How To Save Money When Opening A New Restaurant

Saving money is undoubtedly a very high priority for new restaurants, but even well-established restaurants are constantly looking for different ways to make their budget just a little bit lighter. The more resources you have, the more freedom you have to enhance your marketing, training, menu diversity, and your facility in general. From family-owned restaurants to major franchises, being sure that you have an effective money-saving strategy is one of the most crucial parts of being able to operate a successful restaurant.

Many people go into the restaurant business because of the top-line aspect of being able to bring people happiness, so upon first glance, drafting budget-saving strategies might not be the most attractive task at hand; nevertheless, you will not regret making some slight adjustments that allow you to save money that you can devote towards having the restaurant operation of your dreams.

Streamlining the layout

One of the very first measures that you can take in order to save money on your restaurant operation is by focusing on measurements of your interior. Restaurants have saved lots of money simply by streamlining their restaurant design. You can still maintain all of the signature decor in your restaurant while facilitating more cost-effectiveness by making the interior a little bit smaller. In addition to streamlining the interior of the restaurant, you might be able to save even more money by utilizing the smaller space for things like reach-in freezers and walk-in refrigerators. Cutting down on the number of seats in general will make it so that upkeep is less labor-intensive, and your rental cost will go down as well.

Used kitchen equipment

Naturally, getting the newest kitchen equipment on the market is going to be a fair bit more expensive than investing in used kitchen equipment. Used kitchen equipment may not have all the bells and whistles of the latest on the market, but you can still find perfectly viable options that will serve you just as well. Make sure that the used kitchen equipment that you consider is still in good-enough condition to operate to the same standards that you would expect from any equipment that you rely on to give your business a good reputation.

Energy spending

Naturally, one of the strongest aspects of budgeting for any business operations is the energy cost. There are restaurant owners that have managed to save hundreds of dollars simply by investing in water-saving toilets and motion-sensor lights. It may not always be immediately apparent that these energy-saving options are available, but being aware of them can be greatly beneficial.

Labor figure accuracy

One of the less-apparent ways that you can save money on operating a restaurant is by doing some research on Workman’s Compensation insurance. In the event that the economy stalls, or your restaurant goes through a dry spell, the insurance costs might prove to be a problem if they’re not calculated with accurate labor figures. Make sure to always keep your labor figures accurately updated with all relevant insurance providers.  Visit Silver Chef for more information.

Canine Update

I am oft at a loss for things to blog about.  Sometimes it sounds like whining, sometimes it feels too personal, othertimes too trite.  Myrtle has been on me to blog so there is always one defacto subject that can get me off my derriere and onto the computer – dogs.

As my millions, er thousands, um, ok, couple of readers know, we love our canine friends (see many blog posts past).

As my 2 readers also likely know (of course you do mom), we have a shetland sheepdog, affectionately known as a sheltie.  Years ago, when we got her from the breeder (I grew up with shelties and thought she would make a perfect personality for our rescue, Kobe), she told us Nyla was show dog material.  A year or so later, we brought to a friend of ours who was a dog groomer in Vancouver at the time.  “That ain’t no show dog” he critiqued our little gal.  Ok, she wasn’t little.  In fact, he pointed out she was the wrong colour, had 1 ear up and 1 ear down, was too tall, too long, and her face wasn’t right either.  She was perfect to us.

One of our neighbourhood friends have a sheltie named after a popular candy manufacturer.  They are a lovely couple and are moving away this week.  Their boy is likely showdog material as he’s half Nyla’s size, weight, and clearly enjoys grooming (Nyla runs away when we get out a brush).  That’s maybe why she growls at him when she sees him.  We’ll miss them and their well mannered little guy.

For those who read the column on Rosie’s passing, a bit of an update.  Her dad had said that he wouldn’t wait too long to fill the void and sure enough – a couple month’s later he has a cute little heinz 57 named Tia.  She is about 10 years old and was given up by her owners when they were told they had to get rid of 1 of their 3 dogs where they were living.  I can’t even imagine.  Gut wrenching.

Back to me.  Our own little Kobe is nearing that final phase.  As anyone who has been there, it’s hard to see them decline.  When does it become selfish?  We’re at that point of really weighing it.  He has good days and less good days.  He seems happy, eats, and is not in any notable pain.  We’re hoping he lets us know.  Nyla will miss him desperately too although I know one bright side for her will be top dog status (it has been hard for her for 8 years now to defer to him as top dog!).

