YO! Sushi refrigeration trial points to reduced energy and wastage costs

YO! Sushi could potentially slash thousands of pounds off its energy bills after trials involving a new grab-and-go cabinet demonstrated a significant saving in power.

The sushi chain, which operates more than 80 stores in the UK, has been testing the Aircell Sarma cabinet – made by the parent company of foodservice refrigeration brand Adande – at one of its branches in Norwich.

During simultaneous monitoring under the same operating conditions, energy consumption of the 1250 mm Sarma cabinet was measured at 36% less than the restaurant’s existing open front multi-deck display.

Had the Sarma unit been switched off during non-trading periods with no product in the cabinet, as the restaurant’s existing cabinet was, the adjusted reduction in energy consumption would have been 68%, representing an annual saving of £450, based on a tariff of 9p per kWhr.

The chain believes the accurate holding temperate of the system could play a vital role in contributing to longer product life and reduced wastage.

During trading hours the readings taken in the Sarma cabinet had a temperature bandwidth of just 3°C and at all times remained within the specified operating temperature range of 3M1 (-1°to +5°C).

In contrast, the existing cabinet it uses had an average temperature bandwidth of over 7°C and the air temperature was warmer than that in the Sarma cabinet.

Mike Bonaker, facilities manager at YO! Sushi, said it was necessary for the chain to explore new equipment opportunities due to the nature of its core food offering.

He explained: “Accurate display temperatures within narrow bandwidths are critically important for the display of sushi, due to its pronounced sensitivity to temperature abuse and its relatively short shelf life.

“The Sarma cabinet with Aircell is helping us maintain fresh product at optimum quality for longer, reducing food wastage. The cabinet’s energy saving characteristics are also helping us meet our commitment to sustainable business practice.”

Aircell has adapted the cabinet so that it meets retailers’ merchandising requirements. Larger shelves provide increased display area, compared with conventional display cases with similar footprints, ensuring there is more product on display.

This reduces the potential for shelf stock being exhausted and consequent lost sales, especially during periods of peak trading. It also reduces the frequency of restocking.

YO! Sushi has not stated whether the cabinets will become a feature of new-build sites or used to replace existing equipment.

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