During many of our food manager certification MN training sessions, we often get the pleasure of partaking in conversations involving important issues affecting the food industry. Recently, we engaged with several experienced professionals who were discussing their strategies for reducing utility costs, especially during the summer months when energy rates tend to be higher than the rest of the year.
Food Manager Certification MN and Controlling Energy Costs
In our conversations with food-service managers, we have discovered that there are three major elements in your kitchen that should be monitored to keep your utility costs under control.
- Water waste
- Refrigeration systems
- Ovens and large kitchen appliances
One of the major factors in keeping your water usage at a minimum is preparation. One of the more common wastes of water that we see involves the process of thawing frozen food product. While it is perfectly acceptable to thaw frozen product under running water, the water coming out of the tap costs money. We suggest that you take the time to plan ahead and defrost your frozen fish, meats and other foods under refrigeration. It may take longer, but it will reduce your water bill each month.
Another source of wasted energy comes from malfunctioning, dirty or unmaintained refrigeration units. Make sure that your refrigerator door seals are in good repair, clean and form a tight seal when shut. Another way to increase your refrigerators’ efficiency is to make sure that all fans on the compressor are cleaned regularly, the compressor hoses are all attached tightly and the motor is functioning properly. Be on the lookout for any unexplained temperature changes in your refrigerators or freezers, this could be a sign of a problem that will cause your units to use more power to keep your food cold.
Finally, your ovens, deep fryers, gas burners and flattop cooking surfaces are huge contributors to your natural gas and electricity costs. If you take the time to inspect which appliances are turned on during your daily operations, you may find that you have multiple ovens that are never in use during certain times of the day or your deep fryers are running during times when they do not need to be used. Taking the time to assess your procedures to ensure that you are not wasting energy by leaving too many power draining appliances on will go a long way towards helping you lower your monthly utility bills.
What’s your biggest challenge in controlling your energy costs
These are just three examples of how we feel that you can reduce energy waste at your establishment. We have heard many more suggestions during our food manager certification MN sessions, but we would like to know what you have found to be your biggest challenge in controlling your energy costs. Leave your comments below.