15 tips for saving energy in a restaurant

If you make a list of the advantages of saving energy in a restaurant, in the top positions you will surely place reducing costs, optimizing the wear and tear of appliances, and of course, taking care of the environment. The reasons why you are interested in reducing electricity consumption are clear, but the important thing, and what we are going to talk about here, is how to do it. How to save energy in a restaurant?

There are already many kitchen managers around the world who have set to work on cutting electricity costs, aware of the great benefits it can bring both individually and globally. And they have managed to cut the monthly costs of a bar just with small actions to save energy.

Reducing electricity consumption in your hotel and restaurant business requires willpower, but shaving a few euros off your monthly bill is easier than you might think. To learn how you can save electricity in your restaurant, here are 15 tips to apply today to cut your next bill!

Where are you consuming more electricity in your restaurant?

Restaurants and bars consume 6% of the total energy of the tertiary sector, which in addition to catering, includes trade, tourism, leisure, health and transport. But where is all this energy consumed in your restaurant? Where do bars and restaurants use the most energy?

You have guessed it, the most important focus of expenditure is in the kitchen, precisely between the sum of the appliances in your production area and the cold rooms. In most premises (depending on the type of business), 60% of the electricity bill corresponds to this, while 30% to air conditioning and the rest to lighting and others.

Despite the fact that restaurants, cafeterias and hotels register the highest average energy efficiency in the national study “9th Index of Energy Efficiency in SMEs”, carried out by the Gas Natural Fenosa Foundation, they are also a sector with a potential saving of over 20 %. In other words, there is scope for taking actions to save energy in your restaurant on all fronts: curbing energy loss, making better use of natural elements and making a few (or many) changes.

Benefits of saving energy in your restaurant

Your restaurant is going from strength to strength, but if you decide to take action to reduce energy costs (in the short and long term), you’ll be even better off. There are three main benefits of saving electricity in your restaurant: saving on the bill, care for the environment and (inter)national recognition.

In addition, these savings can be the key to balancing the books for that renovation you dream of, that expansion to delivery or hiring more staff.

Savings on your bill

All the improvements you apply to save electricity will be directly reflected in your monthly consumption and therefore, in your bill: you will start paying less electricity every month without cutting back on services or comfort in the room.

Care for the environment

Saving energy in your restaurant helps the environment. Reducing electricity consumption reduces the consumption of natural resources, and therefore improves our relationship with nature. By reducing environmental damage, less greenhouse gas emissions are produced and there are fewer health problems.

Recognition on the circuit

Many restaurateurs like you are taking it very seriously to limit their restaurant’s carbon footprint to a minimum. So much so, in fact, that there are already awards for the most efficient. It can be a good way to attract the attention of new customers who appreciate the effort and responsibility of your establishment. At Monouso we created a similar initiative with our premium ecological stickers so that customers who use sustainable packaging from our store can display them on their premises and inform their customers of their commitment to the environment.

15 ideas for saving energy in a restaurant

We have already identified where you spend more light and what advantages you can get by reducing that consumption, we just have to give you some tips on how to save energy in restaurants so that you notice the change from the next bill.

#1 Energy labeled industrial kitchen equipment

Cold rooms (on 24 hours a day), as well as ovens, dishwashers and other elements of the production area of your kitchen, the better energy labeling index they have, the less they will consume. It is not a question of renewing all your appliances at once, but to take it into account for when you have to retire them.

Although it is the most expensive ranges that usually have the most efficient labeling, in the long run, this gesture can be the one that will provide you with the most savings (and will compensate you). It is precisely here where the cost of light in your local shoots up, you know how to tackle it little by little.

#2 Do periodic maintenance of all your equipment

In addition to choosing more efficient ranges for your kitchen appliances, it is also important that they work well, and for this, it is necessary that they pass their corresponding periodic checks. For example, a problem in the motors of the cold room can be reflected negatively in your electricity bill, as well as any other problem with the appliances that is causing an unnecessary abuse in its electrical consumption. And it is translating into a high cost on the bill.

Checking that the electrical installations in restaurant kitchens are working properly, in addition to peace of mind and safety, also contributes to lower electricity consumption.

#3 Distribute the kitchen efficiently

If you are thinking of remodeling your kitchen or if you have room to make some changes in the way the appliances are placed, choose a distribution in which the heating and cooling zones are separated.

what do you get out of it? If you have a refrigerator next to an oven, the oven is emitting heat and therefore, the refrigerator will have to make an overexertion to stay at the right temperature. The same with the rest of the appliances. That is why it is beneficial to have two zones as differentiated as possible.

#4 Use disposable containers

You can save a few washes in the dishwasher each week if you introduce single-use biodegradable items in your dishware. For example, cardboard cups for ice cream and dessert, bowls for the free lid, glasses and beer jars for the terrace (much lighter to carry).

