It’s an interesting time for the restaurant industry. Right now it seems despite a slight dip in the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) in January, restaurant sales are overall staying positive. On the other hand, the Los Angeles Times recently reported independent restaurants were hit hard by the recession and many are still struggling.
Importance of Foodservice Equipment
For all types of foodservice establishments, both striving and struggling, reliable equipment is a must. That being said, it needs to be made a priority to take care of equipment, train employees on proper handling and keep up with the regularly scheduled maintenance.
Even with all the maintenance and proper handling in the world, there always comes a point when reality sets in and a product just becomes too old, doesn’t run as efficiently, develops problems and needs to be replaced. But many places don’t make replacing old equipment a priority, despite being such a staple to a foodservice.
So Why Don’t Places Make Equipment a Priority?
For some it’s budget restrictions while for others it’s simply procrastination. What places don’t realize is there comes a point when procrastination can actually hurt a business. Failing equipment will have an impact on the day to day business.
“In this economy, the only reason to purchase a replacement piece of equipment is to save on energy,” said Central Product Consultant, Rick Arenstein. “And the newer units, especially fryers, they are a lot more energy efficient than older models.”
Central and Vulcan: One Powerful Team
To make the decision to purchase new equipment easier for foodservices, Central teamed up with Vulcan, one of the world’s largest commercial cooking equipment manufacturers, for an exclusive three-month promotion that began in January.
What makes this promotion so beneficial to foodservices in need of new equipment is it offers the lowest price and free shipping on all Vulcan products available at Central.
There is such a wide variety of Vulcan products available from gas ranges to convection steamers. There are even several products that are Energy Star qualified as well. And if all that wasn’t enough, all Vulcan equipment comes with free start up from Hobart sales and service.
This promotion couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as it helps those counting every penny to those with extra money in their budget. Either way, the promotion is set to expire at the end of March, so time is running out.
All Vulcan equipment on sale is on Central’s website. For those unsure of what to buy, our Product Consultants have years of foodservice experience and can do all the work. They can be reached at (800) 215-9293.
Have you recently upgraded or purchased new equipment? How has it increased productivity?
At the beginning of the year, Central was excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with one of the world’s largest commercial cooking equipment manufacturers, Vulcan, for an exclusive deal.
Through March 31, 2012, customers can take advantage of the lowest price and free shipping on all Vulcan cooking equipment at Central.
Additional to this promotion, there are other ways to save money and be environmentally friendly at the same time.
By outfitting a kitchen with ENERGY STAR qualified equipment, it could save your business 285 MBTU per year. This is the equivalent of around $2500. (MBTU stands for one million BTUs).
Several U.S. utility companies provide rebates for those who purchase energy efficient equipment too.
In ENERGY STAR’s September 2011 publication for restaurants, Putting Energy into Profit, their very first cost saving tip is to buy ENERGY STAR qualified equipment.
So as opposed to just looking at short term costs, ENERGY STAR recommends to think in terms of life-cycle costs. These life-cycle costs include the purchase price, annual energy costs and other long term costs associated with the equipment.
“High-efficiency appliances could cost more upfront, but significantly lower utility bills can make up for the price difference,” they explain.
Vulcan is a part of the ITW Food Equipment Group, who has many recognitions for their innovative products.
ITW recently received 10 of Foodservice Equipment & Supplies’ 2011 Best in Class awards.
The Best in Class awards are given to foodservice equipment and supply manufacturers who go above and beyond. FE&S describes them as “the best of the best among foodservice equipment supplies and manufacturers.”
When reviewing potential candidates for Best in Class, FE&S looks at the following seven factors: Product quality, product value, product design and aesthetics, service and support, sales representation, product inventory and availability and product information and availability.
To add to Vulcan and the ITW Food Equipment Group’s resume, in early 2011, they were awarded ENERGY STAR’s highest honor, the Sustained Excellence award. In a March 2011 press release, it’s explained this award “is given to a select group of organizations that have consistently exhibited leadership across the ENERGY STAR program.”
