It's getting colder out there, and the holidays are quickly approaching. That means that winter is fast approaching, which can be difficult for restaurants as they have to contend with increased heating costs and decreased customer traffic. To help you prepare your restaurant for this upcoming season, we've put together a guide of 14 things you need to do before it gets cold outside.
Here's a list of a few tips to help you prepare for winter:
Prepare your heating system. Ensure that your heating system is in good working order and up to the task of keeping your restaurant warm throughout the winter. If you have any concerns, now is the time to address them before they become a bigger problem. It's also a good idea to check your furnace filters and get them replaced if necessary.
You should have the heating system inspected by professionals at least once per year, regardless of how frequently you use it. Every time you turn on your heater or stove is considered one use -- so having someone come out for an inspection every three months will ensure that nothing goes wrong throughout the winter season!
As fall approaches, before temperatures start dropping below freezing, try turning up your thermostat while shutting off any other heat sources to give all parts of the restaurant enough time to warm up before closing down for the night. You can then lower everything back down overnight when no one is there, saving energy while keeping things comfortable during business hours.
If you're looking for ways to save on your heating bill, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient system or making changes to how you heat your restaurant. You may also want to install insulation around doors and windows. As well as in the attic and basement to keep the cold out.
Make sure all of your windows retain heat well. You can do this by adding storms or insulating film between the panes during the winter months so that no heat escapes from them - which means lower bills! If they're already insulated with films, make sure there are no gaps in where two parts meet as this will allow warm air to escape into colder areas around them. And don't forget about every skylight window on the roof.
Make sure you have the right food supplies in stock to get through the winter months. If this is your first year running a business, it may be best for you to start shopping for these items now so that everything will be ready when needed! Remember - no one wants cold mashed potatoes at their restaurant! So order enough of all ingredients and supplies well before they're due out on the shelves.
It's also important to note that some people are more likely than others to stay home during colder weather (especially if there's an ice storm). To help combat this, consider opening up earlier than usual or offering different specials throughout the season like free coffee with every meal purchased after 11 AM. People always love a good deal!
Make sure everyone who works at your restaurant has the necessary winter gear to get them through those colder months of the year. The latter means ensuring all employees have access to coats/hats/gloves if needed (and even scarves depending on where you live). It's also helpful to invest in some thick mats to wipe their boots before entering inside, which helps keep salt off of the floor.
Layout your floor plan for winter. Make sure your floors are always clear of snow or ice. You can do this by adding salt outside if it's needed, along with shoveling off any extra at the end of each night before closing down. However, make sure you don't use too much! As previously stated, people love a good deal, and nobody wants to pay a lot for something they don't even like!
In addition, try adding some extra heaters near the registers if it gets too cold there. As long as your staff knows how to handle the additional heaters, there shouldn't be any problems! You can also add an extension cord that will allow people to charge their phones while waiting if you have the space available.
Remove any outdoor furniture from the sidewalk or patio area to prevent pedestrians from slipping and falling on when they come into your restaurant during inclement weather. If you have umbrellas or other outdoor decors, make sure they're stored away safely so that they don't get damaged.
Clear away any leaves or debris outside the building, so nothing blocks doors or gets tracked. It may seem like an unnecessary step, but it's another excellent way to keep your restaurant looking nice for customers!
Make sure you have enough staff on hand to get through those busier winter months without extra stress and pressure being put upon everyone involved with running things back there in the kitchen.
If you're feeling extra generous, consider offering a "dine-in" discount for your customers during the winter months! It will incentivize people to get out and enjoy their time at your restaurant (and not just stay home by themselves).
Don't forget about hiring snow removal if necessary to help clear your sidewalks and steps! Also, consider getting a rug cleaner to help clean up any dirt or mud brought in by employees or customers. Finally, add some festive wreaths or garlands around your doorways to give customers a warm welcome during the holiday
Now that you're all prepared for winter, it's time to sit back and relax - knowing that your business is in good hands! Just make sure to keep an eye on the weather report so you can be one step ahead of any blizzards or ice storms. And most importantly, have fun with it! After all, winter doesn't last forever.