Foodservice Operations Stir Up Savings with Energy Efficiency

Washington area foodservice establishments La Vie en Rose Bakery, Bob’s Burgers and Brew and Kelly’s O’Deli Catering are turning to energy efficiency to achieve savings and sustainable operations. All three foodservice operations earned cash rebates from the Cascade Natural Gas Conservation Program.

Project Bottom-line Benefits
Collectively the three organizations achieved:

  • $5,991 estimated annual gas cost savings
  • 5,707 estimated annual therm savings
  • $6,300 Cascade Natural Gas cash rebates


According to Johnny Lahr, owner of La Vie en Rose Bakery, their old oven was no longer making the grade. “Uneven cooking and the time it took to reach operating temperature helped in my decision to look for a new, more efficient gas oven.” The rebate offered from Cascade’s Conservation    program made the choice for an efficient model even easier. “I chose this oven for two reasons: the reliability of the model and the rebate that  was offered from Cascade,” said Lahr. The bakery is now cutting baking times in half and adding green to their bottom line with reduced energy costs.”The old oven took about 20 minutes to preheat, but the new model only takes eight minutes,” said Lahr.

Kelly’s O’Deli Catering is seeing the benefits of energy-efficiency. “We now have more equipment, yet our gas bill has not increased,” said owner Dianne Blakesley. The catering company installed two high–efficiency convection ovens and a tankless water heater. Affordable energy bills are only half the story. The catering company’s tankless water heater provides hot water on-demand—reducing energy costs by eliminating heat up times. Additionally, they are seeing faster baking times with their two convection ovens, providing a more efficient cooking process.  According to Blakesley, “I can cook larger quantities of food in a shorter amount of time. It has made a big difference.”

When it came time to purchase foodservice equipment for Bob’s Burgers and Brew’s new location in Yakima, Washington, Cascade’s cash rebates proved quite significant.  According to owner Rachel Roberts, “Building a new restaurant gets expensive, so we were thankful that the rebates helped offset some of the cost.” The new location is realizing savings with their purchase of an energy-efficient gas fryer and convection oven. This equipment can cut energy bills without sacrificing quality or cooking performance.

A Menu of Savings

Collectively these organizations earned rebates totaling $6,300. The savings don’t end there – all combined these establishments will save an estimated 5,707 therms annually; equating to $5,991 in estimated annual cost savings.

Conservation is not just a part of the picture for these businesses—it is a way of doing business. La Vie en Rose Bakery has cut down their waste to five percent, implemented a recycling and compost program, uses biodegradable to-go utensils and donates leftover food each day to people in need. According to Lahr, they wouldn’t have it any other way, “Sustainability is the mantra and creed we live and operate by.”