Every day is a good day to find new ways to save money and natural resources in foodservice. Yet, over time, it’s easy to become numb to established processes or long-running equipment that are quietly sapping the budget and working against the environment while they’re at it.
Money wasters are often hidden in plain sight because staff are used to seeing them every day. Our team has visited a LOT of kitchens over the years, and since we’re seeing them with a fresh set of eyes, we notice different things.
Here are just a few of the places we find the repeat offenders and what you can do if you unearth them in your operation.
Where to Look for Savings: Dry and Cold Storage Areas
Does your dry storage area look like the paper products aisle at a grocery store? There’s no denying the convenience of single-use cups, containers, plastic wraps, and foils, but they cost a fortune, especially when you add up the cost of the product itself, the large amount of space it occupies, and how often it needs to be purchased and replenished. On the environmental side, disposables take up massive amounts of landfill space and in the case of styrofoam, can take several decades to decompose.
If you’re using disposable cups in the dining room, try Newport or Laguna Tumblers by Cambro.
They look like clear glass, but they’re made of unbreakable plastic and can be topped with tight-fitting lids, especially great for kids.
Personalization is also available.
These covers are worth their weight in gold! They’ve been proven to extend shelf life of produce and proteins by up to three days by keeping contaminants out.
They also have just the right amount of rigidity to support stable, hygienic stacking to make the best use of precious storage space.
If you’re using any type of single-use takeout container, try OZZI O2GO Reusable Takeout Containers.
Each of these NSF listed, dishwasher-safe containers can be used a whopping 300 times!
The O2GO system makes it easy to transition to a more sustainable packaging alternative that also supports safety protocols and makes a positive financial impact.
This year, OZZI is offering up to a $2,000 bonus in celebration of Earth Day.
When you order an OZZI System Start-Up Package by April 30, 2022, you will receive an extra 500 Made in the USA O2GO reusable containers ($2,000 value)! When you order the Drop N’ GO Start-Up Package, you will receive an extra 250 O2GO reusables ($1,000 value)! Contact us to learn more.
Where to Look for Savings: The Dish Room
Dish Rooms are notorious for feeling like a rainforest, but some of today’s dish machines have solved that problem. There’s no need for your staff to suffer from excess heat and humidity while you pay for wasted electricity.
If you’re using an older dish machine that’s making your warewashing area unbearable and using an excessive amount of electricity, try Champion’s 44-PRO VHR High-Temperature Rack Conveyor Dishmachine. The system captures 100% of the operating exhaust heat and vapor and converts it into useable energy to heat the wash water and assist in heating the fresh rinse water.
It’s ventless, so it can save several thousand dollars on vent hood purchase and installation on the front end. After that, it keeps on giving by saving up to $3,000 in wash tank and rinse water heating cost annually. It’s no wonder it was awarded a National Restaurant Association Kitchen Innovations (KI) Award in 2016.
If you’re using traditional open outer-walled ware washing racks, try the Camrack System by Cambro.
Racks with open outer walls leave contents wide open to fingers, germs, dirt, and other contaminants, while Camracks have closed outer walls that keep them out. The inside compartments are open to provide thorough circulation of water and promote quick drying.
When used with a Camrack cover and stacked on a Camdolly, the system is completely enclosed.
Glassware stays clean and sanitary after washing wherever it’s stored or transported. There’s no need to wrap or rewash racks or worry about cleanliness of glassware that’s left vulnerable to contamination. Thanks to the time and resource savings the Camrack System provides, most operators find that it pays for itself well within a year.
This year marks the Camrack system’s 25th anniversary. The system is used everywhere from small, independent restaurants to some of the largest hotels and convention centers in the world, a testament to its effectiveness and budgetary and environmental value.
Where to Look for Savings: Hot Holding
If you’re electric hot holding equipment is blazing hot on the outside, odds are good it has inadequate insulation, is running too often, and using more energy than it should. FWE offers a broad range of Energy Star® qualified equipment to help you conserve electricity and lower your energy bill. This efficient line is made with high density insulation fully secured inside every side of the cabinet, including the base, to keep heat in and minimize electrical consumption.
In fact, test data has shown that with the same temperature setpoint and the same capacity, FWE’s UHS-12 Universal Heated Holding Cabinet is twice as efficient as a competitor’s model. This added efficiency presents an annual savings of $375 per cabinet.
FWE also recommends planning equipment downtime and turning it off when not in use to conserve energy.
Keeping up with preventative maintenance and regularly cleaning components that may accumulate buildup (such as gaskets and heating elements) also helps keep energy costs down.
When it comes to saving natural resources and operating costs, these are just a few ideas. For more tips and specialized recommendations for your foodservice operation, contact us.