10 Effective Tips on How to Save Energy in a Restaurant

10 Effective Tips on How to Save Energy in a Restaurant

Busy restaurants consume a significant amount of energy, with approximately 40% dedicated to food preparation and storage. Lighting and heating set the restaurant ambiance, while gas and electricity power the cooking, leading to substantial ongoing costs. To save energy in a restaurant, consider the following strategies:

  1. Maintain Your Equipment
  2. Minimise Idle Time
  3. Switch to Efficient Lighting
  4. Invest in a Smart Thermostat
  5. Label Switches and Sockets
  6. Reduce Water Usage
  7. Reduce Ambient Temperatures
  8. Conduct Energy Assessments
  9. Optimise Heating and Cooling
  10. Choose the Best Energy Provider

Let’s discover further how to save energy in a restaurant with Light Up Energy. Start optimising your restaurant’s energy usage and reducing your operational costs.

1. Maintain Your Equipment

Regular maintenance of kitchen equipment improves performance and energy efficiency. Follow the maintenance and servicing schedules recommended by equipment manufacturers. Neglecting regular cleaning and servicing increases energy consumption and reduces efficiency.

For example, kitchen hoods that aren’t properly cleaned will suffer from decreased air quality over time. Inefficient hoods may fail to remove odors, smoke, grease, and other pollutants during cooking, compromising the kitchen environment and overall efficiency.

Investing in new energy-efficient devices can also make a significant difference. These devices consume less energy and can save your business thousands of pounds annually. Keeping equipment well-maintained and up-to-date enhances performance, reduces operational costs, and minimises environmental impact.

2. Minimise Idle Time

Restaurants often waste hundreds of pounds each month due to idle equipment running unnecessarily. To address this, implement a startup/shutdown plan that reminds back-of-house employees to turn off equipment when not in use.

This plan reminds back-of-house employees to power down equipment when it is not in use, which reduces energy waste and saves significant amounts of money each month.

Minimise Idle Time

3. Switch to Efficient Lighting

Lighting accounts for 13% of restaurant energy consumption. A simple and effective way to boost energy-efficient restaurant lighting is to replace conventional incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs that consume less electricity and last 10 times longer. Other practices regarding lighting can also help restaurants lower their energy bills.

Additionally, adopting the following lighting practices can further reduce energy bills:

  • Set Up Dimmers: Install daylight dimmer sensors to automatically adjust the brightness of lights based on the amount of natural light entering the room.
  • Install Daylight Sensors: Some restaurants leave patio lights on during the day. Employ daylight sensors or photocells to turn exterior lights on at sunset and off at dawn.
  • Use Occupancy Sensors: These sensors detect motion and environmental changes to automatically turn lights on and off. They are especially helpful in storage rooms, break rooms, and restrooms, preventing energy waste when these areas are not in use.

4. Invest in a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat allows restaurant managers to set automatic temperatures for different areas, reducing the need for staff to adjust the temperature manually when opening or closing the restaurant. With such technology, it realises consistent and optimal energy usage.

Smart thermostats also enable managers to set precise temperatures and lock them to remain consistent. Adjust the thermostat based on occupancy levels, as a full restaurant generates more heat than an empty one. Use the night setback feature to reduce heating during non-business hours without turning it off completely.

Many smart thermostats include a night setback feature, which reduces heating during non-business hours without turning it off completely. Additionally, addressing leaks in taps and pipes prevents hot water loss, and air conditioning should only be used when temperatures exceed 24°C.

Invest in a Smart Thermostat

5. Label Switches and Sockets

Properly labeling switches and sockets can significantly enhance a restaurant’s energy efficiency. Employees often turn on all equipment when starting their shift, which causes unnecessary energy consumption. Clear and precise labels on switches and sockets remind staff to activate only the necessary equipment and to turn off devices when not in use.

With such an approach, restaurants can simultaneously reduce energy waste and promote a culture of energy awareness among employees. By ensuring that equipment is only used when needed, restaurants can lower their energy bills and contribute to a more sustainable operation.

6. Reduce Water Usage

Restaurants use water in most of their operations, from washing hands to making ice in ice machines. Implementing water-efficient techniques can make a restaurant more energy-efficient and save a significant amount on utility bills.

