The signs of global warming are undeniable and it is up to all of us to do our part to protect our natural resources by conserving as much energy as possible as well as recycling and making other environmental-friendly decisions. But as a restaurant owner this may seem like a daunting task, but it is important on many levels.
Here is why energy conservation should matter to your restaurant:
‘Cause It Is The Right Thing to Do
The biggest reason you should adopt environmentally friendly practices at your restaurant of course because it is the right thing to do for the planet and for your future generations. You will feel good that you are being a part of the solution to ensure that our planet will be able to continue to sustain us for years to come.
You’ll Save on Energy Bills
While you may not be able to control the location of your restaurant or who your water and electricity provider, you can control your usage of heat, lighting and water. And by doing that, you will also be able to decrease in your electric and water bills which means smaller bills to play. Who doesn’t like that?
Your Customers Will Love It
According to surveys like a recent one done by the National Restaurant Association, a large percentage of customers appreciate restaurants that are environmentally-friendly and will go out of their way to choose restaurants with sustainability practices. Sharing the same values as your customers is a great way to create a strong relationship with them. They will keep coming back and tell their friends to come too when they are excited about what you are trying to do.
So now that you are on board, you are probably wondering how to put these practices into place without having to totally revamp your restaurant and in the process spend a boat load of money.
Here are some tips for conserving energy at your restaurant:
- When it is time to replace any of your equipment whether its your ovens, refrigerators or other kitchen equipment, choose Energy Star Qualified equipment that are better at preventing waste. Look at the plumbing in the bathrooms and the lighting and heating in the seating areas and kitchens too to see if you can switch to brands of equipment that are better at conserving energy.
- It’s so simple but you probably don’t realize the impact cleaning your equipment and keeping with the proper maintenance has on the efficiency of your appliances. It makes sense though if you think about, when it is not clean it has to work a lot harder to do its job.
- Cut back on your water usage. Make it a policy for your staff that they never let the water run when they are not using it. Also look into purchasing special devices that can be put on your faucets so that less water is lost every time the faucet is turned on. Go to your local hardware store and ask about faucet aerators or pre-rinse spray valves.
- Choose energy-efficient lighting as well. Today there are many different options on the market from LED to CFL lightbulbs. Make your switch to these in every room in your restaurant.
- When it comes to your heating and cooling bill, make sure your restaurant is not leaking heat out of old windows and that you have proper insulation installed. It is actually kind of scary how many ways there is for energy to leak out of a building.
- Instill in everyone a simple rule, that when something is not in use, that you should shut it off. Make sure lights are off in empty rooms and turn off cooking equipment when it is not in use. While it make take a minute to heat back up, this way is so much better for the environment.
- The ventilation in a restaurant is very important, especially in the kitchen. When it is not working right, excess heat, grease and smoke may build up in the air which will make working environment uncomfortable and dangerous for your staff and it also makes the ventilation system expend more energy as it working harder.
- Look carefully at the layout of your kitchen. Most restaurant owners might just worry about how efficiently the work flows from one work station to another, but you should also pay attention to if your cold temperature equipment is next to your hot temperature equipment. For example, you do not want your refrigerator next to the stove. This will cause each appliance to have to work harder.
- Lastly, rethink how you do most of your cooking. Ovens and stove tops give off a lot of heat, but there are a lot more cooking equipment you can choose to use instead that don’t require as much energy. Don’t be afraid to be an innovator!
Of course for this to be really successful, you need your employees to be on the same page as you. If they don’t feel like energy conservation is important they are not going to do their part in reducing energy consumption during their shifts and this can impact how successful you truly are.
Your best bet is to call a staff meeting and really talk about the importance of what you are trying to do and let your staff that you need them to be a part of this change. Give everyone a few weeks to adjust, but if certain staff members are still not doing their part, then it is time to look for new employees who share your vision.
Also, remember that, all this doesn’t have to happen overnight. Few people have the money to completely transform you’re their restaurant works overnight. Instead take baby steps and make small changes as you are able to. As long as you keep your overall vision in mind all the time, you will get there. Be patient and feel good because even the little changes make a big difference.
For more information about how to conserve energy better in your restaurant, call MBB Management today.