13 ways to painlessly improve profitability: Energy as a profit center

This is a portion of a post on MultiBriefs Exclusive.

As the economy and the foodservice industry appear to be gaining steam, are you prepared to reap the full benefit? There are still plenty of business challenges that require both business acumen and financial agility. Whether it’s food costs, labor costs or overhead, operators must keep all of the plates in the air and spinning if they are to maximize profits and head off a potential business crash before it literally brings down the house.

While operators are conditioned to keep a tight rein on food and labor costs, when it comes to overhead, many throw up their hands in frustration and resignation. You may not be able to change the terms of your lease or rising property taxes, but energy, along with food and labor, are “the big three.” And you can tame your energy costs just like you do the other two.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), restaurants use five to seven times more energy than office buildings or retail stores. For quick-service establishments that can reach ten times that of other commercial buildings. Did you know that just one typical electric deep-fat fryer uses more than 18,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and costs more than $1,700 in an average year? That’s more than $140 a month for just one piece of equipment.

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