It’s a goal for any restaurant owner to find ways to keep costs down and maximise profits. Given that electricity bills make a significant dent in a restaurant’s budget, they can lower costs by making their business more energy efficient.
What are the benefits of creating a restaurant energy efficiency plan?
The most obvious advantage of improving your dining establishment’s efficiency is reducing electricity bills. Reduced electricity bills allow your business to divert your money to other expenses. But that’s far from the only perk of doing this.
Here are a few other positives that might convince you:
1. It reduces your carbon footprint
Energy efficiency means you’re wasting less energy and reducing demand from power plants.
2. It lowers risk
The electricity market is prone to price volatility periods; taking steps towards energy efficiency secures your business from unpredictable rates.
3. It can improve brand reputation
Customers are becoming more environmentally conscious, and therefore if you’re more energy-efficient, especially if you take up renewable generation, it can positively impact your brand.
4. It can help better employee engagement
Research has found that millennials care about a company’s environmental commitments and put those into consideration when choosing their workplace.
A recent study also showed that taking specific measures such as upgrading lights and using well-maintained HVACs contributed to improved staff performance.
How can you improve the energy efficiency in your restaurant?
Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of managing and improving energy use in your restaurant let’s talk about how you can achieve this goal.
1. Invest in energy efficient equipment
When shopping for equipment, check if appliances pass the government’s Energy Rating standards.
Make sure to keep equipment well-maintained as “energy leaks,” like in loose refrigerator door gaskets or broken oven or stove knobs, can add up on your bills. Instruct staff to turn appliances off when they’re inactive; idling wastes power.
Equipment like HVACs, refrigerators, and ovens need their thermostats calibrated regularly to ensure that they’re running correctly.
2. Switch to zone heating and cooling instead of centralised HVAC.
Central HVAC likely costs you more than what you might pay monthly for zoned HVAC. Zoning allows you only to heat or cool the rooms that are being used. On the other hand, central heating and cooling mean your system is turned on everywhere, even in empty spaces, wasting money and energy.
3. Create a lighting plan.
You may have heard that Australia will be banning inefficient halogen lights by late 2021, favouring the LED bulbs. Switching out ahead of the ban lets you reap the benefits, namely lower electricity bills, much sooner.
Dimmer switches, group lighting setups and keeping the bulbs clean are other ways to enhance your lighting plan’s efficiency.
4. Adapt cooking techniques.
Outfitting your kitchen with energy-efficient appliances is a start but take a good look at how you’re cooking. Are you using your equipment in the most economical manner? Don’t waste heat; match pots and pans with the right burner sizes and always use the correct cookware for what you’re making.
Note that some equipment does the same tasks but consume energy differently. For instance, standard ovens use up more power than convection ovens, and slow cookers are more cost-effective over longer cook-times than stoves.
5. Maximise your commercial kitchen’s ventilation.
Install demand ventilation so it runs when needed and bases its output on the amount of detected heat and fumes.
Other things you can do? Integrate the ventilation system with your temperature control equipment so they can work in tandem and seal gaps behind equipment to avoid air leaks.
6. Consult an energy expert.
Finally, speak with an energy management consultancy about making your place more energy efficient. They’ll know the ins-and-outs of saving money on electricity, pinpointing the efficiency upgrades, and finding the best service providers for the client’s needs.
Meet your restaurant’s energy-saving goals with Leading Edge Energy
Leading Edge Energy is committed to helping businesses navigate the complexities of the Australian energy market. Simply put, we’ll be your energy experts. We’ll analyse all the ways to save you money on energy and link you up with service providers that can give you great deals, so you can focus your time on keeping your diners happy and earning profits.
We’ve helped dozens of food and dining businesses over the years, such as Solotel Group, Temptation Bakeries, and The Baker at Northpoint, to name a few. We’d love to assist your restaurant in meeting energy efficiency goals too. The best part is: it comes at no cost to you.