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7 Reasons Why Restaurants Seek Smart Building Automation Solutions

May 30, 2017 8:09:43 PM

Restaurants consume nearly three times the energy of the average commercial building per square foot, according to Sustainable Foodservice1. Building heating and cooling is often the single largest energy consumer in restaurants, accounting for 40% or more of your energy costs. It's likely your restaurant's HVAC system is using an excessive amount of energy, adding up to needless energy waste.

Restaurant owners and facilities managers are growing tired of Band-Aid, quick fixes that cost time and money to manage on clunky, outdated Energy Management Systems (EMS).

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Why Restaurateurs Are Seeking Smart Building Solutions

Reason #1: The current Energy Management System proves difficult to manage and costly to repair (think: truck rolls + labor hours).

User interfaces are not friendly, air flow is still not optimal and your EMS isn't predictive. On top of that, you are wasting time troubleshooting, equipment is wearing out sooner than it should and your energy usage isn't under control. It's left up to you to determine energy usage patterns and then correlate solutions across a portfolio.

As a result, technicians are managing your EMS more than it is managing itself. These are unacceptable inefficiencies given the control and savings a self-learning, proactive system can give you today. 

Reason #2: Employees and customers are complaining about temperature imbalances in the restaurant. 

Facility managers are forced to be reactive to EMS issues because the EMS isn't predictive and doesn't function proactively. This presents serious issues, especially if you have several locations to manage, or if you're relying on systems that only monitor issues rather than a system that proactively rebalances airflow and stays ahead of temperature drifts.

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Reason #3: The current Energy Management System is too complex.

Most EMS solutions involve a number of moving pieces and require local managers to undergo significant training time just to understand when and how to adjust the temperature.

Restaurateurs and facility managers are looking for smart solutions that know how to adjust temperature, humidity and airflow based on a building's geographic orientation, time of day, local weather, indoor air quality and peak restaurant traffic times. It comes down to keeping customers and employees happy and comfortable at all times.

Reason #4: Energy costs, equipment failures and replacement costs are impacting the bottom line.

Energy efficiency is a major contributor to the sustainability of your business, the life of your HVAC equipment and a healthy local environment. A smart solution for your HVAC system will result in significant energy use reductions, increased equipment life, fewer maintenance issues and the possibility of requiring smaller roof-top units (RTUs) by means of right-sizing the units, which could save you thousands of dollars up front.

Reason #5: Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing solutions are creating true restaurant intelligence. 

Smart building solutions enable restaurant automation, insight into equipment performance and improved energy efficiency. With restaurant automation, it's possible to track and factor in your building's temperature, humidity, pressure, air quality, thermal envelope and forecast weather to enable your system to make proactive, smart decisions that improve comfort and productivity.

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Reason #6: Remote monitoring of hundreds of buildings at once allows facility managers to see into the status and performance of HVAC systems from anywhere in the world.

Thanks to IoT, you are able to pinpoint airflow issues, change temperature preferences, adjust heating and cooling schedules, and verify optimal performance of your system remotely. No need for complicated Excel spreadsheets, and no need to rely on local managers to make adjustments.

The smart HVAC system proactively adjusts itself throughout each day and night. You are in control and can automate just about anything, greatly reducing internal travel expenses, number of truck rolls and time wasted diagnosing issues that are currently hurting your bottom line.

You can actually see how much energy you are saving and how well your system is performing in real time!

Reason #7: A pressurization issue in a restaurant affects employees' and customers' experiences in the restaurant.

Pressurization issues can sap worker morale, cause guest discomfort, create energy inefficiencies and cause unwanted odors or smoke to enter the dining room. There is a smart solution for all of that!

Controlling the outside air dampers on the roof-top units combined with reliable indoor and outdoor air sensors makes traditional RTU economizers obsolete. Smarter sensors linked to your RTUs through the Internet of Things can calculate thermodynamic properties like humidity, enthalpy and air density to enable your system to make smarter, more efficient decisions that increase savings while keeping your customers and staff much happier.

Time is money. It pays to be smart!

Discover more about the Trends in Energy Management Systems and the Impact of Cloud Computing on restaurants.

What are the key benefits of smart building solutions?

  • Less maintenance and installation costs = Outstanding ROI
  • Less time troubleshooting HVAC issues means more time for your business
  • Predictive and proactive HVAC system
  • Dynamic airflow balancing, outside air optimization and lighting controls
  • Guests and employees who are happier, more comfortable and more productive

DISCOVER SMART SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR RESTAURANT

Sources:

1. "Energy Conservation," SustainableFoodservice.com, accessed May 26, 2017, http://www.sustainablefoodservice.com/cat/energy-efficiency.htm

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