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10 Reasons Why Your Food Shouldn’t be the Only Thing That’s Sustainable

By | Community, Efficiency, Energy Management, IoT, Restaurant Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

Sustainable is an all to familiar buzz word in the restaurant and several other industries as of late. It seems to have become more prominent the more we learn about our environment, our food, and how the two are connected. We deep dive into the industry every time we perform a new install, according to trends for restaurants and EMS systems as of late here are some reasons why your food shouldn’t be the only thing that is sustainable…

1

Because it’s good for our environment: Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the United States

2

Restaurants use 2x more energy per square foot than any other industry: Producing energy contributes to the breakdown of our environment. Power plants must produce more power to keep up with the demand, which emits more co2 emission into the air. Americans emit about 9 tons of co2 emissions per person per year, this is only accounting for the power sector!

3

LEED the Restaurant industry: Prove to your customers you are going the extra mile to help the environment in every way you possibly can. Get a LEED certification to initiate change and do your part in the restaurant community. Check out the requirements to become a green building here. Not to mention all the awesome PR you’ll get because you love the environment and are doing your part to help!

4

Millennials love the environment: Young adults age 25-34 and families are more apt to be influenced by a range of sustainability and sourcing menu terms. This only increases your business when millennials comprise about ¼ of the U.S. population!

5

unEaten food at retailers, restaurants, and homes costs about $161 billion annually: Uneaten food by patrons does not always get taken home…diners leave 17% of meals uneaten and 55% of that 17%  are not taken home and just thrown out. That’s money that could have been in your pocket and lessen food waste. Options to help reduce food waste include offering smaller portion sizes, identifying what options are being wasted, and a restaurant in London even charges a fee for unfinished food and donates those proceeds to the charity Oxfam.

Restaurant Energy Consumption

6

Refrigeration accounts for 32% of a restaurants total energy consumption: Simple inspections of refrigerator equipment is all it takes to ensure you are as efficient as you can be. Regular cleaning and inspection of refrigeration coils and door seals can save you a headache later. Controllers that mitigate defrosts are also ideal to cut down on defrosts and conserve energy.

7

19% of a restaurants energy goes directly to lighting: Making the switch to LED or installing an EMS that controls and puts all lighting on schedules can significantly cut your costs where you may have thought that there was nothing left to be done. In a specific Small Box Energy case study we decreased lighting consumption by 8%. 

8

As of 2016 10% of the total U.S energy consumption came from renewable energy sources: That means that 90% of the energy consumption came from non-renewable sources. There is a limited amount of fossil fuels and it takes millions of years to produce, it is estimated that the world. not just the U.S., will run out of fossil fuels within 100-200 years.

9

Food waste that goes into landfills generates methane. Methane is 21 times more harmful than CO2: Another reason to offer carryout containers that are environmentally friendly or add that smaller portion section to your menu like you have been thinking.

10

Installing an EMS (energy management system) can reduce your energy consumption by up to 25% and in some cases $8000 annually: An energy management system can help your business cut where it makes sense and a difference. Simple automated controls and sensors installed in all your critical systems (HVAC, refrigeration, lighting..etc) helps you monitor, control, and reduce your kwh consumption. Reducing your energy consumption by 25% will significantly help in efforts to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s a win win win!

All of these suggestions are merely that, suggestions. They are just words and will remain that until you take action. That’s the challenge. Take action, lead others, inspire and show your customers and peers your motives are not just driven by just making money, but by how what you do has a lasting impact on the environment.

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Holiday Donations For Families In Need

By | Community, Education | No Comments

The holiday season has always been the season of giving, and this year just like every year before, for the past 14 years Engenuity Systems and Small Box Energy have combined forces to help a local cause. Catholic Charities Community Services, a charity that has been located in downtown Phoenix since 1933. They first started out helping vulnerable children, and over the years have molded and changed with the valley to provide life-changing services that protect families in the Maricopa, Yavapai, Coconino and Mohave Counties. They now help over 100,000 men, women and children every year with these services and donations.

