The Amaize restaurant in Doral, Florida is the flagship store in a planned chain of fast casual eateries serving Latin-inspired gourmet food. Located just a few minutes from Miami, the 2,760 square-foot store serves an average of 3,300 arepas – the restaurant’s signature dish – on a daily basis. As the Amaize team developed its franchise model, CEO Karen Armando Cohen made a conscious decision to serve as a leader in environmentally-friendly restaurant design and operation. As a baseline goal, Amaize set out to cut at least 20 percent of the Doral store’s total energy use, and to use the building as a model for future locations. To support these lofty sustainability initiatives, restaurant owners first installed energy saving electric burners in the kitchen and implemented a comprehensive recycling program. The next step was to tackle one of any commercial building’s biggest energy hogs: lighting.
In the average restaurant, lighting accounts for approximately 13 percent of total energy use. To mitigate energy consumption and electricity expenses, Cohen and his team looked to commercial LED lighting solutions. Compared to traditional options, LEDs consume up to 85 percent less energy while also delivering a longer lifespan than incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs. It was also important to find an LED supplier with the breadth of products required to achieve optimal lighting conditions in each area of restaurant. For example, the kitchen needed bright working conditions for its staff, while the dining room had to maintain a warm, inviting ambiance for patrons.
In April 2015, Amaize connected with Conexsol, a Miami-based distributor/ EPC company specializing in improving customers’ profitability through energy efficiency, who recommended ReneSola’s products for the job. “With a variety of high-quality and cost effective lighting solutions in its portfolio, ReneSola was the clear choice to meet Amaize’s unique needs,” said Anthony Lopez, CEO of Conexsol. “The company’s affordable prices, coupled with its unique policy of waiving all freight charges, also allows us to pass along exceptional savings to our customers.” The Conexsol team installed a total of 111 ReneSola LEDs across the kitchen, dining and retail spaces. The installation process took just two days, and was completed with no disruption to service hours.
To date, Amaize has achieved as much as an 80 percent reduction in lightingrelated energy consumption. What’s more, the ReneSola and Conexsol collaboration will yield a full return on investment in only eight months. “We are thrilled with our decision to ‘go green’ with our lighting. With the help of Conexsol and ReneSola, we’ve got a cost-effective LED package that can be replicated across all our locations to conserve energy while improving our profitability,” said Cohen. “We hope our sustainability efforts help raise the bar for the restaurant industry and set a positive example for the local community.”