Restaurants forced to cut back on utilities as energy bills rise

16 May 2022 by
Restaurants forced to cut back on utilities as energy bills rise

Restaurants and cafes are having to raise prices and cut back on heating and air conditioning in the face of spiralling energy costs.

Businesses have been forced to find savings with one in 10 operators seeing their bills increase by more than 200%, according to a recent poll by trade bodies including UKHospitality and the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

Steve Neale, director of Josephine's Tea Lounge and Bistro in Nottingham, said staff were switching lights off when rooms were not in use and only turning on certain equipment such as the dishwasher when the first customer arrived.

The restaurant only opens late if it has bookings and the team no longer use a dryer after washing uniforms and cloths.

Neale said: "[It's] impossible to survive unless things change rapidly. It's the noticeable drop in footfall that is concerning at present, [but it] could be seasonal though."

Chef Jamie Scott, owner of the Newport Restaurant in Fife, tweeted that his utility bill for the restaurant had risen from £17,000 per year to £90,000.

In a separate post, Scott said the increasing cost of electricity meant it was "not that feasible anymore" to make stock in-house and leave a pot on overnight.

In Liverpool, the Lu Ban restaurant has had to raise prices after introducing a new menu earlier this month.

The restaurant has a full induction kitchen and the team ensure everything is switched off at the socket when they close and avoid using heating or air conditioning unless strictly necessary.

Dave Critchley, executive chef director at Lu Ban, said: "We still want to offer a fantastic product as best value as we can, but this is becoming increasing difficult. We don't want to lose our values or cheapen our product by cutting corners or using inferior products. We have seen a little push back on our pricing, but we don't have a choice."

He added that private hire events now had to be "carefully thought about" in terms of the energy usage and costs they would incur.

Critchley added: "We like to think of ourselves a quite a green business and the current situation has made us think even more about how we can do those small actions that make a difference."

Image: Take Photo / Shutterstock

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