Cost of living crisis – cost saving tips and supporting your employees

Megan Lipscombe

Megan Lipscombe

Head of Marketing

With 83% Brits cutting restaurant spending amid cost-of-living crisis and the majority of operators saying their energy bills have risen by more than 100%; it’s certainly a challenging time for hospitality businesses and their employees. In this blog, we take a look at some of the ways you can reduce your energy costs and how you can support your team through financially difficult times…

Cost saving tips

Reduce waste – intro ‘leftovers’ menu

Even if you have your inventory management down to a tee, there will still be times where you have some leftover produce. And perhaps the waste items are components of multiple menu items. To avoid having to ditch any surplus ingredients, and for an opportunity to make more of what you already have, you might want to consider offering a ‘leftovers menu’ once or twice a week. This unknown menu might also help you attract more customers as curiosity gets the better of them; especially if you offer it at a reduced price.

Consider candlelight

Whilst this certainly isn’t an option for everyone, if you can, you might want to consider putting on a candlelit dinner, or similar, to help lower your energy costs. A number of pubs and restaurants across the UK have already taken a step back in time by switching out the lights on certain days of the week… and with great success. Dining by candlelight offers your customers a unique experience which many have reported has helped them draw in more customers than they normally would on typically quieter days of the week.

Energy efficient lighting & appliances 

Whilst an initial investment, if you’re using old appliances with poor energy ratings, then you might want to bite the bullet and switch out your old appliances for more energy efficient versions. If the cost of replacing your ovens, fridges etc is too high, then look at the smaller changes you can make, such as switching to LED bulbs, which use 90% less energy than conventional halogen bulbs.

Reassess your working practices

One of the quickest wins in terms of saving on your energy costs is to assess what you’re currently doing and make changes where needed. For example, 45% of hospitality businesses leave equipment on overnight, despite the majority (65%) not knowing how much energy the equipment uses. So take a look at different areas of your business, assess where you can be operating more efficiently. Whether it’s switching off appliances you would have previously left on, minimising trips to the freezer or setting your heating to the most efficient temperature; retrain your staff to help you reduce energy usage where you can. 

Tech to help with cost control 

The right tech will help you run your business more efficiently and save money as a result. For example, rota software such as Rotaready can help you optimise your wage costs by giving you the insight you need to ensure you are never over or understaffed. And by integrating your EPOS, reservations, staff scheduling and payroll software you’ll have full visibility over all of your costs and sales in one place; saving you time on admin-heavy tasks and helping you make more informed decisions. 

Minimise heat loss 

We all know how costly it is to heat a restaurant, pub, cafe or bar… so you certainly don’t want to be letting that precious energy go to waste. There are a number of things you can do to help you minimise heat loss from your sites. Such as…

  • Double glazing – Heat is lost through single glazing around twice as fast as through standard double glazing. So, if you haven’t already, think about investing in double glazing for your hospitality business
  • Blinds/curtains – if double glazing is out of the question then a good set of blinds/curtains is the next best option as they can also help prevent heat loss through windows. Or even better, combine the two.
  • Porch/two sets of doors – the addition of another door/porch at the entrance to your venue can help reduce heat loss as there’s an additional barrier to the outdoors. So when customers enter your venue, the heat doesn’t escape straight out the door. Not only is this an energy saver, it prevents your customers from being hit by any nasty draughts.
  • Draught excluders – Similarly to an additional door, draught excluders can help you keep heat in and the cold out. So if you have any draughty doors or windows that you can feasibly cover, it might be worth doing so.

Supporting your employees 

There are a number of ways in which you can help your employees through a financially challenging time. A good place to start is with the benefits you offer your employees. Here are a few things you might want to consider offering… 

Early access to wages

One of the benefits you could look to offer your employees is the option to access their wages early. This will help take the stress out of months where money might be slightly tighter than usual due to an unexpected bill, for example. With tools such as Access EarlyPay, your employees can instantly access what they have already earnt. Here’s a bit more information about how it works.

Reduced meals for employees

If you’re not doing so already, you may want to offer your employees meals either for free, or at a reduced or cost price, when they’re working. And if you can afford to, you might want to consider stretching this to a second ‘meal to go’ when they finish their shift.  

Financial wellbeing training 

Offering your team financial wellbeing workshops or training can give them the knowledge they need to help manage their current finances and navigate a challenging financial landscape.

We hope you’ve gained a few useful tips from this blog! If you have any questions about any of the above, or have any additional tips that you have found useful and would be happy to share, then let us know at comms@rotaready.com.

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