How to Budget for Restaurant Emergency Maintenance

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Jane Bogan Jane Bogan

With many restaurant businesses trying to climb out of debt, no restaurant wants to record more loss post-pandemic. So many businesses recorded huge losses during the COVID-19 pandemic year and had to come back to damages such as a roof leak. Many also need to pay for necessary maintenance, such as a roof replacement or roof repair.

If this was the case with your restaurant and your insurance claim covers only general liability, such costly repairs might need to come out of the company’s pocket. This means that you’ll have to budget for emergency maintenance costs for your restaurant carefully. Continue reading to find out how.

Set aside money for routine inspection and repairs.

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While you can’t compare the cost of starting a restaurant business with maintenance costs, keeping your restaurant up and running can be quite expensive too. This is especially true if you don’t plan adequately. Even if you own the property on which your restaurant is built, owners still have costs to cover for the couple of years they have to run their restaurant business.

As such, you need to plan for the long run rather than only emergencies. You must put aside funds for routine and preventive maintenance. For example, if you normally hire a plumber, electrician, you will save a lot of money on corrective repairs if you plan for the long term. The same goes for when hiring local roofing companies or a local roofing contractor for a roofing project. This can be for the installation of asphalt shingles, or a metal roof, or tile roof replacement. Also, don’t forget to account for the cost of routine repairs on kitchen equipment and general cleaning of your gutter—if you have one.

Track past maintenance and repair costs.

If you don’t know where your money has been going, you’ll continue to wonder why your business is not making profits. The idea of following money trails is practical not just in criminal cases but also in business. You’ll need to ask yourself, what have you been spending on? How much of that money has been going to monthly repairs or maintenance?

Also, it would help if you accounted for the cost to lease restaurant equipment when a breakdown occurs and the average cost you spend on preventive and corrective maintenance. Tracking what you spend on what and why will help you cease or redirect money to only necessary maintenance.

Employ cost-saving ideas.

One of the wise business practices that’ll get you to the next level you’ve set for your business is to cut costs as much as you can. If you can buy a planetary mixer, refrigerator or, ice machine with a lifetime warranty, why buy the one with only a few years warranty? If you can adopt a POS system, why collect cash that’ll require several trips to the bank? If you can lease a more extensive commercial kitchen for the event contract you just signed, why try to move to a new kitchen? It’s a good idea to rent equipment if you can’t afford unexpected expenses.

Use a budgeting tool.

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As an experienced restaurateur, the best way to budget for emergency maintenance is by tracking and organizing your expenses. Your years of experience and a good budgeting tool such as a spreadsheet will make you a better financier. You will know when it’s an excellent option to buy or lease.

A budgeting tool is also the right way to save the time you’ll need to create a new list monthly. You can easily update your spreadsheet with new information and compare the previous month’s soft costs and major expenditures against the current month.

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