This was their second consecutive year winning the Sustained Excellence award and previously earned ENERGY STAR’s Partner of the Year award in 2008 and 2009.
Central has ENERGY STAR qualified Vulcan convection ovens, holding and transport cabinets, proofing and holding cabinets, griddles, fryers and steamers. By purchasing Vulcan ENERGY STAR qualified equipment, you’re guaranteed durability, reliability and savings—all while helping the environment at the same time.
Here are a few more great resources about Vulcan and ENERGY STAR. And if you’re ready to start shopping, check out all of Central’s
ENERGY STAR qualified Vulcan cooking equipment.
Looking for some of the week’s top information? Here are five stories from the foodservice industry for the first week of the new year, January 9 through January 13.
From Los Angeles Times, Read Article
One of the most popular topics discussed, posted and tweeted about this week has been the fate of the Twinkie. Maker of the Twinkie and other treats such as Donettes, Ding Dongs, Mini Muffins and Zingers, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This isn’t the first time the brand has filed, according to the LA Times, they had filed back in 2009. Read more on the LA Times website.
President Bill Clinton Announced Keynote Speaker for NRA Show
From National Restaurant Association, Read Article
This week the National Restaurant Association announced President Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker of this year’s National Restaurant Association, Hotel-Motel show. The show will be held in Chicago at McCormick Place on May 5-8, with President Clinton speaking on May 6. NRA said he will “share insights into his presidency and his current work with the William J. Clinton Foundation.” Read the full article here.
From HuffPost Food, Read Article
Every once in awhile a restaurant will put together something very interesting that’s also helpful for their customers. HuffPost recently reported on Wimpy, a South African fast food chain, is putting messages in Braille on their buns! They listed an example being “100% Pure Beef Burger Made For You.” Read more on the HuffPost website.
Indianapolis Food Trucks Gearing Up for Super Bowl
From Mobile Cuisine, Read Article
Indianapolis has been busy preparing for the Super Bowl–especially foodservice establishments. One of the pieces of the giant Super Bowl puzzle is food trucks. With many coming into the city and walking around, food trucks will play a very important role. Recently, it’s been announced there have been trucks chosen to park around Indianapolis’ Monument Circle while Super Bowl events are going on. Mobile Cuisine recently posted an article with a few quotes from participating food trucks, read more on the Mobile Cuisine website.
Central’s Latest Master Catalog to Drop Tuesday Jan. 17
From the Central Blog, Read Blog
On Tuesday Jan. 17, our latest catalog will be hitting the streets. Our catalog is 384 pages and we’ve added in over 900 new products. For this catalog, we teamed up with Vulcan, one of the world’s largest commercial cooking equipment manufacturers, for an exclusive promotion: the lowest price on products as well as free shipping. Read more on the Central blog.
Central Restaurant Products will release our latest 384 page master catalog on Tuesday Jan. 17. Click here to request your copy.
This catalog will feature over 900 new products and will also direct customers to more than 2,000 web-exclusive products.
Central has teamed up with one of the world’s largest commercial cooking equipment manufacturers, Vulcan, to provide the lowest price and free shipping on all Vulcan products available at Central. The promotion will be available through March 31, 2012.
In addition to the Vulcan promotion, Central has enhanced their shopping experience by adding QR codes and website links throughout the catalog to 30 online buying guides and over 3,000 specification (“spec”) sheets.
Spec sheets can be found upon opening a product on our website. If a spec sheet is available, there will be a “Download Spec Sheet” icon under the product’s image. Click here for an example of a product that includes a spec sheet.
Central gives customers an advantage in the foodservice industry by being their direct source for hundreds of industry-leading manufacturers. They also have their own premier line of products—the Central Exclusive, Central Edge and Value Series. These products give customers access to exclusive products, bundles and deals that can’t be found anywhere else.
Another way Central has enhanced their shopping experience is with their Combo Deals. These are products packaged together into one easy model number to give customers the comfort and knowledge they have everything they need.
With Central’s free expert consultation, customers can order with confidence. Thousands of items are available for same-day shipping and over 1,000 products ship for free. Other benefits include convenient methods of payment, free online chat for questions and concerns and a bilingual hotline to assist Spanish-speaking customers.
