A restaurant's energy bill is one of its largest expenditures, but is one of the most manageable as well. There are a few simple steps business owner can take to cut the dreaded utility bill and increase profit potential. Consider these five ideas from the food service industry experts at ACityDiscount.
1. Upgrade to energy-efficient equipment
New restaurant equipment requires an investment, but when you consider the amount of energy dated pieces use, it might be the smartest investment you make this year. Outfit your kitchen in ENERGY STAR® qualified equipment and you can save thousands of dollars each year. ACityDiscount has a wide range of ENERGY STAR options available for commercial operators, including some of the most efficient pieces available today.
2. Make maintenance a priority
The mantra "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is applicable in many areas of life, and a commercial kitchen is no exception. Performing simple maintenance steps regularly not only helps equipment last longer, it also ensures every piece in your kitchen is running smoothly and efficiently. Pay special attention to changing air filters, seals and gaskets in applicable pieces, as these are critical to energy efficiency.
3. Arrange the kitchen strategically
Your restaurant's kitchen may be arranged in a manner that discourages efficiency and you probably don't even know it. Design and layout are incredibly important when it comes to creating an efficient kitchen. The most energy-efficient commercial kitchens will keep cooling equipment together, like refrigerators, freezers and ice machines, while clustering hot appliances together, such as the broiler, stove and oven, under a single ventilation system. This ensures these items are working together and not against each other.
4. Be smart about equipment use
Training employees to properly use equipment is an important step toward energy efficiency. Shutting refrigerator doors, turning off ovens, turning off extra burners when they are not needed and more can all make a tremendous impact on energy bills. Implement a start-up and shut-down schedule that everyone follows, and make ongoing education a priority.
5. Schedule an energy assessment
Energy assessments aren't just for residential buildings. They can be of extreme value in commercial food service businesses as well. Most utility companies will come out for free to evaluate a commercial space and identify any areas of concern so business owners can make adjustments as needed.