Foodservice 101: How a Business Owner Can Reduce Cleaning Costs

Keeping a restaurant clean is not only a matter of complying with legal sanitation rules, but it is also an important factor in customer satisfaction. That said, the cleanliness of a restaurant should always be a top priority, regardless of the budget it has for cleaning supplies, labor, and equipment.

Cleaning supplies, labor, and tools can inflate a restaurant’s overhead. Whether you are the owner of the restaurant manager, there are many ways you can reduce the establishment’s expenses on cleaning, such as:

  1. Buy cleaning supplies in bulk

Buying any supply in bulk is almost always cheaper than purchasing in small quantities. The same goes for cleaning supplies. Restaurant suppliers often sell cleaning supplies at cheaper rates if you buy in bulk. More than that, delivery costs are lower than when you buy in smaller quantities and have them delivered more frequently.

That said, make it a point to buy in bulk than in smaller quantities. For example, buy staining rags by the pallet instead of per piece. Not only will you get to save money on delivery and the purchase, but buying in bulk will make you a more important customer for the supplier, which opens up a whole new world of benefits in and of itself.

  1. Choose multi-purpose cleaners

Every inch of a restaurant needs to be cleaned regularly, which means you probably need a lot of cleaning products to ensure that the entire place receives proper sanitation. But if you are using different products for different types of surfaces, you may be spending more money on cleaning supplies than you need to.

Unlike in the older days, you no longer need a dozen different products to clean various surfaces. Today, plenty of multi-purpose cleaning products can cut grease, dirt, and grime on multiple surfaces. Find a product that is restaurant-friendly, and ensure that it covers most of the surfaces in your restaurant that need cleaning, be it metal, glass, or wood.

  1. Buy concentrated cleaning agents

If you use concentrated cleaning agents, you only need a small amount to finish the job. Thus, concentrated cleaning agents are a great option if you want to save money on cleaning costs and storage space for cleaning supplies. Furthermore, going with concentrated cleaning agents than readily diluted ones gives you more control over the “strength” of your cleaning solution. Hence, you can adjust the mixture accordingly depending on how much of the cleaning agent you need to clean a specific surface.

To maximize the effectiveness of concentrated cleaning agents, it is also a good idea to invest in an auto-dilution system. This way, restaurant staff can easily mix the concentrated agent with the right amount of water without the risk of wasting it by manual dilution.

cleaning the table

  1. Clean more frequently

It is imperative for any food establishment to have a regular cleaning schedule. But if you are not cleaning frequently enough, then you may be inadvertently increasing your cleaning costs. Why? Because the more frequent surfaces get cleaned, the easier they are to clean, which means fewer expenses on cleaning supplies and labor.

  1. Don’t fall for the cheap prices

It might make sense to purchase the cheapest cleaning products if you want to save money on cleaning costs, but this strategy is often ineffective. Cheaper cleaning products are often more diluted, contain fewer active ingredients, and are thus not as effective as more expensive options. So while you may be paying less for the products, you will still have to use more of them to clean surfaces properly, defeating the purpose entirely.

With that in mind, do not always go for the cheapest products you see. Analyze each item’s dilution level, list of ingredients, and brand name to ensure that you choose the ones that offer the most value.

  1. Pick reusables

A lot of cleaning supplies now come in reusable forms. For example, cleaning solutions are sold in reusable plastic containers, which can be refilled with refill packs that are cheaper. There are also mops with detachable heads, allowing you to replace the mop heads without getting rid of the entire thing. By purchasing the reusable options, you can save money and reduce wastage at the same time.

Cleaning supplies may not make up a big part of your restaurant’s overhead costs, but they can certainly add to your budget. With these tips, however, you can reduce your expenses on them and make cleaning more efficient and manageable in the process. Take the necessary steps to correctly manage your business costs so that you don’t go over what you’ve allotted for supplies.

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