Irish weather can be unpredictable at the best of times, but even more as of late. Thanks to climate change, there’s been a surge in the number of storms hitting us in winter, and heatwaves engulfing us during the summer. This unpredictability is frustrating for business owners in any sector as it can mean a loss in profit, which has so many knock-on effects. Here we’re going to look specifically at restaurants, and how they can be affected by and help mitigate the costs that come with the unpredictable weather.
Restaurants can be affected by the weather in some of the following ways:
- Lack of bookings/cancelled reservations
- Staff shortages
- Late deliveries
Cancellations or Booking Shortages
Weather warnings mean people are less likely to travel unless necessary. One of the most frustrating things as a restaurant owner is having a customer cancel at the last minute. Having a cancellation fee in place may cover some of your losses, but the fact is your profit for that night still won’t be what it could have been. Depending on your restaurant prices, a cancelled table of two could have spent between €30 - €100 on food and drinks. Just one loss may lower your overall profit for a night.
Heatwaves can have the same affect, depending on the seating options of your restaurant. If you have outdoor seating, you may not lose as many bookings, but if all you offer is indoor seating, customers are less likely to come. No one wants to sit indoors when the sun is shining as the sun rarely comes out in Ireland and it may be too hot inside. Customers may also cancel due to the good weather to spend time doing outdoor activities.
When we finally get our Irish Heatwave, some staff may decide to take some days off to enjoy the sun. However, restaurants need a certain number of floor staff to ensure the best service for customers. Too many staff taking off can throw off wait times and quality of service, leaving customers less likely to have a positive experience.
On the flip side of this, yellow, orange and red warnings may make it unsafe for staff to travel or mean their access to public transport is limited or cancelled. While this type of situation is out of your control, it may mean either having to close for a day or limit your service, depending on how many staff can make it safely into work.
Bad weather can delay vital deliveries to your restaurant, which may leave you unable to make a certain dish. If there’s a particularly bad weather event, or dangerous weather warning, you may be forced to close the kitchen altogether. As a result, your perishable food will expire and cause a massive waste and lost profits, and your non-perishable food will become overstocked when your delivers finally arrive.
Preparing for the Unexpected
Unfortunately, no one can predict the weather, making these problems much harder to solve. If you’re forced to close during bad weather, or have less customers during the good weather, it can take a toll on your cash flow. With typically thin margins and a competitive sector, it’s important to have a business loan that is designed with your needs in mind.
At GRID Finance, we provide short-term business loans for any of your working capital needs. From weather-related cash flow problems, to insurance premium costs, this flexible business loans can help keep your business running. With an online application, flexible repayments and a refund for early repayment, it’s no wonder many Irish businesses have already chosen GRID Finance.