Running a quick-serve restaurant or any kind of restaurant can have extreme value from a financial and personal standpoint. However, you might go through lean times on occasion, forcing you into running on a tighter budget.
This happens to the best of all restaurants including the largest restaurant franchisees. To save money, you may have to cut back on some things, though you should look first at your energy bills.
If you're still using incandescent or CFL lights, switching to LED's will give a possible six-figure lifetime value.
How Much Would LED Lights Really Save You?
Some of you may think switching to more economical lighting systems wouldn't make all that much difference in the energy you burn. Working with an LED lighting consultant, you'll see it can save you exponentially, even more so than with CFL's.
Because LED lights don't burn as hot as other types of lights, they burn 75%-80% less energy. Over a decade, you can see what this adds up to for your energy bill.
Until you start bringing in larger profits again, you'll still pull in a substantial ROI with your LED lights after your initial investment.
Using Directional Light to Bring in More Customers
It doesn't take a lot of LED lights to brighten up your restaurant's interior. You're maybe forced to go on a budget lately because customers simply aren't warming to your surroundings lately. The lighting is perhaps more to blame than anything to do with your food or service.
With evidence that LED lighting alters moods, you should consider LED lights a serious investment. Also, because they're a directional light compared to other types, you're bringing better visibility at your tables and for your staff.
This correlation between lighting quality and lack of business isn't an exaggeration. Time to have an audit to see the difference in how LED lighting affects your eatery's surroundings.
LED Lights That Last Longer Than CFL's
No doubt you did what a lot of businesses did a decade ago and invest in CFL lights (compact fluorescent lamps). These were initially considered the most reliable and energy efficient light until LED's became more affordable. Weaknesses in CFL lights were soon scoped out, particularly showing how they use mercury vapor, making them an environmental hazard.
Also, CFL bulbs take longer to start because of their ballast system. This and the environmental aspects are easily amended by using LED lights in all your restaurant locations.
Overall, you can expect LED lights to last considerably longer than CFL's. Depending on how much you use them in your restaurant, you won't have to worry about investing in more of them for at least 7-10 years.
Those of you worried about budget over the long-term will find this a major selling point.
LED Lighting to Prevent Accidents
It's worth looking into the safety aspects to LED lighting and how this matters with your budget. One thing you definitely don't want is someone tripping and falling due to poor lighting. Someone could sue you, compounding your budget problems due to legal fees or paying a settlement.
Plus, using other lighting with more heat could greatly affect how your kitchen staff do their jobs. Too much intense heat in the kitchen could make workers sick on a hot summer day. They may even suffer a major health event as a result, leading to a payout for missed work time.
All of these scenarios are possible, and they all relate to something seemingly innocuous as lighting.
Keep in mind you should use LED lighting outdoors as well, as in your parking lot or garage. This also prevents accidents, including being a proven crime deterrent.