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Storefront view of Boston Pizza restaurant and sports bar in Peterborough

Boston Pizza Franchisee Gains Competitive Edge Through Demand Control Ventilation

Founded in 1964, Boston Pizza has steadily grown to be one of the top casual dining brands in Canada. Cory Luedtke, owner and operator of four Boston Pizza franchises, understands the highly competitive nature of the fast casual restaurant business. “It’s fierce,” said Luedtke, “Especially here. Everyone wants to be in the Ontario Market, so we have to keep looking for every advantage we get, including ways to reduce operating costs.”
 
BACKGROUND
Based on the recommendation from other Boston Pizza franchisees, Mr. Luedtke decided to investigate a new ventilation system for his Peterborough restaurant location. “They told me about how they achieved a significant reduction in their energy costs with their demand control ventilation systems,” said Luedtke.

Recently, with the help of financial incentives available through the Save on Energy Retrofit Program, Mr. Luedtke installed a new, energy efficient demand control ventilation (DCV) system in the kitchen that would allow him to lower costs and stand apart from the competition. “From a business and environmental perspective, it made a lot of sense,” said Luedtke, “The incentive offered through the Retrofit Program was definitely important in my decision to install it in the restaurant.”

Kitchen ventilation systems are used to exhaust smoke, gases and heat generated from stoves and food preparation. These systems not only consume energy themselves, they also add to the energy used to heat and cool the restaurant, typically making them the single largest user of energy in commercial kitchens. Additionally, poorly balanced kitchen ventilation may allow smoke and heat to contaminate the cooking area, leading to employee discomfort and higher cooling bills.

DEMAND CONTROL VENTILATION SYSTEM
Mr. Luedtke installed an energy saving DCV system that monitors cooking to match ventilation needs, reducing excess energy use. Using both optical and temperature sensors, the system measures the smoke, steam and temperature in a kitchen hood, adjusting the fan speed accordingly to slow down both exhaust and makeup air. The system decreases fan speeds when there is little or no cooking going on and increases them when the kitchen is busy.

With the support of his local hydro company, Peterborough Utilities Services Inc., Mr. Luedtke received a $3,712 incentive through the Save on Energy Retrofit Program to integrate the new system in his restaurant. “There are many advantages to the DCV system. Not only am I saving on energy costs and helping the environment, the system is a lot quieter and is better for our employees,” said Luedtke, “We have saved thousands of dollars since we installed demand control ventilation in this restaurant. And that’s great, any place we can find to reduce our costs and gain an edge over our competition is fantastic”.
 
RESULTS
The DCV system has reduced the restaurant’s annual energy consumption by roughly 27,000 kWh a year, which translates to approximately $2,500 in yearly savings.

“The Save on Energy conservation programs are a great fit for our Peterborough business customers who need to stay competitive and watch costs, but who also want to do the right thing for the environment. A relatively small change, like this one at Boston Pizza, packs a big punch in terms of energy and money savings and provides a terrific model for other businesses. We’re glad to be a part of something that both encourages energy conservation and supports local businesses,” said David Whitehouse, Director Customer/Corporate Services Conversation Officer for Peterborough Utilities Services Inc.

“I would definitely promote the Save on Energy program. At the end of the day, if you can save money and help the environment, well that’s a win-win situation for everybody,” added Mr. Luedtke.
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