Central Products opened in 1981 near downtown Indianapolis and has grown to become one of the nation’s leading distributors of quality commercial restaurant equipment and supplies. Central’s knowledgeable Product Consultants with industry experience are available during convenient hours—phone lines are open for business Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. They can be reached at 800-222-5107. Shop online, request a catalog or sign up for email promotions at CentralRestaurant.com.
With everyone trying like crazy right now to cut costs and save money, it seems rather tough to justify the expense of a brand new fridge, freezer or ice machine.
There are incentives to buying used equipment…but often it ends up costing more in the long run, due to increased utility costs, down time and repair costs.
Following is information we have collected in case studies, comparing apples to apples to figure out just how much money is saved by purchasing new, energy saving equipmentv versus holding onto that old equipment.
Ice is especially important when it comes to energy efficiency because it’s used by virtually every diner; and because of the potential to drastically waste water and electricity in the kitchen.
When an ice machine is running inefficiently or becomes overheated, you’re basically paying money to pour water down the drain.
Advances in technology have allowed manufacturers to build much more efficient ice machines than they could 10 years ago. Scotsman’s Prodigy cuber was one of the first to exceed both the 2008 California Energy Commission and 2010 Federal Energy Efficiency regulations by up to 22%.
The efficiency of commercial ice machines is rated in terms of the harvest rate, or pounds of ice produced daily; the energy usage in KWh; and the water usage in gallons.
Consider a typical 10-year old cuber. The machine can cost 36% more in electricity and water than the Energy-Star rated Prodigy Cuber model# C0330SA-1A.
Assuming a utility rate of $.10, which is the national average, the Energy Star model saves up to $114 a year in energy, and as much as $90 a year in water—that’s real savings of $612 over a 3-year period!
Plus, the Prodigy cuber reduces the need for downtime and service calls with a warning system that alerts you to interruptions before they occur, and offers reminders for required maintenance like filter changes and cleanings. What if you had to pay $400 for a service call every two years? You’d also have to pay at least $100 for 25 bags of ice during downtime. That amounts to $300 a year.
Combining the cost of electric and water, you could save more than $2000 over a 10-year period (not including repairs)—that’s enough to cover the cost of your ice machine.
Plus, some utility companies offer a one-time utility rebate for qualifying Energy-Star rated ice machines. According to Energy Star’s Rebate Locator, utility companies in Illinois, Minnesota, California and Oregon currently offer rebates.
In California, where the utility rate is higher than the national average (about $.13), a customer can save up to $2500 in 10 years.
Hot Holding Cabinets
Hot food holding cabinets must meet a maximum idle energy rate of 40 watts/cubic foot. They are more efficient at maintaining food temperature while using less energy. Energy Star hot holding cabinets are better insulated to reduce heat loss, and often have additional energy saving devices like magnetic door gaskets, auto-door closures or Dutch doors.
If you compare a non-insulated cabinet, to an insulated, Energy Star cabinet, C539-HDS-4, you can save nearly $400 in utilities over the first year (assuming a $.10 utility rate). The unit pays for itself in about six years; and in 10 years, you can save nearly $4000.
In addition, the estimated energy savings generated by using an insulated Energy Star hot holding cabinet vs. a non-insulated cabinet are equivalent to the carbon consumed annually by .63 acres of pine or fir forests.
(Note: Although model# C539-HDS-4 is Energy Star rated, it is not eligible for a utility rebate because the idle energy rate -the rate of consumption while maintaining a stabilized operating condition- is higher than 20kW.)
Refrigerators and Freezers
Perhaps the most important pieces to replace with Energy Star equipment are refrigerators and freezers, because they consume more energy than any other appliances in the kitchen. Energy Star refrigerators and freezers are designed with components such as ECM (electronically commutated motor) evaporators and condenser fan motors, hot gas anti-sweat heaters, or high-efficiency compressors, which significantly reduce energy consumption and utility bills.
