As a restaurant owner, there are countless things you need to spend money on, and your refrigeration bill is just one of them. Luckily, there are numerous ways to save money on refrigeration from cleaning condenser coils to strengthening door seals. However, the way you deal with inventory can also have an impact on your commercial refrigeration costs.
Want to save a little money on your energy bills? Take a look at these ideas:
1. Track items as you remove from the fridge
Once, twice or possibly even several times a week, you likely count all of your food to see what you need to order. When taking inventory of the fridge, you probably have to leave the door open and doing that for an extended period of time wastes energy and can get expensive.
Instead, track items as you remove them from the fridge. Have a small inventory sheet taped to the fridge, and have your chefs mark it as they remove items.
Then, when it's time to put in a new order, you know exactly what is in your fridge, and you don't have to open it for lengthy periods of time to figure out what's missing and what to order.
2. Don't over-order perishable foods
When you put in your order, make sure that you take care not to over order. If you order too much of any one food, it is likely to go off in the fridge. As it sits there rotting in your commercial refrigerator, you ultimately waste money cooling it until someone notices it has rotted and throws it away.
3. Invest in staff members who understand the art of inventory
The skill level of your staff can also have an impact on how well your company handles inventory and as a result how high your refrigeration bills are.
If possible, invest in a head chef who knows how to artfully balance inventory and tweak specials so that you don't end up cooling lots of rotting food. Waitstaff who are skilled at pushing certain items when you have an overabundance can also be a critical part of this process.
4. Rotate and declutter as you pack new foods into the fridge
When your order of new food comes in, make sure to rotate everything. Put the new food in the back and the old food in the front. That helps to avoid old food just sitting in the back and rotting and the issues discussed above.
However, as you arrange your items, also make sure that you declutter your fridge. Don't push everything together in hard-to-cool clumps. Instead, leave space for the air to circulate.
Not only does that help you save money on refrigeration costs, it also prevents the appearance of warm and cool spots that lead to spoilage in your refrigerator.