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Energy Saving Ideas For Caterers
The Government is offering businesses some help with catering costs but many hospitality providers remain acutely aware of how much money they burn through. Kitchens are especially notorious for energy wastage and increasing costs. For places where food is served, like restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars, making savings on energy is likely to be the first order of the day.
What are the best energy-saving ideas for caterers who want to control their energy expenditure?
Some reports suggest that energy costs can account for 6% of a catering company’s profit – and it could well go up under current circumstances.
In an ever-changing market, nobody can ever be sure they are getting the best deal on energy – but you can decide whether to fix your tariff so at least you have some control.
Some 30% of catering establishments could be in the market at any one time as their contracts come up for renewal. This means there are likely to be many energy providers after your business. Almost certainly it will pay to shop around instead of automatically staying with your current supplier or changing to the first new one that comes along.
Running a foodservice operation means a constant challenge of getting dishes out, whilst maintaining a watchful eye on the cost of preparing it all.
One of the fastest ways to eat away at your own profits is to run old equipment. It could be costing much more than you realise. It nearly always pays to splash out on the best available technology (BAT) to make efficiency savings.
Not only are new models more energy-efficient, they also save time. For example many induction hobs tend to heat up faster than electric ones, which means less energy is frittered away in during cooking.
Some caterers may decide to switch from gas or electric ovens to ones that use charcoal or wood chips instead. Others might look for models with triple-glazed doors, allowing for better heat and steam circulation to reduce cooking times.
Extra energy savings may be possible from the latest deep fat fryers, which heat faster, and filter oil, reputedly using up to 50% less energy than older models.
Modern technology is often subject to stronger regulations regarding heat emission. Cooler machinery means you spend less having to ventilate areas that were previously too hot.
Monitor Existing Energy
Just how much heat does your hospitality venue really need? Most guests probably wouldn’t notice if the thermostat was turned down a degree – but the cost-savings on your heating bill could be sizeable.
At the same time it is recommended to monitor boilers and radiators to make sure they are working properly. Make sure the pipes are well-insulated, just as you would do so at home. All of these are probably part of your regular safety schedule already but you may make some surprising energy-saving observations. Perhaps the auto-settings on your heating system are still on the old winter settings because someone forgot to update them the last time the clocks changed?
Look all around you to see where else the money might be going. If you have not switched lighting from tungsten or fluorescent bulbs to energy-saving LEDs then you will probably be spending more than you would like.
Most importantly, create an energy policy that you can present to staff as part of their ongoing training. By making them aware of the need to preserve energy, you’ll be going a long way to getting your costs down.
Oversights from team members, and incorrect use of equipment, are among the main reasons why catering establishments lose so much on gas and electricity. If necessary put up signs that remind employees to turn off lights, and machinery when it is not in use.
Encourage them not to overfill, or underfill mechanical equipment, such as dishwashers and freezers. Get them to check that fridge doors are shut, and that seals are clear and clean, so that they end up having to work harder, while your profits seep out at the same time.
Saving money on your energy bills is not just good for your bank balance, it’s also important for the environment.
By encouraging your team not to allow waste, the chances are they will welcome the opportunity to be part of a more sustainable future. Your customers will too – so don’t be afraid to highlight what you are doing to keep costs down and improve efficiency.
Everybody wins when you do your bit to curb energy usage.