Engenuity Systems (Small Box Energy’s sister company) has been hosting the My Sisters’ Place donation site for just over 14 years now. “I can’t imagine these families having to deal with this. It makes you realize how much these little ones need our support”, Kim Markie explains when talking about the children affected by domestic violence. Kim Markie,  the wife of Chief Executive Officer Tracy Markie, started the charity work with My Sisters’ Place when she worked at Engenuity Systems. My Sisters’ Place is a part of the Catholic Charities Community Services, they help all victims of domestic violence. My Sisters’ Place founded in 1985 and are only one of two confidential domestic violence shelters in the East Valley.

“This is something that would not be made possible without the generous donations from the community,” Valuikas says. Donations come in the form of typical Christmas presents, toys for all age children, movies, movie tickets, gift cards; but also include day to day items like personal hygiene items, shoes, clothes, diapers, wipes, hair products etc. Donations being accepted must be new and unwrapped items, Engenuity will be accepting items until Friday, December 22nd. You can drop any donations off at Engenuity Systems located at 2165 w. Pecos, Suite 1, Chandler, AZ 85224. If you have any questions please call 480-782-5600.

“Even though sometimes it feels like your contribution may be so small that it couldn’t possibly help, if every one of us gave a little of ourselves it would add up to a lot,” says Markie.

Remember that this holiday season even the littlest amount of help counts. It may not feel like much to you but to someone else, it’s everything.

If you are unable to donate at the Engenuity Office please visit the Catholic Charities Community Services to donate in other ways.

https://www.catholiccharitiesaz.org/phoenix/domestic-violence

Check out our Facebook to See a list of items needed!

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Food Safety Tips for a Flawless Thanksgiving

By | Community, Food Safety, Small Box Energy Family | No Comments

Tis the season for giving thanks, food, holiday cheer, decorations, food, family, sharing and….did I say food? Thanksgiving is the ultimate stuff yourself until you can’t even stand the sight of turkey holiday. The three F’s of Thanksgiving is what makes it so enjoyable…family, friends, and food. Thanksgiving feasts consume more than 20 percent of the number of domestic turkeys raised in the United States this year!! That’s a total of 51,650,000 turkeys! We all want to watch our favorite football team play on Thanksgiving, talk politics with the family and gorge on food but to ensure you actually get to do these things foodsafetynews.com has provided a holiday guide on everything to do from your plane flight to your relatives house to prepping that turkey. These food safety tips will keep you and your family happy this Thanksgiving.

Travel

Taking a plane flight to Aunt June’s? You may want to consider purchasing your drink before you board the plane rather than indulging in that complimentary in-flight soda. In an Environmental Protection Agency study, one in eight planes does not meet water safety standards…that includes their ice!

“Please ensure your tray tables remain in their upright, locked position”…another bacteria hangout culprit. The National Science Foundation found that tray tables contain 10 times more bacteria than the flush handle IN the toilet! If you aren’t a mom and have the sanitizing wipes everywhere you go, get some before you travel…you won’t be sorry.  

Turkey Time

Proper thawing and preparation of the turkey are imperative. Turkey should never be defrosted at room temperature, the refrigerator or cold water thawing is the best way to defrost your turkey.

Turkey temperatures!!! Your turkey is not safe to consume until it reaches 165° Fahrenheit. Always use a thermometer to check the temperature of the bird, you cannot tell by color if the turkey is done. It’s best to take the temperature in three different spots with varying thickness.

Leftovers

After everyone eats, no one wants to clean up. It’s the worst! But all perishable foods should be thrown out if they have been sitting longer than two hours at room temperature. Temperatures between 40° and 140° F. are considered the danger zone, where bacteria multiplies the quickest…so buck up and put those leftovers in the fridge ASAP.

