When it comes to businesses, the value of an awning really sky rockets, especially for restaurants. How you might be wondering? Well think about how much energy a restaurant uses; it’s 2.5 times more per square foot than other commercial buildings, according to a National Restaurant Association report. Energy costs cut into the already small profit margin restaurants make which is only 3-9% of total revenue.
If you can cut the cost of your energy, those savings can go directly back into the profit margin. In fact, “restaurants that follow the Conserve/EPA ENERGY STAR Challenge and invest in energy efficiency could realize a 30% return on these investments over time,” said Jerry Lawson, National Manager of the ENERGY STAR Small Business & Congregations Network in a National Restaurant Association release.
- Awnings and other shade structures like Drop Screens: These can reduce solar heat gain on a building and can help reduce the cost of cooling and heating.
- Energy Efficient Steam Cookers, Dishwashers, and Ice Machines: These can be up to 90 percent more water efficient.
- Energy Efficient Refrigerators: These reduce the amount of electricity used and help cut your utility bill down.
There’s a lot more out there on energy efficient equipment. But for this article, let’s stay focused on things like awnings and other shade structures. Not only can awnings help reduce your carbon footprint by cutting your energy use, but they also help create revenue if utilized to extend your outdoor lounge or dining area.
For restaurants, the more tables and seats you have the more sales. Often times we forget that dining outdoors is more than just adding tables; it’s about creating a space that will keep customers coming back again and again.
- Add drops screens or clear vinyl windows to enclose your outdoor space and provide an ambience your guests will enjoy while still having a great outdoor experience.
- Decorate your outdoor space with curtains and other color coordinated items like napkins and plates.
- Make sure your awning is aesthetically pleasing and has your restaurant’s logo or name printed on it.
There’s so much more you can do but the above is just a starting point. Remember to consult your local awning shop for tips and advice and how you can take advantage of the benefits of installing a shade structure.
Remember, restaurant revenue is on the rise, you don’t want to be left out of the feast so extend your dining area and get in on the action. Sales for eating and drinking places totaled $53 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in November, which represented a 5.2% increase when compared to January’s seasonally adjusted volume, according to the National Restaurant Association. November marked the 10th consecutive month of restaurant sales growth! Don’t miss out on the growth and look for ways to increase your sales like installing an awning for energy efficiency and for extending your dining area.
So how can awnings save homeowners on energy costs? According to a study conducted by the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota, awnings can save up to 61 percent in cooling energy for homes with equal window orientation awnings in Seattle. For homes in Phoenix, cooling energy savings are 26 percent for houses with mostly west window orientation.
What does all that mean? Well, it means your energy bill will be less. If you live in places where the sun is shining constantly then installing shade structures like awnings on your home is a no-brainer. The money you save and the protection you provide for your family is worth every cent of investment. So why wait?