Extreme weather is becoming a way of life – and if you operate in a region that gets cold in the winter months, there is increased risk of challenges including power outages that can lead to food spoilage, supply delays, and damage to facilities. Ensure you have a supply of winter weather safety tools ready in case of a storm: Shovels, batteries, flashlights, ice melt, and non-perishable food items, for starters. Have your HVAC system inspected to avoid surprise problems during the winter. Insulate any exposed pipes in your building – particularly now that outdoor spaces have become year-round extensions of the dining room. If a sudden power outage occurs, ensure you have a back-up plan to save the food items you’re refrigerating. Now is also a good time to review your emergency plan to make sure contact numbers for staff, suppliers and servicepeople are up to date and kept not only in the facility but in locations that can be accessed if you can’t reach the restaurant in inclement weather.