Tips for Adapting Under Recent Financial Pressures

Running a successful business relies on reducing costs and maximising profits. Whilst ‘the customer is always right’ might be the first unwritten rule, keeping costs down and profits high is the real priority for every business owner to grow and continue trading.

In the past few years, we have witnessed an unprecedented surge in the cost of daily consumables in the hospitality industry. With inflation soaring to a 40-year high and energy prices skyrocketing, businesses face new challenges in keeping costs in check. 

Despite these hurdles, as always the hospitality community is showing resilience and ingenuity to keep their businesses and their passions alive.

The hospitality sector has always adapted; it is a community full of people tirelessly looking to find ways to make things work, and as ever, there are hospitality businesses up and down the country banding together and sharing their ingenious ways of keeping costs low. 

Whether it’s at work or home, there are communities dedicated to penny-saving and sharing their cost-cutting advice and strategies for free

Platforms like Reddit’s FrugalUK and Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert have become hubs for cost-saving discussions, offering a wealth of insights for businesses and individuals alike.

Reduce, Reuse, Save Money, and the Environment

One of the most significant financial burdens for businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector, is the rising cost of daily consumables. 

As well as the rising costs of produce like oil and butter, energy expenditure stands out as a major outgoing cost and many businesses are struggling to keep up with this rising energy rate. Energy efficiency in the hospitality industry is more important now than ever before.

Unlike homeowners who can simply turn down the thermostat, businesses in this sector cannot compromise on providing a warm and inviting space, especially during the colder months. Simply put: the heat has to stay on. We just need to find ways to use renewable energy in the hospitality industry.

Maintaining a comfortable ambience is a cornerstone of restaurants and cafes, drawing in customers seeking respite from the chill. Though turning off heating systems is not an option, alternative ways exist to curtail energy consumption and cut costs.

The easiest way to begin cutting costs is to have an efficient and accurate service window. This means working out the times that your business needs to be open, and optimising opening service hours around optimum times. 

In other words - don’t waste time and energy, as well as the cost of paying staff, during the times when your business is not pulling in customers.

Implementing an efficient and precise service schedule is a fundamental step. By identifying peak operating hours and optimising service times, businesses can minimise energy usage during slow periods. 

This approach not only conserves energy but also reduces labour costs, a critical concern in the hospitality industry.

Energy Efficiency and Management

Kitchen equipment is a significant portion of energy consumption in the hospitality industry. Any business in the food and drinks energy will understand how often large ovens and grills have to be on, as well as ventilation, and large refrigeration units.

If we are going to consider energy conservation in the hospitality industry, then we must figure out a way to reduce the use of these energy-intensive appliances. 

Once again, you will need to look into use outside of busy periods and consider better strategic use of kitchen equipment, including placing them on standby mode when not in operation. 

This simple change can lead to substantial savings. Small adjustments, such as strategic lighting and switching to sustainable bulbs will further contribute to energy conservation.

Embracing renewable energy sources is an effective long-term strategy for energy efficiency. 

Transitioning to renewable energy not only curtails rising costs but also aligns businesses with eco-conscious practices, a growing preference among consumers.

Minimising Food Waste

Food waste is another issue that faces all hospitality businesses. Astonishingly, the food sector generates an annual 400,000 tonnes of waste in the UK, amounting to a staggering £682 million in losses. 

Finding sources of food waste and finding ways to curtail this waste should be a priority. It is a simple way to ensure that the money you put into orders isn’t going into the bin, and keeping your business sustainable.  

Over-buying stock is a common pitfall that leads to excess waste. While it may be tempting to bulk purchase in anticipation of surges in popularity, this often results in unnecessary food wastage. 

Make sure that you are only buying the food that you know your business will use - you can do this by monitoring food wastage and making order adjustments. 

Reducing waste relies on inventory management. This means rigorous labelling, dating, and rotation to ensure that no food goes to waste.

Keeping structured, ordered, and strict in your practices is how to reduce food waste in the hospitality industry.

By adopting these measures, businesses can not only reduce operational costs but also contribute to a more sustainable and prosperous future for the hospitality industry.

Use the space to host alternative events 

Another great way to pull in income from other sources is to reconsider what your establishment can offer. Why not consider hosting alternative events to bring in new customers? 

Whether for charitable events, musical performances, poetry nights, art classes, or yoga classes - there are a million types of events out there that are looking for spaces to be held in. 

Business owners are lucky to have a space to host these events, and they can often do so without changing the layout of the venue much. By moving a few tables around you’d be surprised at how quickly a little restaurant can become an art studio. 

These events might not be what business owners envisioned when opening a bar or eatery, but they are great ways to bring in a new customer base, and you might even be able to combine two events into one for a more elevated experience. 

Bring in art classes, serve food and drink, and cater fine-dining food at a black-tie jazz night. The floor is yours to use - be inventive and find other ways to bring people into your business. 

Be adaptable, and open to new ideas

With costs soaring, it can sometimes be difficult to keep a positive mindset. However, we are all in the same boat - the community is always finding new ways to cut costs and save where we can. 

Adaptability is a priceless skill in these times - establishments which seek out new opportunities for their customers will always find rewards for their efforts. 

But the real key to money saving is to make your establishment as sustainable as possible. A no-waste kitchen means no money wasted, too. 

By taking the time to work out how your establishment works inside and out, you should be able to reduce energy wastage and bring costs down.

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