Restaurant Owners: Reduce Labor Costs By Asking About Dumpster Placement When Getting Commercial Trash Service Quotes

Posted on: 26 January 2016

There are typically several costs associated with hiring a commercial trash removal service: dumpster rental fees, permit fees and dump fees. Of course, all of these costs should be taken into account when comparing quotes from different garbage removal services, but these are not the only costs to consider. If you own a restaurant and want to hire a trash removal service, you should also consider the cost of making garbage runs to the dumpster. Most trash removal services only take away trash that's in a dumpster, and bringing garbage to a dumpster can increase labor costs.

Trash runs take time

Every time your employees make a trash run to the dumpster, it takes time – and your company must pay your employees for that time. A single trip to the dumpster may only take a few minutes and not cost your company much, but most companies that rent roll off dumpsters produce enough garbage to make several trips to the dumpster each day. The labor costs associated with these trips can add up, even if each individual trip is short.

As an example, assume your employees take trash to the dumpster 12 times each day, which isn't unreasonable for a restaurant that serves three meals a day and produces a lot of food waste. Even if each trip took just 8 minutes, your employees would spend more than an hour – 96 minutes – going to the dumpster and back each day.

If your employees were paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, these garbage runs would cost your company $11.60 per day. Over the course of a week, these costs would add up to $81.20 ($11.60 x 7 days), and they'd reach $348 ($11.60 x 30 days) in just one month.

For most restaurants, $348 per month -- $4,176 annually -- is significant. With the raw price of a spaghetti dinner being $6.00, the labor cost of taking trash to the dumpster could total 696 pasts entrees.

There Are Ways to Reduce Labor Costs

With a little consideration, there are ways you can reduce the labor costs associated with taking trash to the dumpster. When getting quotes from trash removal services, make sure they'll let you do the following:

  • place the dumpster as close to your company's back door as possible so employees don't have to walk as far
  • rent a roll off dumpster that has a front door so employees can quickly throw trash in it
  • use a dumpster with a lid or top, so employees don't need to spend time picking up trash that blows out of the dumpster
  • place the dumpster in an area that's shoveled during winter, so employees don't need to trudge through snow

These three ideas won't eliminate the labor costs of trash runs, but even shortening how long employees take to go to the dumpster by a little bit could have a significant impact over the course of a month. For instance, just reducing trash runs from 12 minutes to 9 minutes would save your company 36 minutes in labor per day if employees made 12 trash runs per day. In a week, this would add up to $30.45 in savings, and it'd save your restaurant $130.50 per month. Using the above raw price for a spaghetti dinner, that's a savings of 21.75 pasta entrees a month, or 261 a year.

The next time get quotes for or contact a trash removal service, such as E.L. Harvey & Sons, bring up the placement of the dumpster you'll rent. Ask them to locate the dumpster in a spot that will save your employees time. Over the course of your service contract, doing this could lead to significant savings – even if they never show up on your statements.