In this award-winning column, Foodservice Equipment & Supplies looks at best practices, case studies and more on how to take the best ideas in green building and operations and apply it to your foodservice operation.
In our August issue, FE&S published "Comprehensive Commercial Kitchen Equipment Retrofit," the first article in a series about the cookline project taking place at Werewolf Bar & Grill in San Diego and at other foodservice operations on the West Coast. Earlier this year, the PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) in San Ramon, Calif., teamed up with SoCalGas and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) for a grant project awarded by the California Energy Commission to study kitchen system optimization in commercial foodservice and the use of high-efficiency commercial cooking equipment in various foodservice operations.
Rebates for energy-saving commercial foodservice equipment can be an incredible resource. This becomes especially relevant when the cost of this equipment teeters on the high range and operators continue to look for ways to prove ROI. Offered by the EPA’s Energy Star program as well as utility companies around the country, rebates can save foodservice operators up to thousands of dollars on equipment. For some operators, a $500 rebate can mean the difference between buying or not buying a specific piece of foodservice equipment.
The kitchen of the future has long been a topic of discussion for David Zabrowski of PG&E’s Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) and Don Fisher of Fisher Consulting. This modern day cookline, they say, would feature all energy- and water-saving appliances as well as optimal design, enhanced operator education and maintenance that could get us closer to the unthinkable in our industry: net zero energy.
For this special Green Tip article, FE&S caught up with five champions of sustainability to hear their thoughts on the state and future of green in the foodservice industry.
As sustainability becomes more mainstream for businesses of all types, the many ways to "go green" can overwhelm foodservice operators in all segments.
After several chains embraced the LEED for Retail pilot program prior to its launch in 2009, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) introduced a series of volume programs designed to make it easier for companies wanting to create LEED prototypes and duplicate those efforts on a larger scale.
Warewashers — they’re the workhorses of the back of the house. They clean. They sanitize. And now they can even help lower energy consumption. Sure, you can specify a qualified energy-efficient model and call it a day, but more often than not, user error and maintenance neglects will cut into your energy- and water-saving potential over the long haul. So we asked Amin Delagah, project engineer and resident water guru for the Food Service Technology Center in San Ramon, Calif., to review some of the best practices for optimal performance and maintenance to maximize both energy and water for four main dishwasher types.
It’s human nature to want to compartmentalize into clear categories: black and white, yes and no, energy efficient or energy draining. Unfortunately, kitchens and restaurant operations are more complex than that, and while it’s easy to want to simply follow labels or certain messaging, finding the most truly efficient, waste-saving or sustainable path requires some extra research and due diligence to determine what’s truly green, not just on the surface.
Want to know whether a piece of foodservice equipment can back up the manufacturer’s claims of being both energy efficient and high performance? Make one simple request: show me the data.