With the ever-increasing damage caused by climate change and extreme weather, power shortages are becoming more and more common. The lack of power can not only affect your home life but your business life too.
One thing you can be certain of though is, that if the power goes out, lots of people will not be able to cook or prepare food. Ensuring that you can keep the power on in your restaurant and provide, even a limited-service, can make sure that you don’t lose out on days or weeks of income.
Here are just a few ideas of how you can keep your restaurant running during a storm.
Having access to a generator that can produce power for your restaurant is essential to keeping your business operating. Make sure that you have a reliable generator that is easy to set up, is fuel-efficient, and has a variety of different ports for various appliances. This can allow you to fuel various appliances or devices simultaneously.
More recently there has been a trend to purchase fuelless power generators. These are devices that can store power and run any device that requires electricity. They are less messy and produce no unpleasant exhaust fumes. You can plug it into an outlet directly and can power itself, allowing it to power other things. They are charged using solar power and then emit energy to the rest of the outlets.
This is helpful in numerous ways. Obviously, it will allow you to produce your service to the people in a safe and well-lit environment. You can produce your usual quality, without the need for compromise. You can be easily visible to the local community and be contactable through telephone and online.
There are numerous options out there so it is worth investigating how many generators you would need, and which are the most reliable. You will need these handy tools if you want to remain open during a storm.
It is always handy to be well prepared and stocked for these situations. This can include but is not limited to, having access to clean water, having tinned food available, and having a useable light source. No building is ever hampered by having torches and lights powered by rechargeable batteries.
A tool that is really useful to have is a hand-crank or battery-operated radio (providing of course that you have a stash of batteries along with it). This is because the radio will be used to provide further storm warnings as well as important emergency information.
Equally, flashlights or lanterns that are powered by kinetic energy or with rechargeable batteries can help you in the short term before you find an alternative power source. If the storm happens at night, you may find it is very difficult to navigate around a pitch-black restaurant running. Candles and matches are other good examples of alternative options.
Finally, an almost essential piece of equipment to prepare before a blackout is a first aid kit. This can help in case anyone is hurt in a bad storm or someone experiences a minor injury between losing power and reinstating it. Just make sure after it has been used once, that the kit is replaced and kept in a safe location known by everyone.
Keeping food safe
Knowing that a storm was coming may have provided you with the perfect opportunity to stock up. However, this is no good if you cannot keep the food safe and fresh over a long period. Don’t fret though as there are several ways you can extend the freshness of your produce without power.
If your generator cannot support a large fridge or freezer then having ice prepared can be really useful. As soon as the power goes out retrieve the ice or frozen products. You can use this to keep the rest of the food cool.
Also, the US food and drug administration suggests that to keep your produce fresher for longer, you should store it all together. Because heat rises, the best place to keep food grouped together is in the lower portion of your freezer for as long as possible.
Additionally, having access to coolers or cool boxes for foods that would usually be stored in fridges is extremely important during a storm. Foods such as milk, meats, fish, poultry, and eggs should all be stored in them for as long as possible.
Importantly, you should not store food outside, even if the weather is cold and horrible. This is because the weather outside is changeable and because of this, the food left outside will be in a constantly changing environment. Food could unfreeze, then refreeze over and over again which can put the produce in the ‘danger zone’ if consumed. Better just to keep the food inside and insulate it.
One thing that you should constantly try to do is communicate with the rest of the community and the outside world. Let them know that you are staying open and providing a service.
Open the doors to the public and let them know that you have a safe place to go as a respite from the storm. This will not only provide you with an income but build up kudos in the community.
Keeping your business online and functional is essential. Make sure that the outside world can contact you via online services or through the telephone. This can be by using a mobile number, providing the signal is up, or by having your email online for anyone to contact you.
Utilizing your social media outreach can be crucial in a storm to generate income and sales.
Staying open during a storm
If you can stay open during a storm, it may be well worth doing. It can help lots of people and may very well help your bank balance. But you should only do it if you have the capacity to and without putting yourself or others at risk. Make sure that there is a restaurant running to come back to when the storm blows over.