January has always been a difficult month for restaurants and businesses in foodservice. But along with soaring energy prices, a large factor in the cost of living crisis, the month is even more challenging. Whilst sadly there’s no perfect answer that will drastically reduce your businesses energy bills, there are methods that your business can take to lower your energy bills and help you survive this tough period. Likewise, reducing your restaurants energy consumption is a great step towards your business being more sustainable, which is crucial. A recent UK hospitality survey found that 80% of respondents said that sustainability was a deciding factor when choosing where to go for food.
Decrease Heat Usage
Heat is no doubt a major part of any restaurant but knowing ways to minimise your usage without compromising on your customer experience, will help lower your energy bills. Beginning with heating for your premises, consider investing in a smart thermostat. This is because you can constantly regulate the temperature to ensure your customers are comfortable but make sure you aren’t paying for heating when it isn’t necessary. Whilst you can do this with a conventional thermostat. Having the ability to control a smart thermostat means you’re much more likely to regularly monitor it.
Another option for decreasing heat usage in your restaurant is by lowering the temperature of your dishwasher. The dishwasher wash cycle should run between 49oC - 60oC and the dishwasher drying cycle should run between 82oC – 88oC. Therefore, it’s worthwhile checking the temperature of your dishwashers’ cycles and alter it accordingly.
Refrigeration can use as much as 50% of your restaurant’s total energy, so focussing on your fridge and freezers as an option to reduce energy consumption is a viable solution. Starting with the obvious, ensure the seals on the doors of your fridges and freezers are still in good condition, if not, replace them to improve efficiency. Also, another simple method is making sure that your refrigeration units are located in the coolest part of your kitchen, so they don’t have to use as much energy to remain cool.
Become More Energy Conscious
Potentially the most important message to take from this is that, whilst you can invest in more energy efficient equipment, adopting energy conscious practises can be the best solution to lowering your energy bills and your restaurant becoming more sustainable. This can be as simple as remembering to switch things off after their use. Which may seem obvious, but many restaurants have a habit of leaving all their energy using appliances running far more than necessary. Settings tasks that all staff can follow will allow this to have the greatest impact. Determine the minimum time you need to have appliances running and insist that staff turn off equipment outside of these times.