M. Tucker Co. is based in Paterson, NJ and is one of the nation's largest foodservice equipment and supplies distributors. Independently owned, it also provides design/build services and works closely with general contractors, consultants, and architects to execute projects of all sizes.
Ask what your suppliers are doing to become more sustainable. “We have worked to make our own operations more sustainable, investing about $80,000 just to retrofit the lights in our facilities. We got half of that back or more as credits from the utility and the payback was about a year for the remaining investment. We have made room in our warehouse for new lines of disposables that are compostable and for chemicals that are produced from plant derivatives and which are safe from a material hazard point of view.”
Get help qualifying for rebates. “It is common to find that a customer can get a much more efficient piece of equipment for a few hundred dollars more and that these can largely be subsidized by energy allowances. The ongoing savings are gravy after the difference is paid off. Many distributors will help you identify these opportunities and some will file the paperwork for you as a customer service.”
Read the fine print. “The details on utility rebates can be difficult to obtain sometimes. When you look closely at what it takes to qualify for them, you will find it comes down to specific equipment performance and life cycle savings. Just reaching a certain standard, like the “Energy Star” designation, may not be enough. You have to do your homework; make sure your supplier has done the same.”
Quality installation and maintenance is important. “This can be a paticular issue with combi ovens. Remember that you are looking for energy and operating savings over time. You have to make sure your equipment continues to operate the way it was designed to operate. Make sure your installers test the equipment with real life demands and have it checked after the fact once your are up and running to make sure it is performing to spec.”