Nowadays, restaurants are among the business which is more vulnerable to poor water access and high utility costs. According to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency, in the US alone, foodservice and hospital industries account for about 15 percent of the total water consumption in institutional and commercial facilities in the country.
Naturally, the kitchen is where most water usage takes place. In a restaurant where water is mostly used for food preparation, cleaning, and operation of various types of equipment water usage remain high.
The usage of water in the kitchen will end up determining the restaurant’s operating costs, environmental impacts, and even the image of a brand.
It is, therefore, crucial to ensure that you save as much water as possible in a restaurant kitchen. Below are five ways in which restaurants can conserve water and reduce the effect of water shortages on operating costs.
1. Using Pre Rinse Spray Nozzles with a Low Flow
This is probably one of the cheapest and easiest water conserving upgrades and also very useful. Most restaurants tend to pre-rinse dishes and utensils before placing them in a dishwasher, and they use older models of pre-rinse spray valves which are very inefficient when it comes to water conservation.
Conserving water in this phase will also help to reduce energy costs as these sprayers tend to use hot water. Also, the valves in these types of nozzles are very easy to install and only require you to unscrew the old valve and screw the new one in.
2. Installing Low-Flow Aerators
A good amount of hand washing is done in restaurants and any business that does food servicing. Therefore, purchasing low-flow aerators and installing them at hand washing locations can be a simple and effective way of conserving water in a restaurant.
Installing these devices in the kitchen is excellent, but you can also install them in other areas such as bathrooms and public toilets.
3. Finding and Repairing any Leaky Faucets
Faucets that drip slightly can be easy to ignore, and the water that they end up wasting after some duration can be overwhelming.
The Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) has a water leak cost calculator incorporates energy and water usage to correctly determine the annual expenditure that can occur from a dripping faucet.
Purchasing and installing a new gasket will help to ensure that water is conserved correctly thus saving you tons of money.
4. Upgrading Dishwashers
In every restaurant, it is a well-known fact that dishwashers are the primary water and energy consumers. However, most people are not aware of how the new Energy Star rated machines are efficient when it comes to water conservation.
In fact, they probably use about half the water that the older models use. In some cases, you can even buy these Energy Star rated machines and pay in installments, and the savings that they help you generate from water and energy conservation can also end up paying for the device itself in 2 years’ time.
5. Get Rid of Boilers
Steam cookers that are based on boilers and a combination of conventional steamer ovens are known for their excessive water usage, and they are capable of taking up as much as 40 gallons of water every hour whether they are in use or not.
Steamers are probably the most useful kitchen appliances when it comes to water and energy conservation, and they also provide excellent heat transfer.
Close system steamers will re-use the water supply stored in them thereby re-using any moisture that would probably end up venting into the air or going down the drain.