Boston Pizza in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is a busy place. With 7,287 square feet of space—complete with high ceilings—and conventional ventilation and kitchen systems running up to 16 hours a day, seven days a week, money whooshed out the front door every time a customer walked in.

That’s because the main entrance of the restaurant featured double doors that let in cold air, even though the restaurant was paying to keep the area heated. Not only that, but bar patrons complained of the cold—some going so far as to wear jackets indoors.

Beyond that, the kitchen ventilation system included three conventional range hoods, which ran continuously—even when the stoves weren’t being used.

Finally, the sprayer used to pre-rinse dishes was an older model which wasted water whenever it was turned on.

Obviously, something needed to be done.

New technology saves money and energy

Boston Pizza decided to try out three new energy-efficient technologies to help the restaurant save energy and reduce their costs.

First, Melink Energy replaced those continuously running range hoods with demand-control ventilation, which uses sensors, infrared optics and a microprocessor to run the system at full capacity only when needed.

The result?

A 294% improvement in natural gas savings per hood per year, plus electricity savings due to the more efficient system.

One problem solved.

The restaurant also installed a pre-rinse spray valve that featured a knife-edge spray, rather than the conventional round spray, saving up to 886 m³/year in natural gas used for water heating. Even better, the new spray head was provided at no charge through Enbridge’s Spray ‘n’ Save program.

Two problems solved.

Finally, the restaurant installed an Enershield Air Barrier across the double front doors. This “air door” is designed to create an air current whenever the doors are opened, creating an invisible barrier of air that doesn’t allow heat out or cold air in. Boston Pizza was able to lower both its heating costs in the winter and its air conditioning expenses in the summer.

Three problems solved—with overall benefits and savings for the restaurant that went beyond the improvements themselves. Plus, the restaurant received $2,100 in incentives from Enbridge for both the demand-control ventilation system and the air door.

And the results?

The technologies were so successful that franchise owner Rob Phillips has decided to install them in other locations.

Energy efficiency and good business sense go hand in hand—kind of like pizza and pasta.

Image credit: Diego Torres Silvestre