These days most forward-thinking chefs are going green. We recommend a few simple things:
- Use high efficiency. Replace appliances with high efficiency (ENERGY STAR® rated) models.
- Recycle whenever possible. Reduce the use of plastic ware and all disposables.
- Go ventless. Hoods are the biggest impact in energy consumption in a restaurant.
- Practice weatherization. Caulk around windows and doors prevent drafts. Check regularly to make sure your weather stripping is in good condition and replace if necessary.
- Stop drafts. Electrical outlets can let cold air into the building. Remove the outlet covers and insert special foam underneath.
- Circulate warm air. If there is a ceiling fan, reverse the direction to circulate warmer air down.
- Check your fireplace. If there is a fireplace in the restaurant, keep the damper tightly closed when not in use. A glass fireplace screen can help minimize the loss of warm air.
- Adjust water heater. The temperature should be set at 120 degrees. By lowering the thermostat on the water heater, heating bills are reduced.
- Turn down the heat. Set the thermostat at 68 degrees during the winter and even lower at night or when the restaurant is closed. Use a programmable thermostat to automatically control heating. Savings could be up to 8% of your entire energy bill. (See graphic).
- Use fluorescent bulbs. They are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and last up to seven times longer.
Five Foodservice Factoids
- At about 30%, food preparation makes up the largest percentage of a restaurantís energy bill.*
- Utilities consume about 2.5 - 3.4% of total restaurant sales.*
- A $1 reduction in energy equates to $12.50 in sales at an 8% profit margin, according to Sustainable Foodservice magazine.*
- According to a 2010 RSR Research study, restaurant organizations of all sizes want to leverage a green story to diners.
- Besides delivering energy cost savings, some foodservice equipment qualifies for large rebates. Incentives in Oregon and California are as high as $1,000 per unit.*
*Source: Sustainable Foodservice Consulting