How to run your kitchen more cost-effectively
It’s no secret that a well-maintained commercial kitchen is less expensive to operate. But if you’re worried about rising costs, which areas should you address in the short-term to save money and resources further down the line?
In our view, reducing operational overheads – particularly when they are related to your utility bills – comes down to three things:
- Minimising waste
- Minimising energy usage
- Maximising efficiency
None of these are easy to achieve in a busy kitchen environment, where quality of product and service often comes above instilling a few simple processes. Even the most organised of facilities managers can often do little to control what happens on the ground. But an honest conversation with kitchen staff can go a long way, particularly when it comes to discussing how everyone can work together to reduce costs and make the most of existing resources to keep the business in a healthy position.
Here are the topics to raise and the tips to share with everyone working in your commercial kitchen.
- Commit to protecting and prolonging the life of ALL your kitchen equipment
It’s something we’re incredibly passionate about here at TWO Services – but regular servicing and maintenance is vital to keep your equipment running well, for longer.
During a typical maintenance visit, we will check all your equipment for:
- General wear and tear
- Worn or inefficient components
- Necessary machine adjustments
- Carbon monoxide emissions
- Moving parts that need to be lubricated
We’ll do more than simply check whether your equipment is broken and needs to be replaced. Our trained and experienced engineers will suggest ways to optimise its performance and extend its shelf life, saving you lots of cash in unnecessary or untimely replacements.
As part of your maintenance schedule, we’ll also suggest that you invest in annual or part-annual deep cleans. This involves cleaning and degreasing every inch of your ovens, fridges, racking, storage units, counter tops and extraction equipment, plus your ceilings, walls and floors (which can trap dirt, grease and bacteria over time).
The advantage of working with the team here at TWO is, we can manage both the cleaning and maintenance aspects of your contract, all under one roof. We can also feed information through to both divisions to make sure our teams know what to expect from your kitchen and can plan any expected repairs well in advance.
- Look after your refrigeration units – and upgrade them when it makes sense to do so
Did you know that, as a country, approximately 20% of our energy consumption is down to refrigeration equipment?
It’s some of the hardest-working machinery in any kitchen – and, as Shane Jay, Senior Refrigeration Engineer at TWO Services explains, older refrigeration equipment could be costing up to twice as much in electrical consumption compared to more contemporary products.
“The bottom line is, older equipment needs to work much harder to deliver optimal temperatures,” he said. “The inverter compressors in newer models are far more efficient at reducing the load needed to keep the ambient temperature more consistent.
“In the current climate, it’s important to look at what you’ve got and consider whether it might be worthwhile to look at long term replacements, even if it means an initial outlay.”
Shane’s top tip is to investigate whether your fridges and freezers are set to the highest possible temperatures (without violating food storage guidelines). In many cases, turning units up by even a degree can result in significantly less energy usage.
“Try to reduce the number of times your staff open and close your fridge doors during a typical service,” he added. “Plus, always make sure your fridges are located in areas with good ventilation, as this will prevent them from overheating.”
Of course, he also suggests making sure these systems are calibrated and subject to the appropriate checks as part of a regular maintenance plan.
- Set more realistic budgets
In many areas, costs have more than doubled for gas and electricity, resulting in very real challenges for caterers and those running commercial kitchens.
If you haven’t increased your forecasts in line with these increases, now is the time to take stock of how much budget you’ll need to set aside for your energy bills moving forward. If you don’t, you will find that these elevated costs will begin to eat into profits.
Sometimes, just being aware of the impact of habits and behaviours can be enough to encourage positive change. In a world where the cost of living is only set to grow for individuals and businesses alike, small changes really can equal big savings. Try to get your entire team on board with your new mission to minimise wastage, reduce energy consumption, and ensure your equipment is working as efficiently and cost-effectively as it can. Scheduling frequent maintenance visits can also help you build a clearer picture of which equipment may need to be replaced and when, enabling you to factor these purchases into your short- to medium-term financial plan.
Contacting TWO Services
The bottom line is, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Our team are always on hand to discuss cleaning and maintenance strategies, repairing vs changing your important kitchen equipment, and additional ways you can save energy to reduce your outgoings.
We work to the highest standards using an integrated management system. We’re accredited to ISO 9001, ISO 14001: 2015 and ISO 45001:2018. And all our work is carried out in accordance with the European Regulations EC852/2004, the Food Safety & Hygiene (England) Regulations and COSHH. We provide hygiene certificates after each clean.
If you would like more advice or information, call us on 0800 22 44 33 or visit www.two-services.com.