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Hey Chef, Shut the Gas Off!

A close second to recycling, re purposing and re using, energy conservation. If you wonder why any of these things matter, your likely not a Chef. Not to say that only Chefs are aware of there importance, but Chefs are paid to manage resources on behalf of there employers. Its no different than managing your household!

As a young apprentice cook, these virtues were heavily enforced, not so much anymore. Just another example of how poor our educational system and training programs are today.. Anyway, lets have a look at some things to bring our kitchen operations in line with proper budgets. The one thing ownership and employees need to understand, is that you stand to profit from these suggestions. More money you say, go on....

1. Use Energy Efficient Equipment

Commercial equipment contributes a great deal to your restaurant's energy consumption, but your restaurant equipment doesn't have to guzzle resources. I recommend in this order, gas, induction and electric. and if possible wood. Why, because gas is a Chefs go to for speed, control and conservation. On and off, and everything in between. the key is shutting it off when you are done your task. there are a multitude of configurations, fixed open elements, closed tops or a combination of the two. next, induction. Not really a new technology, and becoming more economical as a consideration in commercial kitchens. I like having them portable, so as to move them around where needed. they are also incredible useful for off premise events. Much like gas, there is a lot of control, and the heat is instantaneous. THIRD IS ELECTRIC, by far the least effective and energy wasting. Wood, or other types of natural fuel sources are excellent for pizzas, smoking and baking, as they impart a flavour profile you cant get with other heat sources.

Reduce Water Consumption

Restaurants require large amounts of water to sustain operations. Thankfully, there are some simple ways to reduce water consumption in your restaurant and lower your water bill. Maintanance, and mindfulness are the keys here.

Shut Down Idle Equipment

Conserving energy can be as easy as turning off a light switch. This may sound simple, but countless restaurants waste hundreds of dollars a month because they leave idle equipment running.

  • Use a Startup/Shutdown Schedule - Take the time to observe when your equipment units are being used the most and create a schedule for starting up and shutting down. During downtime, turn off the range or the fryer and begin preheating again when business picks up.

  • Lighting Timers - Use timers for your outdoor lighting, or even try solar-powered outdoor lights that can charge themselves.

  • Smart Controls - Investing in equipment with smart control technology allows you to start up your appliances remotely.

There is so much more, effecient kitchen layout, staff training and consultations with your energy provider regarding peak energy consumption and usage.

Cheers, and have a wonderful week. See you on Wednesday for more informative hospitality and social issues.

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