Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. (ARG), parent company of the franchisor of the Arby’s brand, announced that as of December 31, it had reached 15.2 percent total energy reduction per company-owned restaurant from a 2011 baseline, exceeding the “15 Percent By 2015” energy savings goal set by the brand in 2012.
Arby’s also achieved an 8.6 percent reduction in water consumption per company-owned restaurant from 2011 to 2015. The decrease in energy and water use during this time period resulted in $20.4 million of energy-related cost savings. Energy efficiency is a key component of Arby’s ResourceFULL pillar, which is part of the Brand’s PurposeFULL CorporateSocial Responsibility platform.
“At Arby’s, we are committed to employing efficiency measures that save both energy and costs,” says Paul Brown, CEO of Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. “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.”
Average energy consumption is measured by combining Arby‘s electric and natural gas usage into thousands of British Thermal Units (kBtus), a standard measure of energy. The energy consumption savings realized by ARG from 2011 to 2015 includes a 21 percent reduction in electricity use per company-owned restaurant and a 2.5 percent drop in natural gas consumption.
The efforts driving these savings are part of the Arby’s “Efficiency Matters” program, launched by the Brand in 2012 to improve efficiencies in restaurants and reduce energy consumption and associated environmental and community impacts. In 2015, Efficiency Matters received a Top Project of the Year Award from Environmental Leader.
The program began with behavioral shifts, optimized on and off schedules and the implementation of an energy management system, and has evolved into long term investment projects like the replacement of HVAC units, ovens, and fryers to more energy-efficient models. In 2015, Arby’s exterior lighting program received two awards from the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign: “Highest Percentage Savings in a Parking Lot (Retrofit)” and “Best Retail/Commercial Parking Facility.”
Vital to Arby’s energy efficiency efforts are strategic partnerships across the sustainable energy and water landscapes, including Ecova, Powerhouse Dynamics, Regency Lighting, and Weathermatic, among others. 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.
While Arby’s energy consumption has decreased, Arby’s sales and new development activities have continued to build momentum. Arby’s achieved industry-leading U.S. same-store sales (SSS) growth of 8.0 percentin 2015—more than three times the growth rate of a sample of the larger quick-service restaurant chains. In 2015, Arby’s produced record system-wide sales of more than $3.5 billion, and posted the highest 1-year (8.0 percent), 2-year (13.8 percent), and 3-year (16.6 percent) SSS comps for the Arby's system in more than 20 years.
On the development front, Arby’s is able to implement many of the energy-saving equipment upgrades into ongoing restaurant revitalization efforts. During 2015, Arby’s opened 69 new restaurants system-wide including 60 new restaurants in the U.S.—the highest number since 2008. Arby’s also remodeled 179 restaurants across the system as part of restaurant revitalization efforts.
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