Eight Ways to Reduce Utility Costs
If utility bills are eating into your restaurant profits, here is actionable advice on how to keep more of your hard-earned revenue.
Do utility costs comprise more than 5% of your restaurant sales? If so, you’re spending more than most of your competitors on this line item. We’ve got good news for you, however: A few simple changes can make a big difference.
Foodservice Equipment Reports magazine recently shared eight expert-recommended energy savings strategies. Here’s a closer look at these budget-friendly recommendations.
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1. IMPLEMENT STARTUP AND SHUTDOWN SCHEDULES
It may seem easiest to fire everything up before opening but doing so is extremely wasteful. Instead, look at your menu and determine when certain pieces of equipment are in use and create a schedule to start and stop. According to Dave Zabrowski, Vice President of Frontier Energy, Arby’s enjoyed a 20 percent cut in energy and water consumption after including this tactic in its comprehensive “Efficiency Matters” program.
2. UPGRADE TO LOW-FLOW PRE-RINSE SPRAY VALVES
Trim nearly $1,700 from your water and heating costs annually by replacing your conventional spray valves with new low-flow versions. At just an hour per day usage, switching from a 5 gpm to a 1.6 gmp flow rate can significantly cut costs.
3. FIX WATER LEAKS
Water leaks cost restaurants thousands each year. Jeff Clark, the National Restaurant Association’s head of Sustainability & Nutrition, told FES Magazine, “We worked with one site recently that was leaking 80,000 gallon/year. That’s the equivalent of a small backyard swimming pool.”
4. CLEAN CONDENSER COILS
Regularly cleaning condenser coils on refrigerators can put significant savings within reach. In fact, one study reveals that cleaning condenser coils can lead to an energy reduction of anywhere between 2% and 49% for an average savings of 17%.
5. INVEST IN HIGH EFFICIENCY DISHWASHERS
If you’ve been using an older dishwasher, replacing it with a new, high-efficiency version can slash water and energy usage by more than 50%. Not sure if your current dishwasher is performing to its highest potential? Check for low water pressure and overspray -- both of which cause excess water consumption. Additionally, try not to underestimate the importance of routine service.
6. EMBRACE LED LIGHTING
Superior to both incandescent, fluorescent and halogen lighting, LED lights have advanced significantly over the past decade. Not only can swapping out a 60W bulb for a 9W or 4W LED bulb lead to a staggering reduction in energy, but these bulbs last longer and have become more affordable in recent years, so you can expect a faster return on your investment.
7. INVEST IN A HIGH EFFICIENCY FRYER
Fryers are the workhorses of many commercial kitchens. Is yours producing the quality of food your diners crave while conserving energy and oil? If not, you’re missing out on a major opportunity for savings with no sacrifice to performance. Upgrading to a high-efficiency, ENERGY STAR® certified fryer has many benefits, including more efficient heat transfer, reduced scorching and longer oil life. Advancing ENERGY STAR® technology has led to the emergence of more affordable models so you can also look forward to spending less up front.
8. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF REBATES
Take advantage of local rebates on ENERGY STAR®-rated equipment and utilities. Participation in these programs offer an easy, effective way to eliminate costs.
While FES Magazine only included high efficiency dishwashers and fryers on its list, additional savings can be found across the entire nine-category spectrum of ENERGY STAR®-rated commercial foodservice equipment models from coffee brewers to griddles.
If you’re looking to minimize utility costs and maximize productivity and performance with your cooking equipment, look no further than Vas•ko. Contact our team today for a free consultation.