The Assessor’s Curse.

As I sit writing this, I can see on first glance, two immediate cost savings and I’m not even one sip into my latte. This is the assessor’s curse…

No matter where I go, I’m always looking for the savings, the solution or identifying areas that could be improved. I spend more time in restaurants, shops and other places looking at the lights than what I’m there to enjoy and leave with dazzled eyes and an ache in my neck.

Right now, I’m asking myself why the front door of the café is open with the heating system working. Does the owner know they are paying to heat the street outside? A simple air curtain would do the trick, or better still SHUT THE DOOR! The amount of heat that is wasted by premises trying to catch passing trade and look ‘open’ when a friendly sign that says you’re ‘open and just keeping warm’ would do the trick.

The second thing I notice is the lighting. It is completely unnecessary to recreate Blackpool Illuminations indoors when only half of the room is being occupied. Investing in controllable lighting will save a fortune. Lighting sensors are reasonably cheap and can be controlled by motion, time or daylight.

I think a combination works best depending on the setting and please don’t forget to change the settings with the seasons. For those people that think being a homing beacon for passing aircraft is a necessity to look inviting please think again. You are basically setting money on fire!

Use motion-controlled lighting in bathrooms and low occupancy corridors, timer controls on window/entrance lights and daylight controls on external lighting. Make sure lighting is LED and more importantly the correct lumen level and colour for the task below it. There is no point having attractive mood lighting over a reception desk if the receptionists have to squint to see their computers and then get regular headaches.

These issues are typical of many premises I step into and they are not limited to the hospitality sector, nor am I making an example of that industry in particular. Simply, that no matter where I go, I am immediately drawn to the opportunities to save money and improve the working environment for all.

Whether the improvement comes from the physical, the infrastructure or design of the building or the procedural, the way that systems work and the operations that go into them. It is my curse but one that I will be forever grateful for as it gives me the opportunity to work with fantastic people and their businesses.

People who are seeking change and want to have a positive impact, no matter how big or small. Because making your business sustainable means still being in business in 12 months’ time and there is a journey we can take together to get there. It is called Green at Heart.

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