August 6, 2009
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. expects to save more than $100,000 annually from the replacement of 12,000 incandescent and halogen lights with LEDs, according to the casual chain's lighting supplier.
The new spotlights and floodlights will also save money, and effort, by lasting longer than conventional bulbs, according to Red Robin, which made the switch in 150 of its more than 290 company-run stores. The concern also franchises about 130 full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada.
"We expect a very attractive return on investment with reductions in both energy consumption and maintenance requirements," said John Rogers, vice president of capital purchasing for the Greenwood Village, Colo.-based franchisor.
The LEDs' manufacturer, General Electric, says the seven-watt lamps will deliver an annual savings of $10 just in reduced electricity consumption.
Rogers did not reveal how much the changeover cost Red Robin. The switch was made in two phases over a five-month period. The LEDs were installed in the lobby, entranceway, over tables, and along the perimeters of dining rooms.
LEDs, or light emitting diodes, have been around since 1920, but largely used for specialized installations, like the illuminated faces of calculators or watches. Recent technological advantages and the elements' lower energy consumption have facilitated their adoption for more general lighting purposes.
The money you save on operating costs (through energy efficiency) adds to what you get to keep, so saving 20% on energy operating costs can increase your profit as much as 33%.
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