Energy Saving Week Day Three - Catering

We’re now in the middle of the QIT Energy Saving Week. Today we take a look at catering and how you could save money in the kitchen. Energy used in catering accounts for between 4 and 6% of operating profits. Simple actions such as raising awareness amongst kitchen staff and providing energy management training could reduce catering energy use by up to 30%. Switch off or at least turn down equipment when it’s not needed. Catering equipment generates heat, so as well as wasting energy it will make the kitchen less comfortable to work in if left on. Switch off grills, fryers and hobs immediately after use, along with lights and extraction fans when they aren’t needed. Similarly, switching on at the right time can make a big difference. Most modern catering equipment reaches optimum temperature quickly. Label equipment with its preheat time and educate staff to switch on only when needed. Using the kitchen equipment properly also makes a difference, for example, choosing the correct saucepan size for the job and using lids where possible. You could use a frying pan rather than a griddle for one customer and remember to keep chillers and freezer door openings to a minimum. Use dishwashers with full loads, including those used for glasses. Shorten the drying times in dishwasher cycles and use the residual heat in the dishwasher to dry the contents instead of running expensive power drying cycles. Think about running costs when you buy new equipment. Consider replacing any kitchen equipment over 15 years old with newer, more efficient models. Refrigeration maintenance schedules are important too. Make sure that defrost procedures are followed - every two months as a minimum, or following manufacturers' recommendations. This could save energy and prolongs the lifetime of equipment. Check door seals on cold rooms, fridges and frozen food stores and replace if damaged. Keep condensers and evaporator coils clean and free of dust and check systems have the correct amount of refrigerant. Remember – you can save money by reducing your consumption, but you should also make sure you’ve got a good deal with your energy supplier. npower has joined forces with Quality in Tourism to create a great offer for your business – find out more at Source Hospitality - Saving energy without compromising service, Carbon Trust. Food and drink processing - Introducing energy saving opportunities for business, Carbon Trust.
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