Restaurant Conservation & Efficiency Education

Restaurant Energy Education Forum #1, November 8, 2012

BRSI Energy Education for Restaurants- Presented by Laura Piraino

Energy Savings Menu Trifold- distributed at Restaurant Education Forum #1, November 8, 2011

“Green Feature” Videos: Owners share about their restaurants

1- Kevin Westmoreland, co-owner of The Corner Kitchen, in Biltmore Village, Asheville, NC gives a tour of the green features of his restaurant.


2- Peter Pollay, owner of Posana Cafe in Asheville, NC gives a tour of the green features of his restaurant. Posana was the first “Green Certified Restaurant” in the state of North Carolina!


According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurants are the most energy intensive commercial buildings in the United States. Just operating one deep fryer, which consumes between 11-18,000 kwh of electricity a year (or @20,000 btu’s an hour) is also roughly the same amount of energy an entire household uses in a year. (EPA) Broilers can consume six times that amount (Food Service Technology Center.)

Restaurants consume much of that energy in the “back of the house”-during food preparation and cleaning up with all that heated water. Saving a few btu’s by turning down cooking temperatures, putting lids on pots of boiling water,  or turning off appliances when not in use may not seem like it would make much of a difference in your own home, but if hundreds of meals are prepared each day, the savings in restaurants can add up quickly. Each staff person can impact the energy consumption of every dish served-by using energy savings settings, not using water to defrost, returning lids to prep bins, and keeping ranges free of debris. The “front of the house” staff in dining areas can also turn off unnecessary lighting, re-adjust the thermostats, and serve water to only those who request it.

Restaurant owners can select energy efficient appliances, upgrade equipment, seal up their building envelope, and train staff to perform routine maintenance that reduces service calls. A $1 reduction in energy costs equals $12.50 in sales at an 8% profit margin-a fantastic return on investment, particularly since energy costs have increased at a rate of 6-8% (National Restaurant Association.) Interested in saving money at your restaurant? Click on the links below to learn more.

Restaurant Energy Education Forum #2, January 13, 2012

Mathis Consulting- Building Codes

Green Makes Cents Forum, April 16, 2012, Presented by the Green Team

More resources:

WNC Culinary Expo Presentation, April 16, 2012, from the Green Team and BRSI’s Tim Ballard

Selecting Appliances for Efficiency

Restaurant Maintenance: Take Advantage of Hidden Savings

Delicious Cooking Methods for the Eco-Cook

Energy Savings Menu: Restaurant Energy Efficiency and Conservation Education Powerpoint Overview