Ice machines can be the most water-wasteful machines that you have in your restaurant, more than patrons or dishwashers. Ice machines use water for more than just making ice. In a perfect world, it takes 12 gallons to make a fraction more than 100 pounds of ice. In the real world, it takes between 18 and 200 gallons of water to make 100 pounds of ice.

Make Model Gallons of Water Energy Star

Ice-O-Matic Ice 0250A 35.8 No

Scotsman C0330MA-1 18 Yes

KoolAire KD-0250A 22 No

Manitowoc ID-452A 20 Yes

With the emphasis on energy and water efficiency, machines that earn the Energy Star designation are ones which come close to the 12 gallon mark.

How do ice machines use extra water?

Rinse cycles

Most ice machines have a rinse cycle to remove loose deposits. Most water has some mineral content in it even when it is filtered. Over time, the mineral content settles into the equipment and causes problems until it is rinsed out with ice machine cleaner or when the ice machine parts are scrubbed clean by hand.

Clear ice and specialty ices

The ice that comes out of a normal freezer is opaque, but many of the cubes you find in restaurants are clear. The reason is that you can get a clear cube by partially thawing and refreezing ice in cycles. This removes the air bubbles that cause the ice to look cloudy. To do this requires extra water to thaw the cubes out.

The softness of nugget ice in particular makes it easier to chew, but the process uses more water to create each individual cube. This type of ice is used in hospital settings where it’s crucial that the patients do not choke on their ice.

Cooling

There are two types of ice machines: water cooled and air cooled. The water cooled systems have a separate water line that is different from the one used to make the ice. The air-cooled systems are usually somewhat larger than the water-cooled systems, as the air cooled systems rely on outside air to cool the condensers.

Water-cooled ice machines are better for the hotter climates where the ambient air temperature ranges above 80 degrees F on a continuous basis. They also might be more ideal in situations where there is a lot of grease and soot in the air, as the air cooled system relies on taking in outside air. Water-cooled machines save a little energy, but the water usage usually makes the energy savings moot.

Water cooled systems, whether they’re ice machines, refrigerators, or otherwise, are usually once-through water systems. This means that once water is used to cool the equipment, it is then flushed down the drain. Some newer refrigeration systems use a closed-loop system which recycles the water on a continuous loop, but these are not as cost effective as air-cooled units.

The best thing that you can do for water efficiency on your ice machine is to use an Energy Star certified air-cooled machine. These machines have been certified to use less water in their systems while simultaneously staying efficient with their water usage standards.

Mark is from IceMachinesPlus.com with over 10 years of experience in the restaurant and bar industry. With an extensive background in restaurant industry and entertaining writing style Mark is focused on providing quality information and advice to contractors and purchasing managers about the best practices on choosing the right type of ice machine for your client.

 

 

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What makes a restaurant sustainable, and why does it matter?

Let’s address the second question first. With its emphasis on super-efficient operations, sustainability brings obvious financial advantages to virtually any business, which is why is has become a core consideration for successful businesses worldwide. In the commercial sector, restaurants are amongst the heaviest users of both energy and water, so they stand to gain even more than the average business from implementing sustainability measures. In addition, market research indicates that consumer interest in sustainable food production is on the rise, which makes the case for restaurant sustainability even more compelling from a purely economic point of view.

Profits aside, their public profile and popularity enables restaurants to easily assume a leadership role in promoting sustainable practices. They can also positively impact the local and global economy and environment through sustainable sourcing and operations choices.

To answer the first question, let’s take a look at seven of the hottest trends in restaurant sustainability, and how some of the most sustainable eating establishments across the country are implementing them.

