Posted by Patrick Maness
For any foodservice operation, keeping budgets and utility costs as low as possible is an ongoing concern. Many businesses find that updating or upgrading their equipment might be the best way for them to achieve such an improvement.
1. Energy-Efficient Efforts
Restaurant Business Online reports that there are a number of ways for businesses to lower their prices, though it's important to note that purchasing new equipment can be a big initial investment. Over time, the long-term savings will more than make up for those initial purchases, however.
According to some experts, the fastest solution to reducing energy costs would be removing all burners currently on oven and range equipment and instead adopting induction cooking processes. These oven tops only operate when an induction pan is placed in them, so the cost of running the ovens hot drops dramatically. The heat itself is also much cleaner and easier to get rid of using vents and hoods. Cleanup and wear on the ranges also drops precipitously because there's less of a risk of outside damage. Induction burners even cut down the odds of any fires from grease or oil completely as the burners can't catch if hot oil or grease spills on them.
2. New Ovens and Fryers
The news source adds that it will also be a good idea to replace ovens with cook-and-hold units, as those types need less energy, are better for the environment and provide a more consistent cooking temperature.
Meanwhile, replacing deep-fat fryers with more energy-efficient rapid-cook ovens can be a great idea, as grease is removed from the process, making cleanup much easier. It's also possible for kitchen air filters to gain more efficiency, and the equipment itself can put out just as much food as deep-fat fryers.
3. Easy Steps To Maintain Equipment
ENERGY STAR® made additional recommendations that operators can make if they need to wait before purchasing new equipment. These include cutting the idle time that equipment is left on when it's not being used, regularly checking and maintaining different pieces of equipment like refrigerator gaskets or freezer doors, and usingthe proper equipment for specific tasks. One example is to use a griddle instead of a broiler for cooking smaller orders.
Energy efficiency can seem like a difficult achievement in some kitchens, but just a few changes to current practices can have extensive payoffs.