  • Fix Leaky Faucets: Address any leaky faucets immediately to prevent water waste. Even a small drip can lead to significant water loss over time.
  • Serve Water Upon Request: Instead of automatically serving water, ask guests if they would like a glass. Most customers prefer other beverages, and this practice reduces wasted water.
  • Fill Dishwashers Before Running: Operate dishwashers only when they are fully loaded to maximise water use efficiency.
  • Install Water-Efficient Toilets: Upgrade restrooms with water-efficient toilets and waterless urinals can reduce water usage and improve overall efficiency.
  • Use Low-Flow Spray Valves: Newer models of pre-rinse spray valves use less hot water and have lower gallon-per-minute ratings, helping to reduce energy bills.
Reduce Water Usage

7. Reduce Ambient Temperatures

High kitchen temperatures force refrigeration equipment to work harder to keep foods chilled. Lowering ambient heat helps reach-ins and coolers operate more efficiently.

  • Employ Induction Equipment: Induction cooking equipment transfers heat directly to cookware without needing a flame or burner, which keeps the surrounding air cooler.
  • Install Kitchen Exhaust Hoods: Place condensate hoods above dish machines and steam equipment to remove hot air from the kitchen and improve air circulation.
  • Use LEDs: Replace incandescent bulbs with LED light bulbs, which emit less heat and are ideal for kitchens and prep areas.

8. Conduct Energy Assessments

Understanding restaurant energy consumption significantly aids in the savings process. Conduct an energy audit by reviewing previous energy bills or using an online energy tracking tool. Identify the exact amount of energy used and pinpoint the highest consumption areas to set better goals for each aspect of the restaurant.

Alternatively, request a professional energy assessment from your utility company. They provide detailed information on how the restaurant uses energy, making it easier to establish a specific energy conservation plan for the business.

Conduct Energy Assessments

9. Optimise Heating and Cooling

Improving the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems can lead to significant energy savings. Here are some practical steps:

  • Clean and maintain heating and cooling equipment. Dirty air filters and heat transfer coils reduce HVAC efficiency.
  • Use energy efficiency controls, such as programmable thermostats, in the restaurant’s energy management system.
  • Replace air conditioning with circulation fans, which can reduce energy costs by four to five percent for every degree the thermostat is set back.
  • Replace old equipment with properly sized high-efficiency heating and cooling units.

10. Choose the Best Energy Provider

Revaluating the restaurants’ current energy suppliers. Online aggregators can assist in finding the most economical supplier. While this change might not decrease energy consumption, it will lead to cost savings.

  • Compare Energy Providers: Use online comparison tools to identify cheaper energy suppliers. Focus on finding lower rates and favorable contract conditions that align with your needs.
  • Consider Green Energy Options: Investigate suppliers that offer renewable energy plans, which may be both cost-effective and sustainable.
  • Examine Contract Details: Assess the terms of your current energy contract. Switching to a supplier with more advantageous terms can provide immediate cost reductions.
  • Look for Incentives: Search for incentives or rebates offered by energy suppliers for switching, which can help lower your expenses further.
Choose the Best Energy Provider

Exploring More Ways to Conserve Energy

Whether embracing conventional methods or innovative approaches, numerous small adjustments can reduce a restaurant’s annual gas and electricity consumption. Here are some valuable techniques to enhance energy efficiency:

  • Communicate the operational hours for appliances clearly, ensuring timely start-up and shut-down.
  • Optimise heating and cooling systems to maintain ideal temperature settings.
  • Use sensors to automatically control lighting in public spaces.
  • Develop a garden area to grow your own produce.
  • Install modern, energy-efficient hand dryers.
  • Implement a policy of keeping doors and windows securely closed.

By adopting these practices, restaurants can achieve greater energy efficiency, reduced operational costs, and a smaller environmental footprint.

Simple Energy Solutions with Light Up Energy

Implementing energy-saving measures helps restaurants reduce operational costs and demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability. Following these practical tips on how to save energy in a restaurant can result in remarkable reductions in energy consumption.

If the initial steps to save energy have not resulted in noticeable utility bill reductions, consider contacting the utility company. They can assess energy usage and help set realistic goals for an energy conservation plan.

Take control of energy expenses today. Reach out to Light Up Energy for simple, effective solutions that benefit both the business and the environment.

FAQs About Saving Energy in a Restaurant

When it comes to how to save energy in a restaurant, restaurant managers and owners often have numerous questions. Here are some frequently asked questions:

Author Profile

Light Up Energy
Light Up Energy
Light Up Energy, founded by hospitality experts with 20+ years of experience, helps businesses save money via innovative energy management strategies.

More Posts

Send Us A Message