13 ways to painlessly improve profitability: Schedule your energy

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This is a portion of a post on MultiBriefs Exclusive.

Foodservice Thermostat ControlWould you schedule your wait staff to work when your restaurant isn’t open? Would you want to pay them starting at 7:30 a.m. even though lunch service doesn’t start until 11:30 a.m.? Of course not. Well, you may be doing exactly that with your energy.

The scenario is a common one. It’s early. Diners won’t be arriving for hours, but your kitchen staff is already arriving. What’s first on the day’s agenda? Flip on the lights, turn on the flat top, the broiler and all of the other equipment needed for the upcoming service. Then grab a quick cup of coffee before the day begins in earnest. When you think about it, it sounds crazy, but that has been common practice in the restaurant business for decades.

You can almost hear the electric meter spin. The good news, however, is that much of that “spin” can be controlled by your front-line team members and the assistance of a startup/shutdown schedule. Most of the energy used in a foodservice operation is related to food preparation, followed by heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).

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