The ENTOUCH Blog

06. 4. 2014

How Energy Management Is Helping Restaurant Owners Increase Margins in the Face of Minimum Wage Hikes

Restaurants are one of the leading minimum wage employers – and owners are looking at some hefty increases that will dramatically impact their bottom line in coming years.

Yet, those costs can be offset by a reduction in the number one non-payroll expense which is energy by implementing a cost effective energy management system (EMS).

minimum+wage+16x9There has been a barrage of announcements in recent months about pending legislation to increase the minimum wage and how those potential increases will dramatically impact restaurant owners’ profitability. Seattle recently approved a $15 per hour minimum wage (the highest in the country) and the state of California recently passed a bill to push its minimum wage to $13 an hour. The current federal minimum wage still stands at $7.25 per hour, but the President is committed to seeing the minimum wage increase to $10.10 per hour in 2015.



This means restaurants owners will be scrambling in the coming months as these increases begin to take effect, reevaluating their moneybudgets to find the funds to offset the increase associated with pending legislation and forcing owners to consider raising their prices to offset the risk associated with those pending changes.



Outspoken CKE Restaurant’s CEO Andy Puzder says pressure on the business model of his franchisees is causing them to slow their expansion or to actually close locations due to the pressure from minimum wage hikes.



One proven solution to offset the increase in the minimum wage is to proactively take steps to reduce energy costs using energy management systems. That’s because reducing energy costs has a dramatic impact on bottom line profits. According to Energy Star a 20% reduction in energy costs equals a 33% increase in profits.



Restaurants who are one of the biggest energy consumers in the commercial industry – consume about 2.5 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings according to Energy Star.



Energy Management Saves the Day and the Planet
Cloud-based energy management systems (EMS) are making energy management easier than ever for restaurant owners. With an easy-to-use, web-based EnTouch Controls energy management system in place, our restaurant customers have conservatively saved between 15% and 20% on their energy costs which means an increase in profitability of their restaurant. The savings increase with the EnTouch 360º Professional Energy Management Services which tracks energy management systems 24/7 and can help alleviate costly repairs by tracking energy consumption and identifying problem areas in energy critical equipment in the facility.
Energy management not only puts restaurant owners and facility managers back in control of their distributed portfolio, it also frees up some extra profit margin for the turbulent times ahead.



The EnTouch Energy Management System consists of HVAC controls, energy monitoring systems, lighting control systems and refrigeration monitoring systems to provide a robust building management system that is cost effective for small, quick serve restaurants yet powerful and scalable for large commercial facilities’ energy management needs.


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