Energy Savings Lessons from Arby’s

By Julia Burnett


How to save energy is a topic on everyone’s mind, especially here in California. As we’ve discussed previously, California is in the midst of a devastating drought, and companies are looking for creative ways to efficiently save energy and money, while still appealing to customers. One of the companies taking creative steps is Arby’s.

Efficiency Matters

Arby’s strategy is outlined thoroughly in Nicole Troxell’s article. It all started three years ago when the chair started its “Efficiency Matters” program. The general goals of this program are to use more eco-friendly equipment, which “achieve short-term, low-cost, no-cost objectives, then slowly turn those wins into larger investments,” said Frank Inoa, senior director, operations engineering, Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc.

All of Arby’s strategies had “zero negative impact” on patrons. These strategies included the introduction of a more effective on-off schedule, aerators in hand sinks, and adjustments to temperature in its hot water heaters. Most of these adjustments were out of sight.

“Most companies target a 2-year simple payback and for the most part that is Arby’s target as well. However, we take several considerations, from operational benefits, to safety, guest experience and curb appeal. Taking all these elements into consideration makes a much better business case than just ROI,” Inoa added.

Long-Term Effects

Arby’s has a huge presence in the state, with approximately 80 locations. The effect of these measures can be crucial in the coming months in light of California’s state-wide restrictions and regulations on water usage.

A lot of companies, however, do not replace old equipment with new energy efficient equipment, as the actual immediate savings are indeterminate. However, some companies, like Arby’s are making strides in the right direction.

The Takeaway

Conservation doesn’t have to mean added expenses. With models like Arby’s, restaurants can participate in energy without costly repercussions.

Oversight and awareness is critical for any energy saving policy. If conservation is a corporate responsibility, it’s the responsibility of corporations to know what’s happening at their locations on a daily basis. Eliminate the guesswork by encouraging employees to report issues in real time. An effective system will improve communication between store-level operations and executive oversight.

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