Restaurants are looking for out-of-the-box ways to cut costs. One possibility is right there in the kitchen.

The ongoing labor shortage has stayed top-of-mind for many restaurant operators. Seventy-seven percent of operators told the National Restaurant Association in a November 2021 survey that their restaurant did not have enough employees to support existing customer demand. 

Thanks to this crunch, restaurants are rethinking almost every aspect of how they do business. Opportunities to cut costs are everywhere, and even more so than usual, operators are looking for out-of-the-box ways to reduce time and money spent.

Refrigeration is a necessity, of course, so how can operators lower spending in this area? Silvia Puigdemont, North America product manager at Liebherr, recommends operators factor in the total cost of ownership (TCO) of any refrigerator or freezer. This includes everything from the base cost of the unit to installation, the amount of energy used, maintenance, and repairs. A unit with an extremely low purchase price, for example, might have unforeseen maintenance costs crop up in a few years.

“The consideration of all costs generated by an appliance makes Liebherr appliances particularly attractive over their entire life cycle,” Puigdemont says. “Due to the high quality of our appliances, they have an exceptionally long life span. All functional parts are tested for a 15-year service life. Just in case, we guarantee to have spare parts available for eight years even after production runs out.”

Operators may also consider how their refrigerators and freezers might save or waste employees’ time—and the potential effect on labor costs. “Liebherr appliances are equipped with several features that not only save energy but also save employees’ time,” Puigdemont says. “For example, our NoFrost function automatically defrosts the appliance. As soon as the evaporator builds up a layer of ice, a sensor initiates defrosting. The fan switches itself off, the evaporator tubes are heated, and the ice layer melts without increasing the temperature in the freezer compartment. The appliance remains ice-free, saving energy and time.”

Even refrigerator and freezer doors can play a role. “Our electronics ensure that all fridges and freezers always consume only the energy they actually need,” Puigdemont says. “The control system adjusts the speed of the compressor accordingly, therefore no manual checks are necessary. Our foodservice refrigerators and freezers have self-closing doors with easily exchangeable magnetic seals that close reliably and tightly to prevent the unnecessary loss of cold air. The door remains open at a 90-degree angle to allow for easy loading or removal of larger products. At an angle of less than 60 degrees, the doors close automatically. We also pay attention to the need of saving time with the fact that all our appliances are easy to clean. For maximum safety and control, we will offer SmartMonitoring—a digital solution that informs about the condition of the refrigerators and freezers at all times to help avoid undesired temperature deviations.”

Liebherr designs its foodservice refrigerators and freezers with restaurants in mind. “We always focus on our customers’ needs as we design our products,” Puigdemont says. “The main topics considered are low energy consumption and reliability without maintenance to save cost—as well as user-friendly operation and digital documentation in order to save working hours.”

To learn more, visit the Liebherr website.

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