How Can You Improve Restaurant Performance and Reduce Expenses? - By Peter Zafiro

The last few years the tough economic environment for many restaurant owners led to significant cutbacks and reduced services. Carrie and Larry Davids, owner/operators of the Culver's Addison, IL restaurant were not immune to the recessions' economic impact.

Crockett Technologies They decided to do something about their bottom line performance while at the same time increasing customer satisfaction and comfort. Working with the environmental experts at Crockett Technologies out of Madison, WI, they installed an Eco5 facility energy management system at their Lake Street location in January 2010. After a full year of operation the results are in.

"One of the biggest benefits has been the consistent temperature control the system has provided. Our customers have a comfortable and consistent dining area to enjoy their meal or snack. The system has introduced an out of sight, out of mind worry free environment," stated Larry, "Previous to the system coming on line we would go through periods where the thermostat settings would be adjusted on a frequent basis. And while we thought we were doing the right thing at that moment in time, we were essentially introducing change to the dining area environment."

The system has been operational for all of the calendar year 2010 and in that time period has provided another huge benefit. "We never thought that the system would literally not only pay for itself but actually reduce our electric and natural gas bills significantly. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of savings. The system reduced our energy consumption over 30,000 kwHrs, as verified by ComEd's own calculations. We saw a similar natural gas therms reduction. The system really made a difference to our bottom line in 2010."

In a time where electric and natural gas resources are becoming scarce, the facility management system insures that the restaurant operation runs efficiently and uses minimal energy resources. In fact many utilities now provide rebates to incentivize the use of energy management systems. Check with your local utility provider for specific rebate programs.

"A great Eco5 System feature is the ease of scheduling through my dedicated web portal. I can make adjustments to the system for daily or weekly heating, cooling and lighting scheduling, for instance when there is a holiday or when we host special events. It is easy to review my facility operations, even when I'm at home. The alarming features for the walk-in cooler and freezer doors have allowed me to keep tabs on any unusual events and bring peace of mind when I am not at the restaurant." Larry loves the fact that this system has allowed him to provide a better customer experience. "It doesn't hurt that in the process we are helping the earth's environment. I guess the phrase 'carbon footprint reduction' gets used a lot, but with this system, that is indeed what we have done."

When you are in the area, stop in and check it out. You will probably not notice the system operating. That is the intention of the Eco5 System as it works in the back-ground to provide efficient energy consumption and a better customer experience. Go to www.managefacility.com for more info.

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