You can’t run your restaurant without water. You use it to cook meals; clean dishes, floors and equipment. You serve it to thirsty customers and wash hands — many times over.
But the cost of water is rising quickly, and that’s taking a bite out of restaurants’ operating budgets.
By taking a few minutes to implement three simple water-saving steps, you can save $300 a year. You’d need to sell $6,000 of product to make $300 — assuming you operate on a 5% profit margin — so saving yourself some time and money through water efficiency is a big win. Here are the three tips to follow:
- Serve water upon request: It takes three glasses of water to serve a guest just one glass. This, of course, includes figuring in the ice and washing of the glassware. Keep in mind that guests often don’t want water, so stop wasting it with this simple step. See Conserve’s video with chef Gale Gand here.
- Refresh aerators in hand sinks: Employees and guests wash their hands dozens of times each day. Save water by purchasing and installing a high efficiency, 2.2 gallon per minute aerator. These usually cost a few dollars each and take a minute to install. Just unscrew the old one and put in the new one. Doing this can reduce your hot water use in each hand sink by 60% and, with as little as 15 minutes of use per day, could save 9,000 gallons of hot water per year. See our best practice video here.
- Install the best pre-rinse spray valves: Have an old, dripping dish sprayer in your dish room? For about $70, you can buy a 1.15 gallon per minute, high-efficiency pre-rinse spray valve and start saving $300 a year. These valves are designed to shoot out pressurized water that cleans just as well as the water-intensive old ones. Find a list of approved equipment from the Food Service Technology Center and a calculator to figure out cost savings. Also, watch our Conserve video about pre-rinse spray valves here.
Small changes can make a big impact on your bottom line, save water and also appeal to your employees. Restaurants that don’t take advantage of these easy ways to save likely will feel the pinch in their wallets as the cost of water continues to rise.
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