To make sure everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving meal and no one gets sick use these guidelines and the worst thing you’ll have to worry about at the family get together is your football team losing 🏈 ….and of course the turkey coma you’ll be in for days. 🦃

Happy Thanksgiving from the Small Box Energy family to yours!

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Helping Those Affected By Hurricane Harvey & Irma

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In this great time of need we want to extend our thoughts and well wishes to those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma. In any natural disaster such as this, it is heartwarming to see American’s coming together to help the cause.

Although we come together in times of need, some prey on that and use fake charities to capitalize. Please visit Charity Navigator, they are dedicated to determining the validity of a charity. We have also listed some ways that you can help those affected by the hurricanes below.

Can’t Donate Cash?

That’s Ok! There is always a constant need for Blood. Please visit: http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood to find a blood drive near you.

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Do your suppliers protect your Brand?

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brand_2As we look into 2017, are you partnering with the right suppliers?

As with all businesses, the restaurant and retail industry is continuing to evolve. While some have reported a recession, the newest predictions for 2017 remain strong with a heavy emphasis on growth for both revenue and the number of locations. Even with all the challenges and hurdles retailers and restaurants are facing with wage increases and overtime changes, as well as employee retention, there is still a large amount of investment into new stores and upgrading current stores.

One of the biggest trends driving revenue growth is the use of social media, apps and IoT technology to deliver better, more personalized content targeted to customers that align with your brand and company values. The market is moving from a commodity purchase to an emotional purchase process. And social media is a vital tool for this change. According to fastcasual.com, “Seven in 10 (survey respondents) said they want personalized offers that give them a sense the restaurant “knows them.”

It is evident retailers are spending an enormous amount of time and money on designing and supporting apps and their social marketing strategy specific to strengthening their brand equity. This trend will continue to evolve because it works. Shouldn’t you also be spending the same amount of effort ensuring your suppliers are protecting the brand you are working so hard to build and sustain? Suppliers are your partners and the extension of your business.  Therefore, having a supplier strategy that also aligns with your B2C strategy will only protect and enhance your brand further, which is something else you can promote to your customers.

Small Box Energy is one of those suppliers. Simply, we offer our customers:

  1. Active sustainability solution to reduce overall energy consumption and enhance brand image
  2. Automated control platform designed to maintain customer comfort and encourage repeat visits
  3. Proven temperature monitoring solution for maintaining refrigeration temperatures, enabling stable food/drink quality and temperature and avoid food loss and food-borne illness to product brand value.

As you look to 2017, ask yourself if your suppliers are working this hard to evolve a solution that protects your brand for years to come.

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Small Box Energy Helps Kick Off Denny’s Annual Franchisee Conference

By | Community, Tradeshows | No Comments

David - DFASmall Box Energy helped kicked off the annual Denny’s Franchisee Association (DFA) Conference in Orlando Florida yesterday. Shown here is DFA’s Chairman of the Board, Craig Barber, talking with David Andow, president of Small Box Energy, at the annual Sponsor’s Dinner. Small Box Energy has been a supplier to Denny’s franchisees for several years, and we are proud to sponsor the DFA annual conference. We understand the restaurant industry is faced with many challenges, especially now with wage increases, higher health insurance costs and more regulations, high employee turn-over and ever increasing food costs. It is very important to Small Box Energy that we keep engaged with our customers so we understand their needs, priorities, and challenges. This engagement helps us understand how we can evolve and maximize our platform to meet their key priorities and reduce overall operating costs to help them offset the other costs they are facing.

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Small Box Energy Sponsors Famous Dave’s Annual Fund Raiser

By | Community | No Comments

Famous Daves Make A WishSmall Box Energy proudly supported and sponsored the 14 annual golf tournament hosted by Famous 5 Dining of Tennessee and raises money for Make-A-Wish foundation. This is David Andow’s third year supporting this important community event.

Shown here are Famous Dave’s Owners and supplier partners during the award ceremony and check presentation as they wind down the evening discussing the importance of community, charity and all the great achievements of Make-A-Wish foundation.

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