Restaurants are among the most energy intensive tertiary sector buildings in Europe, using anywhere from 3 to 10x the amount of energy used by the average commercial building, and can account for anywhere from 4-6% of operating costs according to The Carbon Trust.
As a restaurateur, facility manager or franchise director, your task is to meet sustainability goals while reducing overhead. And to achieve this you should invest in energy efficiency in restaurants, why? Here are 7 reasons:
Drivers of Energy Demand in Restaurants and Food Services Facilities
So what’s behind the extreme energy consumption in food services buildings?
Special equipment, lengthy hours (especially in fast food restaurants), and always-on, zero-downtime demand create the perfect storm for through-the-roof energy consumption and wasted savings opportunities. Plus, a number of roadblocks prevent smaller establishments to find enough resources to invest.
A great deal of energy waste adds to the problem. In some kitchens, as little as 40% of the energy consumed is used for the preparation and storage of food; heating and cooling, lighting, ventilation, and hot water for cleaning accounts for the rest. The average electric deep fryer, for instance, uses more than 11,000 kWh of energy annually. And most fryers sit idle for up to 75% of the time, even in fast food (QSR) restaurants. That translates to $1,000 in electricity every year just to not fry stuff!
What are the 7 benefits of investing in energy efficiency in restaurants?
Restaurants that invest strategically in energy-saving measures can cut costs anywhere from 10 to 30% without sacrificing service, quality, style or comfort – while making significant contributions to their triple bottom line (people, planet and profit).
In fact, according to the EPA, making efficiency upgrades and taking simple actions to reduce energy consumption by 20%, restaurants and other food businesses can increase profits by 30%.
- Increased customer satisfaction and retention throughout the value chain.
- Business owners and managers get complete visibility into daily operations across multiple locations in a single dashboard.
- Real-time data collected anywhere, on any device means faster and more intelligent business decisions can be made.
- Understanding which parts of your restaurant operations can be automated and reduce total cost of ownership for key assets (refrigeration units, ovens, fryers…)
- Turning off major energy consuming appliances like fryers and HVAC systems even for a few hours can lead to huge savings or even rewards through demand response schemes.
- Contribute to a better managed catering operation and a cooler, more pleasant kitchen environment, which can increase staff comfort levels and improve morale with happier and more motivated servers.
- In some instances, improved management of energy consumption in catering can result in better quality of food and hygiene standards.
Take the example of one Energy Efficiency in Restaurants, a Burger King franchise that saved over € 5,500 annually thanks to a minimal investment that paid for itself in less than 6 months!