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National Restaurant Association - 'Pop quiz' reveals how restaurants can improve energy efficiency, save money

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'Pop quiz' reveals how restaurants can improve energy efficiency, save money

NRA Show attendees who packed an education session on the National Restaurant Association's new green guidance program were surprised with a pop quiz on the ways restaurants routinely waste money.

Richard Young and Don Fisher of California’s Food Service Technology Center led the audience through a series of questions about maintenance practices, energy efficiency, and water conservation.

For example, they asked operators how many times they paid for a drop of hot water. The correct answer, as revealed by Young: three times. A restaurant shells out money for the water and the fuel to heat it, then pays a third time for sewer service.

Allowing that water to be wasted through leaks or faucet drips can be a significant drain on profits, the pair stressed. Fisher cited the example of a fine-dining restaurant that had a leak at its pasta station. The maintenance shortcoming cost the place $10,000 in a year, he said.

After leading the audience through a series of questions, Young and Fisher walked the attendees through the NRA’s new Conserve on-line resource for restaurateurs who want to “green” their operations.

The site allows operators to zero in on specific areas of their operation where they could save money through water or energy conservation. Short videos show the visitors how they can realize those savings.

Operators can track what steps they’ve taken, and they can allow that information to be viewed by consumers, who can use the site as a means of finding restaurants in their area.

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