Shari’s Café & Pies uses EPA ENERGY STAR resources and specifies ENERGY STAR certified commercial food service equipment to save energy and money while helping protect the environment.
Shari’s Café & Pies, a full-service restaurant chain based in the Pacific Northwest, has developed and implemented energy and resource management strategies to reduce the company’s energy consumption. One element of the strategy was to develop Shari’s Water Energy Efficiency Program (S.W.E.E.P) which includes initiatives such as working with vendors to share our energy management plan and to ensure all replacement equipment is ENERGY STAR certified. We have also created a holistic sustainability program that balances sound business management with Shari’s responsibilities as a corporate citizen. One part of the sustainability program is to ensure that energy, water, waste, and food efficiency are taken into consideration in all aspects of business planning and operations.
Because utility costs are our third highest operating cost, following food and labor, pursuing energy efficiency was the clear choice to better position our company during challenging economic times. We made strides to improve efficiencies without altering the customers dining experience, which was important to us. In addition to specifying ENERGY STAR certified equipment, we conducted energy audits, made energy training mandatory, adopted March as Energy Awareness month, and reduced waste by 340,200 pounds or 1,512 yards.
Shari’s considers energy and water efficiency when evaluating the purchase of new equipment and the repair of existing equipment, and has chosen to replace existing equipment with ENERGY STAR options, where possible. Since 2010, Shari’s has received over $300,000 in rebates and incentives by purchasing ENERGY STAR appliances. Some of the ENERGY STAR certified equipment Shari’s specifies includes: commercial ice makers, dish machines, fryers, griddles, refrigerators and freezers, convection ovens, and water heaters. Shari’s required that our plumbers stocked ENERGY STAR and other high efficiency water heaters, so Shari’s has immediate access to them in case of failure.
To lessen our carbon footprint and increase employee accountability, we incorporate energy, water, and waste management training for all new hires through Shari’s University and cover key efficiency topics in monthly safety meetings at each restaurant. Furthermore, we publish an Energy Performance Report to compare restaurants by district and produce a newsletter spotlighting locations that exceed energy reduction expectations.
For ideas on how to control costs and reduce our impact on the environment, we used the following ENERGY STAR resources: ENERGY STAR Guide for Restaurants, Commercial Kitchen Equipment Savings Calculator, and the ENERGY STAR Lighting Options for Restaurants & Commercial Kitchens. Since 2008 we have seen significant savings as a result of our energy- and water-efficiency programs including, electricity usage down 6 percent, gas usage down 11 percent, and water usage down 18 percent for a total avoided cost of $650,000. Our staff has embraced these energy saving efforts, and with executive management support from day one, we have been able to improve the communities we live in.
For more information on Shari’s Café & Pies’ energy and resource management initiatives, visit: www.sharis.com.
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