Restaurants face a high failure rate due to slim margins, innovative new market entrants and operational challenges. Operators are forced to identify competitive advantages and diligently manage costs to keep the lights on. The lights themselves represent a significant expenditure to restaurateurs. Did you know that lighting accounts for 13% of a restaurant’s energy usage? This is more than double the energy usage refrigeration consumes. Luckily, new technologies for connected facilities and smart buildings, and government programs like ENERGY STAR have emerged to help lessen the burden of energy management.
ENERGY STAR was created in 1992 by the EPA and Department of Energy to demonstrate how decreasing energy usage and greenhouse gases could increase profit margins. This program has been such a success that consumer brand recognition has reached almost 90% in several studies. ENERGY STAR has been a major focus for restaurants who have reaped the benefits of costs savings through sustainability. By decreasing energy usage by 20%, restaurants can increase profits by as much as 30%. It’s borderline irresponsible to not follow ENERGY STAR guidelines.
Any restaurant operator worth their salt knows most energy consumption happens in the kitchen. Kitchen equipment with the ENERGY STAR logo not only has the benefit of decreasing costs, it also warrants shorter cook times, less down time due to malfunctions and longer equipment life. So, just how much more efficient is ENERGY STAR equipment? As an example, steam cookers can be up to 90% more efficient compared to those that don’t follow ENERGY STAR guidelines. Warewashers can be up to 25% more efficient than those not certified. Combine smart building technology with ENERGY STAR equipment and let’s just say, you’re cooking with gas.
ENERGY STAR not only saves you money, it helps grow your customer base. The name alone carries brand equity, specifically with Millennials, the largest generation of our population. Millennials care that your brand is environmentally responsible and are 89% more likely to purchase from businesses who are socially aware. In addition, Millennials are more likely promote your business on social media, giving your brand recognition on the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Through ENERGY STAR you can extend the benefits of energy management into a marketing tool, amplifying your message of sustainability to attract the socially responsible consumer.
ENERGY STAR isn’t just a fad. Fads don’t last for almost 25 years. By following industry guidelines, transform your facilities from an expense on the balance sheet to an asset that actively contributes to the bottom line.