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Arby's Cuts Its Energy Bill, Reporter Celebrates


As everybody’s getting in on the no-antibiotics and cage-free craze, I’d love to see more headlines like this gem that arrived in my inbox: “Arby’s Exceeds ‘15% by 2015’ Energy Reduction Goal.”

Presumably after realizing its chain-wide energy bill was a few months late, Arby’s announced this week that, as of Dec. 31, 2015, it reached 15.2 percent total energy reduction per company-owned restaurant from a 2011 baseline. This exceeds the “15 Percent By 2015” energy savings goal set by the behatted brand in 2012.

According to the release, Arby’s also achieved an 8.6 percent reduction in water consumption at company-owned units from 2011-2015. The decrease in energy and water use during this time period resulted in $20.4 million of energy-related cost savings.

Whatever your thoughts on global warming (the coast is coming!), I’m a firm believer that transitioning to less energy use and smarter energy use make good business sense. I’m surprised more brands in the franchise space haven’t adopted similar policies. Or, if they are, they aren’t doing a good job of communicating this win-win-win news.

“At Arby’s, we are committed to employing efficiency measures that save both energy and costs,” said Arby’s CEO Paul Brown. “By exceeding our energy savings target, we’ve shown that there are considerable energy and water savings opportunities in the restaurant industry and we will continue to find new ways to further reduce energy and water use in our restaurants.”

The efforts driving these savings are part of the company’s “Efficiency Matters” program, which began with behavioral shifts, optimized on and off schedules, and the implementation of an energy management system. It has evolved into long term investment projects like the replacement of HVAC units, ovens and fryers to more energy-efficient models.

Arby’s also joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge in 2015 in an effort to further showcase good stewardship in energy efficiency and extend the company’s savings goal. In joining the challenge, Arby’s committed to making the entire company-owned portfolio of restaurants (3.1 million square feet) 20 percent more efficient by 2020.

Way to go!

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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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