British restaurants: Bottom line savingsGas and electricity are one of the largest operating costs for any food outlet, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, commercial kitchens require two and a half times more energy per square foot than any other kind of business premises. In addition, the Carbon Trust claims that energy used in catering accounts from somewhere between four and six per cent of operating profits, which means any saving on energy can directly increase revenue and profitability right off the bat – without any need to drum up increased sales. The savings you can make likely depend on what kind of restaurant you operate – some food requires more preparation than others. A deli might only be using energy to heat up some toasties and keep the lights on, whereas a five-star restaurant would have much more equipment to power.
British restaurants: Greener brand imageA survey by the National Restaurant Association found that around 62 per cent of diners would prefer to eat in an environmentally friendly British restaurant. Projecting a greener brand image might not be your priority, but if it’s important to your customers it should be important to you – and it could help improve your bottom line. It’s worth considering what your business’ ethos is to evaluate just how important this is likely to be to your customers. For example, if you run a vegan restaurant, your customers might align themselves more closely with environmentally friendly values.
British restaurants: Costs of implementationIf you are concerned about the initial costs of implementing energy saving equipment and processes, despite the long-term savings, it is worth looking into the immediate changes you can make for free. For example, switching off equipment when not in use and maintaining existing equipment can be very effective. The Carbon Trust also reports that raising awareness among kitchen staff and providing energy management training can reduce catering energy use by up to 30 per cent. Overall, where possible, restaurants and catering services really should be looking to invest in a greener future. Look out for the next instalment of this series which will detail the ways in which you can implement energy saving measures at your establishment.
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