The equipment you outfit your kitchen with affects not only your immediate restaurant. In fact, the environmental impact of the appliances you choose can vary drastically! Sustainability is more than just saving the environment. By investing in environmentally-responsible foodservice equipment, you open a host of benefits from energy and money savings to waste and water reduction.
We’ve discussed the well-known Energy Star labels which identify when a product is energy efficient, but how do you take those energy savings even further? Energy Recovery systems work by utilizing captured heat and steam from the warewash cycle to preheat rinse water before entering the booster heater wherein its then heated to the correct temperature.
Hobart's Ventless Door-type Dishwasher has a built-in energy recovery system that uses cold water for the final rinse cycle, reducing energy usage by up to 16%! ‘Using cold water with temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or 13 degrees Celsius, foodservice operations can save $3,200 annually,’ explains Allen Hasken, warewash development manager at Hobart. ‘By using a cold-water supply, Energy Recovery systems provide an energy-saving option that pays for itself in approximately 15 months.’
Because water costs are rising faster than the cost of inflation, you’ll feel the direct impact on your budget. By using the minimal amounts of water where possible, you’ll be able to lessen the impact for your restaurant. We’ve blogged before about the benefits of booster heaters, and one of the benefits is the reduction of multiple cycles in order to get your warewash truly clean. This translates directly into less water usage, as you’ll be using your warewash systems minimally!
Similarly, ensuring that your systems aren’t leaking and that water is heating to correct temperatures, you can prevent water loss and waste. Instruct employees to be vigilant and not overuse water as well, such as sweeping walkways rather than hosing them off. It doesn’t take much to be more sustainable through water savings!
Waste management is reasonably simple to implement with a little planning and vigilance. While we’ve discussed some of the new food waste management approaches (pulpers and dehydrators) recently as well as storage tactics to get the longest life out of your produce, it’s good to know some post-consumer tidbits for waste reduction in your facility.
Panera Bread has implemented a program called Day-End Dough-Nation, donating all unsold bread and goods to local shelters. By donating rather than composting, pulping, or dehydrating, Panera has utilized an excellent food waste eliminator while being responsible and charitable. While this method may not work for everyone, its certainly a sustainable point to consider.
All in all, making sustainable choices in equipment and methods can help improve your bottom line. Always maintain your equipment on a regular basis as well, as this prolongs the longevity of your equipment, increasing its sustainable lifespan. If you’re unsure of your current equipment’s sustainability or are looking into new purchases, you can calculate sustainability at NAFEM’s website.