Five Ways Quick Serve Restaurants Can Save Money On Energy

Keeping energy costs low can feel impossible for Quick Serve Restaurants but by implementing these five tips, QSRs can save money on energy and improve operational efficiency.

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Quick serve restaurants (QSRs) are known for their speedy service and convenient dining options. These types of establishments consume a significant amount of energy because they need to ensure their food remains fresh and customers are comfortable, making it one of their highest budget items. With constant use of kitchen appliances such as grills, fryers, and ovens, as well as lighting and air conditioning, energy consumption can add up quickly. Keeping energy costs low can feel impossible but by implementing these five tips, QSRs can save money on energy and improve operational efficiency.

Here are five ways that QSRs can save money on energy:

1. Employ An Energy Management System

An energy management system (EMS) enables QSRs to monitor, control, and optimize their energy usage. An EMS can track energy usage in real-time, identify energy waste, and provide reports on energy performance.

With an EMS, QSRs can automate energy-consuming processes, such as turning off lights and equipment when not in use. An EMS can also provide data to identify areas of inefficiency and recommend improvements, like replacing old equipment or improving insulation.

Energy management systems provide immediate cost savings through energy reduction and can save you up to 30% on your energy bill from day one. With an effective monitoring and metering system, you can identify which assets are wasting the most energy and prioritize their overall consumption reduction. Energy management systems allow you to generate energy and operational savings, and optimize capital expenditure by installing submetering, monitoring, and control systems across all onsite assets and equipment.

Learn more about how GridPoint’s energy management system can save QSRs money.

2. Perform Spring HVAC Maintenance

Spring is an ideal time for facility managers to perform routine maintenance on their HVAC systems. Regular maintenance can help keep HVAC systems running efficiently and extend their lifespan, reducing the need for costly repairs or replacements.

Download GridPoint’s Spring HVAC Maintenance Checklist here

Maintenance tasks should include replacing air filters, cleaning coils, inspecting ductwork, and checking refrigerant levels. QSRs should also consider hiring a professional to perform an energy audit, which can identify areas of inefficiency and recommend improvements.

By performing spring maintenance on their HVAC systems, QSRs can reduce energy waste and ensure their systems are operating at peak efficiency, resulting in lower energy bills.

To get a free energy audit from GridPoint’s team of experts sign up here.

3. Participate In Demand Response Programs

Demand response programs are initiatives that encourage restaurants to reduce their energy usage during periods of high demand. In exchange for reducing their energy usage, QSRs receive financial incentives or credits on their energy bills.

DR programs typically involve a utility company notifying QSRs of upcoming periods of high energy demand and request they reduce their energy usage during that time. QSRs can then adjust their energy usage by turning off non-essential equipment or modifying their thermostat settings.

GridPoint’s automated demand response technology uses customized curtailment strategies to slowly lower temperatures or adjust schedules automatically before an event is called without manual employee involvement. That way, there is little to no impact on customer or site comfort. With very little effort, you can get payments, financial rebates, and credits. One GridPoint customer earned an additional $50,000 through demand response rebates and incentives alone in 2019.

Find a Demand Response Program here.

4. Use Temperature Setpoints

Temperature control is critical in quick serve restaurants, but many facility managers may not realize that even a small change in temperature can make a big difference in energy consumption. By lowering the temperature in the winter or raising it in the summer during off-hours, QSRs can save energy and reduce their energy bills without affecting customer comfort. QSRs can also adjust temperature setpoints during off-hours when the restaurant is closed.

GridPoint’s energy management system removes the need to set manual temperature setpoints and manually adjust temperatures when weather changes.

GridPoint’s smart building technology considers external weather data to ensure that location’s internal temperature remains comfortable, and that HVAC functionality is optimized. GridPoint’s Dynamic Setpoint Algorithm is a safety net that makes sure your HVAC units adjust automatically to unexpected temperature changes. Users can then set a more modest setpoint without fear of fluctuation.

5. Perform A Building Energy Audit

A building energy audit is a comprehensive assessment of a restaurant’s energy usage, systems, and equipment. An energy audit can identify areas of inefficiency and provide recommendations for improvements.

The easiest way to save money in your restaurants is by understanding where it may be getting wasted. Building energy analyses help facility managers take the guess work out of energy spend and repair budgets. Building audits should be completed on a yearly or even quarterly basis to measure the functional condition of major appliances and to track energy usage. This task makes sure your restaurant is running at peak efficiency.

Building audits can help: Optimize energy consumption, diagnose problems with large onsite appliances like HVACs, evaluate the need to shift to backup power sources as needed to maintain service levels and generate energy cost savings, use AI and machine learning to analyze data captured onsite, and more.

To get a free energy audit from GridPoint’s team of experts sign up here.

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