With the cost of energy on the rise, restaurants need to adopt practices that save energy. Apart from energy costs, a restaurant has a lot of other expenses to settle. Think of water bills, labor costs, and suppliers. A restaurant that uses energy efficiently saves a lot of money that can be used to cater for these other needs. Here are ten things restaurants do that waste energy:
- Freezing hot food- What happens when closing time arrives but the food is still hot? You shove it in the freezer, right?
- When you put hot food in the freezer, the food raises the temperature of the freezer, and the compressor has to work extra hard to cool the food; this leads to higher energy consumption. Let the food cool at room temperature first before shoving it in the freezer.
- Leaving the walk-in freezer/cooler doors open for long- It doesn't matter how busy your restaurant is, you should always keep the freezer doors closed. Only open the doors when necessary. Sometimes, you might be having a lot of stuff to put in the freezer and you will be tempted to prop the doors open to make the work easier.
- When the door is propped open for long, the cool air in the freezer that had been preserving the food escapes and the compressor turns on. Since the freezer door is open, the compressor will be working to cool the entire space instead of just the freezer— this leads to a massive loss of energy.
- Leaving HVAC running 24/7- One of the biggest energy consumers is the HVAC systems. Unfortunately, most restaurants leave them running even when the room temperatures are fine.
- The worst case is when the HVAC systems are left to run in an empty restaurant. If you can't trust yourself to turn them off, use a programmable thermostat to automate the on and off schedule of the HVAC system.
- Leaving exterior lights on after sunrise- While most of the restaurants use their energy in the kitchen and the HVAC systems, the energy consumed in lighting also matters.
- Leaving exterior lights on during the day is one sure way to waste energy. As soon as the sun comes up, you should utilize natural light and switch exterior lights off.
- Poor maintenance of appliances- Appliances will use more energy if they are not well maintained. For instance, when an AC filter is blocked by dust, it will run for 24 hours a day. Servicing an AC system can reduce its run-time by up to 75%, this saves you energy.
- Using incandescent bulbs- According to Earth Easy, the energy used over the lifetime of an incandescent bulb costs 5 to 10 times its original price at purchase.
- Worse still, the incandescent bulbs are not durable hence a restaurant that uses them will lose a lot of money on frequent purchases.
- Replacing incandescent bulbs with Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs is a sure way to save energy.
- Putting room sensors close to heat sources- The purpose of a room sensor is to give the right room temperature readings to the AC unit.
- When you place the room sensor close to heat, it gives higher room temperature readings which make the air conditioner to turn on more frequently than necessary. This leads to energy wastage.
- Putting sensor outside walk-in freezers- When sensors are placed outside the freezer, the temperature readings will be hotter than the actual temperatures inside the freezer.
- The wrong temperature readings will make the freezer turn on more frequently consuming more energy and spoiling your food as the temperatures fall below recommended degrees.
- Letting employees fiddle with AC Settings- Employees are always moving about and so feel hotter than customers who walk in. If employees are left to dictate the temperature of the restaurant, the AC Unit will be turned higher than necessary leading to energy wastage.
- Using high energy-consuming appliances- Technology has availed various energy-saving appliances for routine kitchen tasks. When shopping for appliances, go for energy-saving solutions. Using energy-saving fryers, ovens, and grills will save you $100-$450 per year.
According to E Source, restaurants waste energy more than other businesses. Eventually, the cost of energy eats up into profits, and that is bad business. You can change the narrative by adopting efficient energy practices.
Begin by using energy efficient lighting like LED lights for all your restaurant lighting needs and look into an energy management system like MultiSite ESP. Please contact us for efficient lighting solutions and save money you spend on energy.