January 29, 2018
Are Rising Energy Costs Affecting Your Profits?
An Investment Today in a New Energy-Efficient, Automated Broiler Could Mean Significant Savings for Your Restaurant, and Increased Profits
In response to rising operational costs, quick service, fast casual and other restaurants are increasingly faced with finding new, innovative solutions to cut costs where they can in order to increase overall profits, or to offset other rising costs. To that end, many restaurants have been rethinking refrigeration, lighting and cooling systems in an effort to decrease energy use and costs. However, cooking systems are another major drain on energy resources, and should be considered appropriate targets for investment.
An article written by Madison Gas and Electric notes that cooking represents 21% of electricity consumption in quick-service restaurants, second only to refrigeration which represents 35% of energy consumption, and significantly more than cooling (12%), lighting (7%) or ventilation (11%). The consumption pattern for natural gas is even more dramatic. In QSRs, cooking represents 71% of natural gas consumption, dwarfing other natural gas uses such as heating (13%) and water heating (16%).
While statistics may vary for individual restaurants, those interested in reducing their cooking system’s energy footprint should consider Nieco’s BroilVection™ technology, a new generation cooking concept that combines radiant broiling, natural convection and focused forced convection air.
BroilVection™ captures waste heat that would normally escape out the chimney, and converts it into convective air. As the convective air recirculates back down into the broiler, the amount of heat applied to the food is maximized, allowing it to cook more quickly. By using heat more efficiently in the cooking process, Nieco customers use approximately half the amount of energy previously needed for traditional radiant-only broilers. In monetary terms, that reduction in energy use means an annual energy cost savings of between $3,000 and $5,000. Nieco customers also enjoy $800 – $1,000 in annual maintenance savings that would normally be spent on burner replacement (Nieco’s burners are estimated to last 5 – 10 years) and possible local energy rebates of up to $4,000.
While these savings are compelling, restaurant owners are no doubt asking themselves if the benefits of upgrading their old inefficient broiler (or grill) outweigh the cost of investment. The answer is yes.
Nieco’s Jaime Nau, Director of Operations explains:
“The combined energy and burner replacement savings means that restaurants who invest in a new energy-efficient broiler should be able to use those savings to pay off the cost of the broiler within 2-3 years. After that time, those savings will contribute to the overall profit of the restaurant. Add to that faster speed of service, better tasting menu items, consistently-cooked products, greater flexibility, and automation that saves on labor costs and it’s hard not to make the case for replacement. Once our customers see the full picture, they’re usually intrigued – even if their current broiler or grill is still operational.”
In the restaurant industry, there are costs you can control, and others you can’t. Making the decision to upgrade your cooking system to a more energy-efficient solution may but the best decision you make this year.