Commercial catering is a business sector where the benefits of improvement far outweigh the costs. Together, we are responsible for producing over 48 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and we could, using available technology, reduce energy consumption within the United Kingdom by more than 30%.
Clearly commercial kitchens are a major consumer of energy and typically supplied with inefficient, energy sapping products. Simply by specifying more efficient equipment and keeping it well maintained as well as implementing some simple operational measures, substantial energy reductions can be achieved.
Fox Catering choose only to supply what we believe to be well manufactured, efficient and affordable equipment supplied from recognised manufacturers. We also offer check lists and recommendations to help our customers reduce their running costs.
For example, did you know?
- A split door seal on a fridge uses up to 11% more energy through lost temperature
- A split door seal on an oven can lose 20% of the oven’s heat
- A heating element thick with scale uses up to 50% more energy to reach temperature
- The incorrect gas/air mixture on a burner can waste 20% of the gas through non-combustion
- A blocked freezer condenser or iced up evaporator will use 25% more energy for the same cold air output
In most commercial kitchens it is possible to make immediate savings by using the equipment as efficiently as possible. No financial investment is needed; for example, a check on how the catering equipment is being used may reveal areas where equipment can be turned off when it is not needed, or where usage can be reduced without affecting the level of service to customers.
Fox Catering energy checklist:
- Inform kitchen staff of heat-up times for cooking equipment – less than ten minutes for many hobs, grills and convection ovens, 15-20 minutes for heavier equipment; discourage staff from using hobs or ovens for space heating
- Use pans that have the proper base size for hobs
- Keep lids on pans
- Ensure that simmer controls are used where possible
- Minimise hot storage of cooked food
- Locating your fridge in a cooler part of the kitchen, away from the hot cooking equipment, will mean it does not have to work so hard
- Make sure your fridge has plenty of ventilation and make sure staff don’t block it, for example, by storing trays beside the cabinet’s ventilation panels
- Do not overload your fridge as energy will be wasted
- Make sure the shelves in your fridge are properly spaced out and, if you’re storing boxes, make sure they don’t block the airflowfit (a plastic strip curtain to keep the cold in)
- Ensure extractor hood grease filters are cleaned properly and regularly and do not leave gas burners on to clear them
- Regularly check gaskets and check good seal – 11% efficiency can be lost through poor sealing
- Ensure you regularly clean the condenser coil to improve air flow
- Have all equipment serviced by a reputable company twice a year and don’t skimp on replacing worn parts