  1. Local food sourcing. Seattle restaurateur Maria Hines is passionate about supporting the local organic farming community. Ninety-five percent of the food she serves in her three restaurants — Tilth, Golden Beetle and Agrodolce — is organically grown and local. She even lists links to the farms on her website.
  2. On-site growing. Recently designated the “Greenest Restaurant in America” by the Green Restaurant Association, Chicago’s Uncommon Ground restaurant features a 2,500-square-foot urban farm on its rooftop. The produce they grow on-site is supplemented with food sourced from local farms. “Our mission is to stand as a working model for other restaurants, businesses and home owners,” says owner Helen Cameron, “to show what is possible within an urban environment.”
  3. Sustainability education. Clayton Chapman, proprietor of The Grey Plume in Omaha, Nebraska, is leveraging the interest in local food production his restaurant has generated to work with a neighborhood development project to initiate a sustainable garden. “There are a lot of young families and multiple-children families in the neighborhood, so it’s a great learning tool,” he says.
  4. Sustainable seafood. While seafood is a healthy and delicious choice, the decline of global food fish populations is a subject of great concern. Portland’s Bamboo Sushi proves that with careful sourcing, seafood connoisseurs can have their fish and eat it, too. They do their homework to ensure that all thefish they serve comes from populations that are plentiful and in good health, and that the fish are caught in an environmentally ethical manner.
  5. Renewable energy. Green Sage Café in Asheville, North Carolina utilizes solar thermal panels for water heating, as well as photovoltaics to power their lighting. They have also implemented a large number of energy-efficiency measures to get the most out of their renewable energy systems. Wind is another renewable energy solution that restaurant owners can take advantage of where space permits. Root Down Denver is a restaurant powered exclusively by the wind, and also features recycled and reclaimed interior décor and rooftop and patio gardens.
  6. Recycling and food waste composting. For Spike Gjerde, chef proprietor of Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, waste management is a top priority. In addition to recycling all plastic, glass, metal and paper waste, his insistence on recycling all food scraps makes his restaurant a zero-waste facility. Gjerde contracts with a food waste hauler to take all kitchen and table scraps to a local farm for composting. Even the oyster shells are saved and returned to Chesapeake Bay as part of a native oyster regeneration program.
  7. Water conservation. Minneapolis supper club The Red Stag is the first LEED-CI registered restaurant in Minnesota. In addition to many energy efficiency measures, they have implemented a computer-controlled monitoring system that has helped them reduce their water consumption by 70 percent.

It’s important to note that each of these restaurants has made an effort to embrace a holistic approach to sustainability. Instead of implementing just one sustainable practice (like local food sourcing), they are going all-out to green up all aspects of their business. In the process, they are enjoying incredible customer loyalty, not to mention lots of publicity. Kudos to them, and to the other restaurants across the country that are doing their part to be environmentally responsible!

 

About the author:

Ezra Adler is the Ecommerce Marketing Director for Culinary Depot Inc., located in Monsey, NY. An online retailer for restaurant equipment, Culinary Depot has a large selection commercial equipment and kitchen supplies.

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Waste Free Restaurant

Author: Paul

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Chipotle has followed up their Back to the Start video featuring Willie Nelson with a new animated video The new video has a theme similar to the first video – using a creative and beautiful animation to show a critical view of large, industrial meat production.  This time they used a Fiona Apple’s version of Pure Imagination  from the original Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Oddly, the video was made to promote a new smartphone game…by defeating “the evil plans of Crow Foods.”  Well said!

 

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After many years of work, Energy Star with support from the Food Service Technology Center, the NRA and the Restaurant Facility Managers Associations are developing a criteria so restaurant can be certified as Energy Star buildings. Up until this point, restaurants have been kept off the labeling potential of Energy Star because of the variability in energy use among the buildings, and the variability of the types of restaurants.

However, in order to develop the certification program, they need your data. They are currently conducting the 2013 Food Service Energy and Water Survey to collect energy consumption data of restaurants across the country to help develop the performance score for the label. The purpose of the energy and water use data collection is to develop an Energy Star building energy performance score that will allow restaurants to compare their energy consumption to the national, industry-wide average and also to other stores within their brand. Eligible survey participants include full-service restaurants, limited-service restaurants, coffee or beverage shops, educational, military, corporate, or hospital cafeterias, and other formats. So get out your electric, natural, propane (and water) bills together and enter them into the survey to help develop the new Energy Star labeling program.

The first 40 restaurants to complete the survey and supply their energy use information will at least receive $20 Starbucks gift cards, and $450, $250, $150, and $50 gift card to randomly selected participants as well.

The survey runs from Wednesday, September 4th through Friday, November 1st and once the data is collected, the EPA will be able to develop a rating system from 1-100 and any restaurant scoring in the top 25% of their peer group can earn the Energy Star for their restaurant.

Visit the RFMA page for more information and to fill out the survey.

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