Smart Monitoring of Restaurant Energy Consumption – It’s Not Just Energy You’re Wasting.


A couple decades ago, restaurants focused solely on serving great food and providing warm, inviting atmospheres. Today, increasingly complex economics, intense competition, and the rising importance of environmental concerns demand a level of energy efficiency in restaurants like never before. It’s not just a fact that energy efficiency substantially increases your profitability; failing to become efficient is also losing you money, in more ways than you might realize.

Restaurants use three times the energy per square foot as compared to other commercial businesses. Some, like Energy Star have led in the field of energy efficiency in restaurants. Often, restaurants struggling to improve business energy efficiency—especially multiple location operations—are just now realizing what energy as a service can mean to their bottom line, and possibly their very survival.

Here are the facts. Inefficient equipment alone can lead to food service businesses wasting up to 80% of the energy they consume. Add climate control, lighting and other resources and there are thousands of dollars that are wasted. But now that waste can be greatly reduced, and those dollar losses can be avoided.

After a few decades of trying various forms of energy improvements, a new opportunity has recently emerged – the advent of affordable, integrated, even SMART energy management systems. Improving energy efficiency in restaurants can lead to streamlined operations, less maintenance, lower utility bills, and increased profits. And the perception of “going green” is more important to customers than ever.

By the Numbers

Heating and water make up 40% of an average restaurant’s energy spend. Food prep (with all its equipment, refrigeration, gas, water and more) is about 33%30% of energy is in the costs of HVAC and “climate” control; 10% in lighting and 7% in refrigeration. Inefficient equipment wastes up to 80% of a restaurant’s energy.

Restaurants average $2.90 psf on electric and $.85 psf on natural gas. 3-5% of total operating costs ($3.75 psf) annually are spent on electric and gas alone. The average restaurant of 4,000 square feet will spend over $1,200- $4,000/month on gas and electric.

For most restaurants, coming up with a complete solution to remedy energy waste—and monitor its usage—is a daunting task.

Most operators know that lighting is a major area of energy waste. Many restaurants still utilize inefficient fluorescent or halogen lighting and bulbs. But, the real costs of lighting are in controls; turning on and off fixtures and lighted areas in a restaurant. Sadly, most restaurants depend on manual, inconsistent control of these systems on a day-to-day basis.

Reliable, updated climate control is vital to recovering profitability. Having area HVAC governed by new and efficient thermostats and controls, with automatic system monitoring on and off hours, can save thousands.

Restaurant energy consumption can be minimized using good kitchen practices, of course. Having a reliable, low or no-cost energy management and smart monitoring system addresses the entirety of achieving desirable energy efficiency in restaurants.

It’s Not Just Energy You’re Wasting

For many multi-location fast casual restaurants, you, the owner or manager, would consider it a major undertaking to identify, install, monitor and measure restaurant energy consumption.

Some smart energy management companies offer integrated solutions that create savings that put profits back in the business, based on future energy price and usage projections. The right energy as a service provider will assume the risk and guarantee you savings from day one.

Look for a company that monitors and manages energy usage at points of consumption, not just the meter outside your restaurant. This will allow total awareness and control of all your energy by smart monitoring without any compromise whatsoever in the performance and operation of your restaurant and its appliances.

State of the Industry

The good news is that the industry is finally hitting a tipping point on all those partial solutions that have been building up promise for years. So, improvements to business energy efficiency are also your biggest opportunity.

Today’s energy control and monitoring solutions include robust features that allow restaurant managers to set heating and cooling temperatures for different parts of the day automatically, for one example. Other points of consumption are equally identified, monitored and maintained to run at peak performance. Smart energy management takes everything into account to derive restaurant energy consumption efficiency from multiple sources.

And it’s more than just restaurateurs who are taking notice of this shift toward efficiency.

Customers Want You Lean and Green

Today’s customer appreciates energy efficiency in your operations. Not just environmental lighting and cool seating arrangements; they see energy efficiency in restaurants as something you stand for.

Repeat regular customers trust you. Believe it or not, the energy efficiency frontier is becoming the new horizon for integrity, global citizenship, and community commitment.

One nationally known brand has reduced the environmental impact of its operations and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 8% through smart and effective monitoring and energy management. They have committed nationally to reducing GHG emissions by 15% psf by 2022, from 2016 levels: reducing water use by 5% since 2014 and recycling packaging content by 15%.

Employees and customers are attracted to a restaurant environment that is modern in appearance and function, as well as efficient, clean, and environmentally friendly.

Energy as a Service Model

Companies like Budderfly use a revolutionary Energy as a Service Model combined with free capital to make the whole energy efficient transformation possible. Their belief is that you shouldn’t have to pay your own money to go green, and that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Budderfly guarantees years of dramatic energy savings for customers, putting more money each month back in your restaurants and your pocket.

This is not a one and done relationship. As new technology becomes available, Budderfly implements the best and most effective advances on-site, to continue to manage energy and convert savings to bottom-line profits. Budderfly pays for ongoing component maintenance and for converting their customers’ restaurants to renewable resources like solar, wind, and geothermal.

Energy as a service is smart, powerful… and always evolving.

One Change That Changes Everything

In the end, it’s not just smart energy management. Your path to business energy efficiency can begin with a customized energy-saving solution that could affect all systems – premium LED lighting, HVAC improvements, superior insulation, point-of-consumption monitoring, unprecedented control of energy usage, and elimination of waste.

Do more than save money. Begin your journey to “day one” restaurant energy consumption management today. Make the change that returns the wasted energy spending right back to your bottom line and improves the experiences of your employees and customers, with Budderfly.