News & Insights: Energy & Food price increases

How to manage cost increases in your Restaurant/Bar/Hotel

Costs are going up across all P&L lines, there are things to be considered

We all know costs in the Hospitality industry are going up on a monthly (or weekly) basis at the moment. For some of us who are old enough to remember Hospitality in the 1980’s and 1990s will remember a number of things like no all day dining, 5 day week trading, lights turned off in a room of the pub not in use, smaller menus etc etc.  Over the past 20 years the sector has become a 24/7 operation, for consumers to get what they want when they want it.   That is not all bad but it does make us think, will some of the practices of the 1990’s and 1980s come back to help with the price increases. 

All day dining

Over the past 20 years there has been a massive move towards all day dining, with a full menu available from morning to 10pm. The issue with this is the volume of covers in the afternoon is lower but the cost of having a fryers always turned on and the grills on.  This is a balance, as over 20 years there has been a move away from split shifts, so there needs to be something for staff in the afternoon.   Afternoon tea market is massive and does not use the same energy costs or could there be a smaller menu in the afternoon between 2 and 5 to reduce the costs needed.

Sit on any table you want

Again over the past 30 years, customers often can use any part of the Restaurant or Pub they want whenever they want.  Some of us older people (i can remember this sadly!), can remember when in pubs they only had one room open in the afternoon and turned off the lights in the other areas. This is a great option if you have separate areas. For example if you have a upstairs area, do you need to keep this open all day. You could even save heating by closing it in the day.

7 day week operation

There has been a move to a 7 day operation, to be available when customers need us even if we make a lose. With costs  now going up, its time to consider if a 7 day a week operation is needed or not. We have seen some of our clients now closing on a sunday evening and closed on a monday and tuesday. We have also seen clients not doing food on a mon & tues and just wet sales.  All of this can reduce costs and if these days are loss making, should not reduce profit levels.  It could also help with staffing, as your staffing levels will be lower as you do not need a rota basis, everyone is either on or off ie mon and tues being set days for everyone.

The whole animal or the whole veg

Soup is not as popular these days or used as much, this is a fantastic way to keep costs low and reduce food waste, as everything left over can make fantastic soup.

With food prices going up, its a good time to review the menus to ensure the whole animal is used and not just the best bits. Same with vegetables, ensure everything is being used and not just part of the veg or fruit.

Using the outdoor space

Do you have outdoor space? could you turn some of it into a kitchen garden, even if just for herbs, it all helps to keep the costs down and it helps with food millage.

Hotel floors in quite months

Many years ago, in January Hotels would close off one floor, which meant you can turn off the corridor lights, reduce cleaning costs and reduce heating on these floors. This can also help to reduce the cost of running these floors, when number of guests is lower

How hot is the water

We all moan when in hotels,  “wow that tap is hot!, could the water be turned down by 1 degree.   a cut in 1 degree could reduce costs on energy alot.

Smaller menu / energy efficient menu

How many items on your menu has a small sales ratio? This is the perfect time to look at the items that do not sell much but costs alot to make with energy.  Also could you have items on the menu that all cook at the same oven heat? This could mean using the oven less often. This might mean changing the menu but its a balance between food choice for customers and the energy costs.


Will this be the end to the all day dining, full menu whenever a customer wants it?   This small change to do a different menu from 2-5pm, could save alot on energy costs




HtE Recruitment News & Insights

This news and insights page has been written by Rick our Director who has a Hospitality Degree and been in the sector for 20 years. HtE Recruitment take no responsibility for this post.

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