Quick service restaurant chain KFC has taken its first steps into the energy conservation space by announcing its first solar energy restaurants in Port Elizabeth, powered by Solar Africa.
The idea was brought to life by KFC franchisee, AKM Foods, which currently owns 34 restaurants across the Eastern Cape. The solar panels were installed in October 2017 and the switch has shown significant cost saving for the business whilst being environmentally responsible.
“We are excited about the introduction of solar and green energy in our stores and are satisfied with the results thus far. Currently only four stores are being piloted, and the plan is to roll out to other stores,” says Nishid Dosa, principle operator of AKM Foods.
AKM Foods has implemented a few other energy saving initiatives which include wind turbine energy in 12 of its restaurants, as well as heat pumps – which has seen a 30-40% reduction in the cost of water heating – and LED lights in all stores.
Solar power made sense for the franchisee as majority of the stores have a large square meterage in roof space which is ideal for the introduction of solar. “Heat pumps were the first layer of energy saving initiatives that we implemented to combat the high cost of energy used to heat water to the standard required in KFC stores. The installation of solar did not disrupt the stores operations and was simple to implement,” Dosa notes.
“As one of the country’s most loved food brands, KFC remains committed to supporting our franchise partners uphold environmental standards. We are very excited about the implementation of this renewable energy solution in our restaurants. This is a big step for the QSR industry and shows our commitment to lessen our carbon footprint within the communities in which we operate,” says Doug Smart, KFC Africa CEO.