10 Energy Saving Tips for Restaurants That Actually Work

July 12
10 Energy Saving Tips for Restaurants

Additionally, these rates of energy usage are even higher for hotels, cafeterias, and full-service restaurants. 

Nevertheless, there are many ways you can go about saving energy in restaurants. Energy-saving solutions for restaurants can result in lower utility bills, less maintenance, streamlined operations, and increased ROI. 

It is important to note that inefficient equipment may cause restaurants and other food service enterprises to waste up to 80 percent of the energy that they consume. Therefore, buying newer restaurant equipment that is more energy efficient – those that are ENERGY STAR certified – should result in energy-saving restaurants. 

A food service business that is energy efficient can see its energy consumption and other related costs go down by up to 30 percent. A lot of this energy reduction wasted will be realized by using restaurant equipment that is energy efficient. 

As a food service manager or as the owner of a restaurant, you must take heed of these figures and tighten your leash on energy conservation in your establishment. 
The following are energy-saving tips restaurants and other food service businesses can employ to conserve energy and significantly lower the associated costs. 

1. Get Everyone on Board 

For your energy conservation efforts to bear any fruit, everyone has to be in on it. You may have a myriad of game-changing ideas, but they will be effectively useless if your employees do not execute them. 

So, how can you get your staff to consciously drive themselves towards energy conservation? First, you will have to make them see the benefits to be realized from going green. Appeal to their self-interests, if the restaurant can save on costs and increase its profits, there will be a certain incentive for them. Also, apart from appealing to their interests, make them see how these efforts will aid environmental conservation efforts. With more and more people embracing the ‘going green’ movement, customers will likely have a preference for establishments that endorse this movement. 

Next, teach them the various ways they can go about saving energy in the restaurant. Consider hosting an ‘Energy Efficiency’ seminar. Invite someone who’s an expert at the field to talk to your staff. These efforts will go a long way if everyone is on board. 

2. Use ENERGY STAR Certified Equipment 

From fridges to ovens, ensure that your equipment is not an electricity guzzler. Thus, go for models that are designed to save energy. This will see your establishment saving a substantial amount of money every year in utility bills. Do not limit this equipment just to the kitchen area, utilize it everywhere including the seating areas and bathrooms. 

3. Ensure Proper Maintenance of Equipment 

If your restaurant equipment is not regularly cleaned and serviced, it is likely going to work harder than it needs to. Ensure that thorough maintenance is observed. Additionally, utilize water filtration systems to avoid the deposit of minerals that might clog this equipment. 

4. Incorporate an Efficient Kitchen Layout 

Your kitchen layout may also be a reason behind your high energy bills. For instance, if your ice machine has been set next to the oven, it is going to work a lot harder than it is necessary. The takeaway here is to keep cooling and heating equipment separate. Additionally, have units that are similarly placed under the same ventilation hoods. 

5. Idle Equipment Shouldn’t be Kept on 

Energy conservation begins with simple things such as switching off light switches. It may sound trivial, but a lot of restaurants lose thousands of dollars every year simply because they do not turn off idle equipment. When business is slow, turn off the fryer or the range and start preheating again when it picks up. 

6. Minimize Heat Usage 

This might sound like an impossible feat considering that heat is an absolute necessity in restaurants. Nevertheless, you can begin this campaign by lowering water temperatures. For instance, the required dishwashing temperature in the restaurant is around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you also have to check your area’s requirements so that you do not have to heat your water more than it is necessary. 

7. Minimize Water Consumption 

Invest in equipment that enables you to save on water such as pre-rinse spray valves. These valves allow you to use less than one gallon of water every minute. Additionally, make sure that you fix any pipes that might be leaking while encouraging your staff to turn off the water between rinsing cycles as well as any other time that they are not using it continuously. 

8. Assess your HVAC system 

Your HVAC system is probably responsible for the high energy consumption at your establishment. Therefore, making improvements on this system will see you make big energy savings. 

For instance, adjusting your thermostat by a single degree could see you save up to 5% on energy consumption. You could also consider smart thermostats as they will effectively nullify instances of human forgetfulness. They will also make the correct adjustments on temperature depending on the status of the restaurant. 

You can also install demand ventilation controls which will help lower your exhaust system costs by up to 50%. 

9. Upgrade Your Lighting 

You can reduce your energy consumption by replacing your older bulbs with T8 fluorescent lighting for restaurants. The replacement bulbs are typically low-wattage and can be up to 25 percent more efficient than older bulbs. 

10. Contact your Utility Companies 

These companies will typically give you a breakdown of how much energy your restaurant uses as well as how much it costs you. Ask for their insight on where they think energy is being wasted or where it is being used extensively. On receiving this information, you can use it to make a detailed energy conservation plan. Consider replacing the equipment that is using too much energy and so forth. 


As previously mentioned, restaurants are among the biggest consumers of energy. It is, therefore, imperative that restaurant owners understand this and realize that they could make bigger profits if they controlled their overheads in energy bills. By utilizing the above energy-saving tips in restaurants, not only will you realize greater profits, but you will also be playing your part in environmental conservation.