On a lighter note, 7 more days to Christmas!

 

Lily Mae in Gastown

December 18, 2013

New Years Resolutions…

…are a great idea but put a lot of pressure on oneself.  Whether you call them resolutions, goals, or “life plan”, it’s always a good idea to have a purpose and path.  But they inevitably stress me out!

I ran out of time to put mine together this year.  Of course, in my head were my typical thoughts of losing weight, getting healthy, saving money, and being kinder to friends, family and strangers.  I think by 1 am on NYE I was pretty much off track on all of them.  Oh well.  There’s always a new day!

It’s a funny time of year.  There is hope and inspiration in the air, kind of like back to school period.  Summer is over, time to get it into gear, start anew.  The same after the holidays.  But just like with summer, it is a sad time, too.  The end of the summer or Christmas holidays always brings with it a bit of whistful thinking.  Back to regular routine, with more lbs and less money.

Thank you to all of you who came by for a visit during the holidays.  We appreciate it!  Whatever your goals are for 2014, we wish you a wonderful year ahead.

 

Lily Mae in Gastown

January 2, 2014

Moving Forward…By Going Back

When we conceived Lily Mae’s (and yes, much as I can tell it is like giving birth and then having a colicky baby) our concept was all about approachability.  The food.  The room.  The price point.  The service.  We wanted it a little bit French/European, a little bit prairie, and above all approachable. Not fussy, pretty simple, but good.

And to a varying extent we succeeded with some of these.  But, we did some soul searching and wanted to get it a bit more back to where it was envisioned.  Some of it strayed more than we intended.  It happens.  You listen, you respond, you react, you adjust, and you sometimes do good things and…sometimes you don’t.

Our new evening menu reflects this evolution back closer to what we intended.  The menu is “Family Style” – whatever your definition of family is.  We think the variety is there, a little bit European, a little bit prairie…a little more us. And I hope good value and good prices.

We hope you will pop in for a visit sometime soon.

Lily Mae’s in Gastown

January 12, 2014

See Ya Chloe

As our regular readers know (and we realize since we have been awol for 4 months we no longer have regular readers!), we love our pooches.

We have about 20 or so who regularly come by for the protein of the day.  Sometimes it’s bacon, sometimes it’s lamb or beef, but always it’s a fun break in the day for everyone.

This is the first of what we hope are many entries of these lovely guests.  Chloe, pictured here knocking on the door, was our very first visitor back before we even opened.  She and her family are moving next week.  We will miss you baby!

Love

Lily Mae in Gastown

May 17, 2014

Kobe Kensington…In Loving Memory

After a long period of no posts, allow for this very self-indulgent one.  For many of you who know Lily Mae’s as a dog friendly place for pooch treats, you may have met our lovable if not sometimes moody corgi cross, Kobe.  On Monday, July 21st at around noon, Kobe passed away at the age of 16 ½.

Kobe came into our life unexpectedly. Over 15 years ago, we made a stop at the SPCA here in Vancouver. “Oh let’s just take a peek at the dogs” Armand said.  I tried to distract him with the cute bunnies as I knew he was likely to get his heart stolen.  And he did.  Kobe looked out with his big brown eyes from one of the cages and it was game over.

He was a difficult one.  We took him to obedience training and were quickly separated from the rest of the class.  Kobe was named “most improved” and from our sequestered side of the parking lot, we quietly cheered to ourselves. At home, he chewed on everything, barked incessantly when left alone, and caused a lot of stress.  When we adopted him, they told us he had been abused really badly and left for dead.  But, as the weeks passed, and the trust grew on all sides, we all realized what a special opportunity we had all been given.

Fast forward 15 ½ years later, and Kobe’s health was failing.  Both physically and mentally, he had been slowing down for a couple of years.  He put on a brave front, always a trooper.  But life wasn’t fun for him anymore.  It was starting to get very hard.  And, as hard as it was not to be selfish, we knew it was his time.

He died in our arms, giving us kisses right up to the final seconds.  We like to think he was telling us thanks for taking him in all those years ago, for his nice cushy life, and for letting him go when we did.  He was amazing.  Armand did this portrait of him many years ago.