Energy efficiency has been an important topic for many years, especially since utility bills have soared. It's no secret that foodservice establishments can use a lot of energy, therefore it is important to consider how your business can reduce this...
When looking at making changes for energy efficiency, it can seem overwhelming and may make you think that it's a costly process. However, there are simple steps you can take immediately which can help your business' energy usage as well as more long-term solutions which require some investment, meaning you can make gradual changes where possible for your business.
1. Maintain and clean equipment regularly
Maintenance of your kitchen equipment is extremely important for many reasons, including energy efficiency and legislative compliance. If your equipment isn't cleaned and maintained properly, it may not be running as effectively as it could be, or you could be breaking the law. To combat this, consider implementing a preventative maintenance plan, if you don't already do so, where your equipment will be serviced when required so you can have peace of mind that it's all running as it should be and that any problems will be picked up on. Not planning regular maintenance can result in a shortened life expectancy of the product as well as repair bills being more expensive. Furthermore, regulations state that gas appliances must be maintained at least once per year to check that they are running safely and efficiently.
Door seals should also be routinely checked, both for ovens and refrigeration as if these aren't secure, they may not be working efficiently and could be harboring bacteria. Don't forget your ventilation - routinely check that ventilation and extractor hoods are free from grease and dust. When maintaining and cleaning equipment, always follow manufacturers' guidelines in order to ensure that the correct advice is being followed to keep your equipment in good running order.
2. Staff Training
It's also important to ensure that your staff are fully trained on how each piece of equipment should be used and cleaned to keep them in good working order. This may seem simple, but it can make a big difference, so ensure that all new staff are fully trained and offer refresher training when needed. Adequate cleaning can have a big impact on how a piece of equipment runs, there are even pieces of equipment such as combi ovens which self-clean, meaning they will be adequately cleaned after use, ready for the next service. Turning off idle appliances when they are not in use also helps to save energy usage.
3. Kitchen Layout and Adequate Ventilation
Your kitchen's design can have a significant impact on your carbon footprint; therefore, it is important that equipment placement is carefully considered. For example, positioning refrigeration in close proximity to cooking equipment means that the refrigerator has to work harder to maintain the correct temperature, therefore increasing energy usage. Similarly, not having adequate ventilation causes similar issues. Commercial kitchen designers have the knowledge and expertise in the best layout for your individual establishment and energy efficiency plays a big role in this layout.
4. Resource-saving Equipment
In recent years, environmental considerations have been a big driving force in the development of kitchen equipment. Not only does this mean that there are an abundance of equipment options which are better for the environment, but they also significantly reduce the operating costs for catering establishments. Simple things like the right tap selection can significantly reduce the amount of water usage within the commercial kitchen.
When it comes to environmental considerations, doing your research is vital. It is important to consider your menu and the amount of covers you will be serving. For example, you want to make sure you get the right capacity oven for your kitchen whilst also making sure it isn't too big for what you need as this will contribute significantly to energy efficiency. Power source, renewable sources and energy optimization are all important considerations. Selecting multi-functional equipment is also a great way to save energy usage, as you can have one piece of equipment carrying out multiple functions rather than several separate pieces of equipment working simultaneously. Consideration should also be given to electrical appliances where the energy can be sourced from renewable sources, helping to drive down the CO2 emissions.
Vision Commercial Kitchens have expert knowledge on all aspects of commercial kitchens and can help you find the most energy efficient equipment to suit your establishment and budget. We can also provide servicing to check that your current equipment is running as it should be.
Want to know more? Get in touch with us today.
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