We are all turning to a much more conscious way of living and making sure you have an energy efficient commercial kitchen is of utmost importance to the profit of your business. Having an environmentally conscious business will help to keep you going in times of major change to the way people are dining The ‘conscious consumer’ will find your establishment more attractive than other non-conscious restaurants.
According to The Carbon Trust, many restaurants could reduce their energy bills by at least 20% by introducing simple measures.
- Have you considered how energy efficient your current kitchen is?
- Are your gas, water and electricity bills high?
- Do you have LED bulbs running?
- Is your kitchen equipment not running as well as it should or is it outdated?
Answering the questions above will help to understand how efficiently your commercial kitchen is running.
Let’s talk about your kitchen equipment.
Today it is easier than ever to ensure your kitchen equipment is energy efficient, the latest models of fridges, freezers, ovens and dishwashers are designed to be as energy efficient as possible and will outperform older equipment which may have past its sell-by date from overuse and wear and tear. Be aware of equipment that is wasting energy, if they are producing a lot of heat to run then this is usually a sure sign that it should probably be replaced with a more efficient model.
When purchasing new kitchen equipment make sure you check the energy ratings before committing to a purchase, the costs of running a newer model will, most likely, be cheaper than your older models. If purchasing new kitchen equipment isn’t your thing you can always hire a consultant who will provide you with the best equipment for your needs. At Ceba we will always recommend or purchase the best available equipment for our commercial kitchen installs.
Once you have decided on the equipment you need and it has been installed the next step is to make sure it is well maintained, assessed and kept clean to ensure it runs as efficiently as it is supposed to. Cleaning show deb thorough and regular including de-greasing (everywhere), removing dust from ventilation systems and following warranty instructions. The dirtier your machines and equipment the harder they will need to work – which means using more energy which means higher bills and a less ‘conscious’ kitchen.
It is worth investing in a professional cleaner to come in a couple of times a year to give everything the clean of its life!
How is your lighting looking?
We all know that LED light bulbs are more energy efficient than their counterpart lighting solutions and if you haven’t jumped on the LED bandwagon, you really should. Benefits include reduced bills (especially if you have a large kitchen/restaurant area to light) and reduced bulb maintenance as LED bulbs last much longer. There are so many things you can do with great lighting systems these days and there are loads of stylish designs to complement your kitchen or restaurant theme.
You may not even consider this as an option but having well-trained staff in energy efficiency practices can make a big difference to your kitchen and restaurant business. So make sure you run training courses to educate staff on best practice. Simple starting points – turn water and lights off when not in use.
What can you do now?
Most commercial kitchens can make immediate savings by using existing equipment as efficiently as possible.
- Use pans that have the proper base size for hobs.
- Keep lids on pans.
- Use simmer controls where possible.
- Put refrigerators in a cooler part of the kitchen away from the hot cooking equipment – this means your fridge won’t have to work as hard.
- Ensure fridges have plenty of ventilation – ventilation panels can sometimes get blocked by staff.
- Try not to overload your fridges or freezers – they will use more energy the more produce is stored in them.
- Fit cold room curtains where required
- Don’t prop open refrigeration doors
- Make sure extractor hood grease filters are cleaned regularly.
- Turn gas burners off when not in use. This will save gas and will lower the temperature of the kitchen meaning refrigeration equipment doesn’t have to work as hard.
- Check gaskets and check the seal – a bad seal can mean an 11% loss in efficiency.
- Ensure you clean the condenser coil, this will improve airflow to refrigeration equipment.
- Service kitchen equipment regularly.