At the upcoming RFMA 2018 Restaurant Facility Management Association annual conference, 75F will share how restaurants can manage multiple locations with a single-pane-of-glass solution for HVAC, Refrigeration, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Pressure, Humidity, Lighting and Energy Management. In addition to the machine-learning capabilities automatically optimizing performance, a restaurant manager can view real-time temperature and energy status across sites, then drill down to specific stores, zones, equipment and sensor readings for analysis and remote diagnostics. And, they can push schedule changes and other updates across sites with a single click.
The HVAC system of a restaurant maintains comfort and equipment efficiency. It affects the satisfaction of customers and employees. A dining environment that is too humid, too hot/cold or drafty can ruin the customer experience instantly. A kitchen that is too hot or smoky may lead to high turnover of your kitchen staff. An air pressure imbalance may cause unwanted odors or bursts of heat from the kitchen to waft into the dining room.
So, what is the cure? Do you need an energy management system (EMS) or an HVAC optimization in your restaurant?
Restaurateurs and franchisees will most often think of energy-efficient lightbulbs and appliances to conserve energy and save on energy costs. While LED lighting and ENERGY STAR® appliances are fantastic, they may not offer the biggest bang for your bucks. The payback on many of these items is often well over five years.
Commercial new-builds, renovations and building additions in the U.S. must comply with ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016, which achieves about 8.2% energy cost savings on average, nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). That's the minimum standard for new construction! We can do better.
Also according to DOE, U.S. commercial building owners could save an average of 38% on heating and cooling costs with energy efficient HVAC control systems. HVAC-related savings potential ranges from 22% to 56%, depending on building size, building use, regional climate and local utility costs. The country's commercial buildings need a health check!
Building pressure affects guest comfort, utility costs and equipment life. You likely have a pressurization problem in your restaurant if:
- You have experienced unwanted odors or smoke creeping from your kitchen into the dining area
- Your guests have found the doors to your restaurant difficult to open
- Doors don't seem to close all the way on their own
- Maintaining room temperatures in your building is difficult
While these may seem like minor issues, the costs of discomfort, energy loss and shorter equipment life add up.
You may have heard of Internet of Things (IoT) applications for restaurant facility management, and you may even have a current building automation solution. However, the HVAC industry is changing quickly, and new IoT solutions that can save you significant time and money are most greatly impacting restaurants and light commercial locations first.
The top trends in IoT and HVAC for restaurants are improving guest comfort, employee retention, productivity and indoor air quality while reducing the energy consumption of HVAC.