As we head further into 2012, many restaurants are continuing to feel the financial pinch in this recovering economy. In order to maintain your profit margin during slower months, consider adopting a few energy-efficient equipment habits that lower overhead costs. Such practices significantly reduce your food establishment’s bottom line as utility costs shrink and equipment life is lengthened. The following list contains some ideas of small energy changes that can save you big dollars:
Clean Equipment Regularly
Once you have invested in a piece of equipment, make sure to clean it on a regular basis. This ensures superior performance while reducing the risk of malfunction within the model. For example, dust build-up within your refrigerator compressor can eventually affect the temperature of the fridge, thus affecting energy bills and the quality of your food. By taking a few moments each month to clean the compressor coils, you are preserving the efficiency of your refrigerator and saving the dollars it would cost to replace it if the compressor were to fail. This idea extends to nearly every piece in your kitchen, from countertop fryers to oven ranges. Here are a few cleaning suggestions for equipment that should receive frequent cleaning attention:
- Refrigerator compressor coils with a soapy damp cloth or vacuum cleaner
- Oven fan with a damp cloth
- Fryer with a soap and water solution
By investing a few minutes each month to properly clean equipment, you will keep your kitchen operating seamlessly at a low cost.
Turn Off Equipment When Not In Use
Turning off equipment when it is not in use can lead to a significant annual savings. In the majority of operating kitchens, a fryer is idle for more than 75 percent of the time.
If this sounds like your kitchen, then you are missing out on significant savings. By turning that fryer off for just four hours a day, a commercial kitchen can see a total savings of up to $150 each year. Turn off an idle broiler for an hour each day and you will pocket up to $400 annually.
While this principle might not necessarily be applied to your freezer or refrigerator, taking a moment to turn off feasible equipment when it is not in use can end up saving you significant dollars each year.
This also includes:
- Convection ovens
- Countertop Ranges
Choose Energy Efficient Equipment
When it comes time to purchase a new oven, dishwasher, stove top or any other piece of equipment, do consider selecting an energy-efficient model that will work for you, the environment and your pocket book. By selecting energy efficient models, you are setting yourself up to spend 25% to 27% less in energy bills than you would be spending with standard equipment.
Such savings will be especially valuable in the slower months when shrinking your bottom line is vigorously sought after. To off-set the initial purchasing costs, a variety of state-wide rebates and federal tax credits have been made available in an effort to promote energy-efficient purchases. You can find out what programs you would qualify by looking on the Energy Star website prior to purchasing.
Implementing effective cost-saving practices continues to be vital in any market, but is certainly more sought after during the slower months of the year. Routinely cleaning your kitchen, turning off idle equipment and selecting energy-efficient models can lead to lower costs within your establishment, allowing you to save a notable amount in the long run.