How good cellar management can help reopened pubs and restaurants save money
With all restrictions on the hospitality trade to be lifted from July 19th, hospitality businesses need to control costs. Cellar management is one area in which pubs, bars and restaurants can put a freeze on rising costs. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can improve your cellar management to save money.
Give refrigeration systems a good once over
Chances are, your cellar storage has been operating at limited capacity and activity for some time now. It may have even become redundant during the national lockdown periods.
A clean system is an efficient system, so a good scrub down below will kickstart your reopened cellar operations.
For refrigeration systems, it’s a good idea to perform the following checks:
- Make sure nothing is blocking condensing units that always need to be in a well-ventilated location.
- Clean the evaporators and heat rejection coils. This ensures air can flow freely so that they run more efficiently.
- Check the cooling system controls for the cellar. It’s easy to accidentally knock them off the required set temperature (usually between 11 and 13 degrees celsius). Overcooling a cellar by just one per cent can increase running costs by 10%.
- Make sure temperature sensors are positioned at barrel height and away from the heat of evaporators.
Check and renew insulation
For a cooled cellar and all of its equipment to work well, the room needs to be well insulated. Some simple steps to maintain insulation are:
- Check the integrity of PVC strip curtains. If you don’t have them, consider whether you would benefit from fitting them in entranceways and between cellar sections. You might need to replace existing curtains if they are badly worn or have tears in them.
- Check draught stripping and replace any worn or damaged sections around room edges, doors, hatches, windows, vents, and any sections of pipework and fitting that pass through walls.
- Cellar doors should be kept closed as much as possible to prevent cold air escaping and warm air from entering. The effect can lead to excess frost on evaporators. Over time, automatic defrost mechanisms can’t cope with this and may result in you having to shut them down for 24 hours to perform a manual defrost.
- Check that indoor and outdoor fan grilles and blades on units are clean and free from debris for optimal operation.
- Check your vital signs
It may sound obvious, but signage reminding staff to shut doors, keep curtains closed, and check temperatures at regular intervals while performing other routine maintenance and checks can be helpful.
The trouble is, if you walk past a sign multiple times a day, you eventually become blind to it. It’s worth renewing your signage as you begin operations again so that they stand out to your staff who may be returning to work a tad rusty on how things work.
Maintain, maintain, maintain
Coolers and refrigeration systems are an integral part of any cellar in a pub, bar and restaurant. Proper upkeep with scheduled planned maintenance programmes is the most effective way to keep everything running properly, safely and at their optimum performance levels. It cuts down the costs of maintaining your products at their optimal temperature and in conditions that customers expect.
At Brooktech, we’re experts on refrigeration systems and operate across the North West. Get in touch to find out more on how we can help you reopen and keep a lid on cooling costs in your hospitality business.