that leaves your business will cost you on average 15% of their yearly salary. Attrition is a huge expense for restaurant businesses. Fortunately, there’s a really easy way to reduce staff turnover – keep your staff happy! You need to recognize and reward desirable behaviour, prevent against workplace bullying and toxic cultures, set achievable goals, and make sure that your staff are not over or under worked. It’s that simple!