man washes dishes at a restaurant

Restaurant Water Waste – How to Conserve Water and Lower Your Bill

man washes dishes at a restaurant

Restaurant Water Waste

Water is necessary for virtually every phase of a restaurant’s operations. While there are huge disparities according to size, the average sit-down restaurant uses around 3,000-7,000 gallons of water daily. Quick-service restaurants (fast-foods) use about a third of this.

The EPA estimates that 15 percent of all commercial and industrial water supplied is used by restaurants.

Drought and climatic changes can reduce water available for use. Therefore, smart restaurant owners must not only plan for unexpected shortages but also conserve what they have. This will reduce your water bill as well as being eco-friendly.

Learn three easy ways to reduce water consumption in the following paragraphs.

#1 Sensitization

This is the simplest way to make some cost savings, and it’s completely free. Have a meeting with your employees, and discuss your consumption habits and how they can be improved. Note down the suggestions and institute a scheme to reward departments that make the biggest savings.

Simple behavioral changes that make a big difference include:

  • Loading the dishwasher properly and only washing full racks
  • Manning the dishwasher and turning off faucets between wash/rinse cycles
  • Not using running water to thaw frozen foods
  • Not using running water to wash produce – collecting in a clean container or sink allows you to scrub vegetables properly without wasting water. Once done, you can run a final rinse under running water to remove residual dirt

You can also educate patrons by placing conservation signs in the bathrooms. Suggest they turn off faucets when lathering hands and use a half-flush for short calls and full-flushes for long calls.

#2 Change Faucets

Old kitchen faucets run as much as 5-7 gallons per minute, wasting large amounts of water daily. You can benefit from investing in new water-saving equipment such as installing:

  • Aerators to help reduce water flow by half without impacting pressure
  • Low-flow pre-rinse spray valves that can cut supply to 1 gallon per minute or less. This also reduces your energy bills as less water
  • Motion-sensor taps that turn off water in case the tap is forgotten running
  • Regulated taps in restrooms which cut off supply after a few seconds – the amount of time a patron should take to wash their hands

According to the EPA, you can save water usage by 15 percent, energy usage by 10 percent and total operating costs by around 11 percent.

Use Water-Efficient Appliances

Buying ENERGY STAR® rated appliances is perhaps the most expensive step in reducing water and energy consumption. The EPA does provide energy-efficiency financing to offset the high initial investment.

You can do this in phases depending on your income. Appliances that can be changed include freezers, dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, coolers, and ice machines.

As a last note, invest in air-cooled rather than water-cooled ice machines, which can reduce up to 100,000 gallons per year for 500 lb. of ice daily.

Final Thoughts

Conserving resources for your restaurant involves a concerted effort throughout the establishment that includes electricity, fuel and water conservations. GWT2Energy can help you create a customized plan for your restaurant through supply-side solutions like reporting, forecasting, and contract negotiations.

If you have any questions about reducing your restaurant’s water waste or utilties, please feel free to contact us.

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