True Manufacturing has been making commercial refrigeration for more than 60 years, and even units that are 10 years old have stood the test of time. Nevertheless, each line of True refrigerators and freezers continue to be more efficient and more advanced than the one before it.
You can save $194 a year in utilities on the T-49 solid-door refrigerator, compared to a 10-year-old refrigerator (assuming an average utility rate of $.10.). That amounts to almost $2000 over 10 years.
Again, some utility companies will pay you a one-time rebate of $150 for buying the T-49 refrigerator.
In California, you can save $403 during the first year (based on the higher utility rate of $.13), after you include your $150 rebate. During the next nine years, you could save an estimated $253 each year, amounting to savings of about $2600 over a 10-year-period.
Compared to a 7-year-old freezer, the True 49”W Energy Star freezer T-49F, can save almost $250 a year. And many states offer a one-time rebate of $325, allowing you the potential to save nearly $600 in the first year.
Turbo Air Refrigerators
Now consider another well-known brand—Turbo Air. Refrigerator , Model# MSR-49NM also a 49”W solid-door unit, could save an estimated $175 annually, again assuming a utility rate of $.10.
California customers with a $.13 utility rate would save about $378 in the first year, after receiving a $150 rebate. Total savings over 10 years would be about $2430.
Turbo Air Freezers
The 49”W Turbo Air freezer model TSF-49SD would save about $533 in the first year, (including the $325 utility rebate), and about $208 each following year. California customers would save about $595 the first year, and about $270 each following year.
High efficiency steamers offer shorter cook times, higher production rates and reduced heat loss due to better insulation and more efficient steam delivery systems. They also use less water – often just two or three gallons per hour, compared to 25 to 30 gallons per hour for standard models.
If you compare the Cleveland SteamChef 3, to an 8-year old model, average yearly energy savings can be as much as $888! And you can save more than $1000 in annual water bills. That amounts to nearly $20,000 in potential savings over a 10-year period.
For a customer in California, paying an average utility rate of $0.13, average yearly savings could be as much as $2000.
In addition, some utility companies offer a one-time rebate of up to $750!
According to the Foodservice Technology Center, Energy Star plans to start rating ovens sometime in 2009. Although Vulcan gas convection oven model VC4GD is not rated, it does have a unique heat recovery system that recirculates heated air to save energy and reduce operating costs.
Utility savings for this unit can be as much as $365 a year, which amounts to more than $1000 over a three year period. This estimate is based on an estimated natural gas cost of $1.00 per therm, operating an average of 12 hours per day, and cooking about 100 lbs of food.
Many states also offer a one time utility rebate of up to $500.
The energy saved by this unit versus a 5-year-old standard efficiency unit results in an annual natural gas savings of 365 therms, which is the equivalent of CO2 emissions from 207 gallons of gasoline or 4.2 barrels of oil!
According to the Foodservice Technology Center, the broilers is probably the most energy-hungry appliance in your kitchen – often using more energy than six fryers.
Garland’s High Efficiency (HE) Broiler has cast iron burners, each with its own cast iron radiant. The unit also has a power switch operation and a continuous electric spark ignition ensuring a consistent main burner flame during operation.
Assuming an estimated natural gas cost of $1.00 per therm, and that the broiler is used an average of 12 hours a day, you can save as much as $1700 a year, compared to a 5-year-old standard efficiency broiler – that adds up to savings of more than $5000 over a three year period; in 10 years, you can save as much as $17,000!
Pre-rinse spray valves
All pre-rinse valves use a spray of water to remove food waste from dishes prior to cleaning in a dishwasher – a low-flow pre-rinse spray valve is one of the easiest and most cost-effective energy saving devices available to the foodservice operator.
A low-flow pre-rinse spray valve can save up to 60 gallons of water a day; .5 therms of gas per day in water heating energy and also saves 60 gallons in waste-water. The result is an average reduction in utility costs of $300-$350 a year, if you use the pre-rinse spray valve about an hour each day. This estimate is based on spray-valve savings on 1 gallon per minute; a water cost of $2.00 per unit and a gas rate of $1.00 per therm, which is the national average.