#5 Make the most of natural light

We left the kitchen and looked at the lighting. Not all venues have a location where they can take advantage of the light coming in from the street, but if in your case it’s possible to use these natural resources of a restaurant, clear those windows and let the sun shine through! If you are blocking the light with vinyl, curtains or furniture, remove it to let it enter the whole place and keep the windows clean.

The more natural light you get, the less artificial light you will need. In addition, natural light always gives more joy and fills spaces with a different energy. Your customers will thank you for it.

#6 Change your bulbs for LED options

We know you can’t depend on natural light all day long (it may not even be possible to do without artificial light for a second at your place), but you can improve the cost if you switch to LED bulbs. In addition, you can include smart LED bulbs that you can turn on and off individually at certain times.

And don’t forget that LED options emit much less heat than traditional bulbs (they hardly give off any heat), so in summer, they won’t affect the room temperature. This will prevent you from having to turn the air conditioning down degrees below what’s necessary (every degree is noticeable on the bill).

#7 Zones with motion sensor lights

Another interesting idea regarding lighting savings is to install presence sensors in the corridors to the toilets and in the toilets themselves. This way the lights will only turn on when they are really necessary and will not stay on when there is no one in these spaces.

These lights turn on when they notice movement in the area where they are installed and turn off after a variable time that you can program. Be sure to adjust the times so that they are not uncomfortable for your customers (they do not turn off too soon), but also do not stay on longer than necessary.

#8 Choose light colors for your walls and furniture

The great ally of natural light is a clear space in which to reflect it. You can multiply the sensation of luminosity if you choose light colors for the walls, furniture and bar.

You already know the tones you should opt for in the next radical change of your catering establishment: whites, creams, bones and pastels.

#9 Bet on renewable energies

have you ever thought about installing solar panels? If this sustainable option is a possibility for your business, don’t think twice. The use of this type of photovoltaic renewable energy can mean great savings on your bills. As with the upgrade of household appliances, it requires an initial investment that is recovered in the medium to long term.

#10 Turn off everything that is not necessary: bye bye standby

All the appliances that you have plugged in but are not on are consuming a minimum of light. It may seem an absurd amount, but multiplied by all the appliances you have and the hours they spend like that… in the end, it is a good pinch that we can cut from our bill in a very simple way. Just unplug all those devices while they are not being used. A practical way to do this is to plug them into power strips and unplug them when they are not needed.

#11 Train your team to save energy

Do not leave a faucet running with hot water, do not turn on an appliance too long, unplug appliances that are not being used… there are many small things that depend on your team. It is essential that the staff working in the kitchen and in the dining room feel part of this energy saving objective for the good of the business and the environment. It is up to you to make sure they know what they can do to contribute and motivate them to do so.

#12 Seek advice from your electric company

You may not have contracted the best tariff for the situation of your restaurant or hospitality business. It is a changing world and there may be a tariff that allows you to save more. Contact your electric company so that you can study some beneficial changes.

#13 Adjust the temperature in the room

Adjusting the temperature is crucial to avoid over-consuming energy with restaurant air conditioners. In the same way that in the kitchen you should avoid overworking the cooling appliances for being badly placed, in the room, you have to control the use of air conditioning.

It is important to use it correctly, as this appliance can account for up to 30% of the bill. The comfort in the dining room is one of the things that a diner appreciates most, so it is not a question of making them cold or hot, but to regulate the air conditioning with head and take measures to withstand the temperature.

Placing double doors to enter improves the temperature insulation of the room. Also raise or lower the general air conditioning by one degree, and pay attention to the temperature each day: you may be able to do without air during certain times of the day. Make the most of it.

As a recommendation, use ECO modes and set the temperature between 20 and 25 degrees in summer, and between 20 and 22 in winter. Below these temperatures, air conditioners have to make an overexertion that can increase their consumption by up to 8%.

#14 Avoid electrical equipment..

…whenever possible. It is very difficult to find alternatives to certain appliances, but you may be overusing some electrical devices. See if you can stop using some and go back to more traditional techniques.

#15 The sign on the façade… light?

If your storefront sign is illuminated, it spends enough hours a day using light to continue after the store closes. Turn off the sign when the premises is closed: you will save on your electricity consumption and contribute to reducing light pollution.

have you thought about changing the sign? It is common to renew the decoration of an establishment and this includes its façade. If you are going to implement changes, you may want to consider alternatives without lights and neon.

We know that some of these 15 gestures are not easy, but it is a list that you should keep in mind to gradually increase the sustainability of your restaurant. At the same time you cut down on your electricity bill.

Some of these tips and initiatives on how to save energy in a restaurant require significant investments, but they are recoverable by the benefits you will get. However, others you can start putting into practice today: start by not leaving anything on standby and adjusting the temperature in the room. In a month, you will see results. The goal is that these small gestures become habits that you and your team will keep in your hospitality business for a long time, and gradually move on to bigger ones.

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