Your retail space is at a premium, so storing off-season items and surplus product for your restaurant can quickly become cost prohibitive. Utilizing a self storage unit can help you expand your restaurant’s services without the need for moving into a bigger location. Proper storage is the secret to making offsite storage work for you.
Outside dining expands your seating area in good weather, but finding winter storage in your already-full backroom can border on the impossible. Don’t make the mistake of leaving everything chained up outside, though. This only increases the chances of weather damage, vandalism, and theft.
When storing furniture in a self-storage unit, first make sure it is completely clean. Dirt and food debris can attract pests to your unit. Lay pallet on the floor and then stack the furniture on top. The pallets protect the furniture from any moisture. You will also want to cover everything with a cloth dropcloth, which keeps the dust off while still allowing air circulation.
Catering can add a lot to your bottom line, but you need to store the extra equipment when it’s not in use. Some examples of equipment you may not need in your restaurant on a daily basis include:
Tableware and glassware
Portable grills and ovens
Serving carts and trays
Making sure everything is clean is the most important part of storage. You will want to package glassware, tableware and utensils in sturdy storage boxes to prevent breakage. Plastic tubs work well for storing all of your equipment, because they protect items from dirt, pests and breakage. Label everything clearly so you can find it quickly when you have a job.
You may not have enough on-site storage space if you order product and food in bulk. Storage units work best for canned and dry goods with a long shelf life. Choose a climate-controlled unit so there is no chance of spoilage. It’s advisable to use shelves in the unit to hold product – never set anything on the floor. Follow the same “first in, first out” and safe food storage procedures as you would in your restaurant.
A storage unit near your restaurant is your best option, so you can retrieve items quickly when you need them. The main exception is if you mainly use storage for the catering side of your business. It may be better to select a unit that is centrally located to your main catering territory.