Culver's Tackles Rising Utility Costs by Cutting Energy Use

Culver's Tackles Rising Utility Costs by Cutting Energy Use

PRO

Culver's Tackles Rising Utility Costs by Cutting Energy Use

The rising cost of utilities has hit the restaurant industry hard. For the Prairie du Sac, Wisc.-based Culver’s Restaurants, with 376 locations in 17 states, fuel is a major expense for the company and its franchisees. After seeing utility costs dramatically increase, Culver’s knew the time had come to cut its energy use.

“We started looking at how we could take a dime off here, five cents there,” says Tom Williams, director of building services for the franchise organization. After examining ways to conserve everything from water to fuel oil to electricity, the chain put its conservation efforts in place.

As a result, according to Williams, “the pennies we saved soon became dollars, and the dollars became a lot of dollars.”

When it comes to putting an energy program in place, Williams’s word of advice is to “do things that make easy sense first. Fixing a drippy faucet can save a restaurant $1,200 a year.”

“The key is to create awareness and show team members how using energy affects the bottom line of the restaurants — and ultimately, how that affects them. Once you create awareness and ask your team to make changes, they will.”

That’s what Culver’s did as they implemented simple processes such as having employees turn cooking hoods off at night, turn fryers off when not needed and stagger start times for kitchen equipment.

To cut electricity use, Culver’s put timers on inside and outside lights, replaced neon signs with LED lights, and installed compact fluorescent bulbs. The chain also switched to low-energy LED exit signs, costing $1,000 less to run than typical exit signs.

For water conservation, Culver’s recommends installing low-flow spray valves that cost $40 each. Culver’s says the new valves pay for themselves in a year and save an estimated 123,000 gallons of water a year per store.

Most recently Culver’s installed recycling centers at their family restaurants. The company is teaching guests to separate their recyclables. “Consumers like this and are actually taking time to separate what they have on their trays,” says Williams.

One Culver’s location took conservation one step further by becoming the first restaurant in the United States to heat water using leftover cooking oil. It was a challenge, company officials report. No other restaurant had attempted this before, and the restaurant had to work closely with fire marshals and health inspectors. But their work paid off. In the first month, the restaurant saved $270 on energy and fuel costs.

More

23hr

October 16, 2017 6:00 pm ·

Around our house, the first cold weekend morning of fall calls for the comforting flavors of made-from-scratch baking powder biscuits and a (…)

1d

This Autumnal Spiced Maple Cake is a fluffy and delicate dessert made with pure maple syrup, brown sugar and the flavors of fall. This (…)

2d

Maple flavoring is hotter than ever this year. These Maple Eclairs are made with a rich organic-bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup, which (…)

4d

October 13, 2017 3:13 pm ·

A spooky twist on a fall favorite, this Black Lagoon Sangria is equally tangy and sweet, thanks to raspberries, blackberries, (…)

4d

October 13, 2017 2:13 pm ·

This Halloween twist on the classic deviled egg has a little kick to it thanks to the addition of hot sauce instead of traditional mustard. (…)

4d

October 13, 2017 1:13 pm ·

Remember how exciting Halloween night was as a kid? Putting on your costume, eating sloppy joe sandwiches your mom made, and then heading (…)

4d

October 13, 2017 12:13 pm ·

Candy Corn is one of those controversial nostalgic candies with two sides fighting for the win; is candy corn good or bad?! We say good, (…)

More TFC
Home