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Water Conservation is a Win-Win for Wendy’s

50% reduction in irrigation water use is a win-win for company’s brand image and our planet’s future

This case study was featured in Retail & Restaurant Facility Business Magazine (page 13).

As climate conditions grow more extreme and water becomes scarcer, businesses of all kinds will have to identify ways to better conserve water and eliminate water wasting practices. This is true for the retail and restaurant sector, which account for 15% of the total water use in commercial facilities in the U.S. Water is a necessary part of the restaurant business, especially in the food preparation process, restrooms and landscaping. Luckily there are solutions to not only save water, but also reduce operating expenses and eliminate potential headaches or brand damage.

Restaurants can reduce their water use by installing equipment that actively conserves water. Installing this sort of equipment in commercial facilities can decrease operating costs and energy and water use. For example, Wendy’s® has utilized new automated dishwashing equipment that reduces the average water use by 47% per cycle. Replacing existing products with more efficient models is also an effective way to save money and reduce water use.

Another option for water conservation is to ensure low- flow toilets are installed in all restrooms. Most toilets are low-flow toilets, but in older facilities, it is possible that older toilets have not been replaced. Low-flow toilets are any toilet purchased after 1994 and are easily identifiable by a stamp or sticker that indicates the gallons per flush. A running toilet will use more than 200 gallons per day, potentially increasing water costs by 10%. Installing the newest type of toilet will help conserve water and save money.

Leak detection technology can also help alleviate water waste from restrooms. For instance, WaterCompass from HydroPoint uses real-time flow-monitoring IoT sensors and analytics to provide water use visibility across an entire site. WaterCompass enables restaurant site owners and facility managers to overcome the systemic “water blindness” that plagues properties, by sensing leaks and breaks, notifying appropriate team members as they happen so that water use anomalies can be solved as quickly as possible. Even the smallest leak can waste 100,000 gallons and $18,480 in water, sewer and gas costs, so having leak detection in place can prevent major water events from occurring.

Beyond leak detection technology, smart irrigation systems can also help with water conservation by improving water use efficiencies. The EPA estimates that nearly 50% of water used in irrigation is used inefficiently. Smart irrigation systems solve for inefficient practices as it identifies the optimal time and amount of water needed for irrigation, while keeping landscapes and plants healthy. Unlike traditional pre-set irrigation timers, smart irrigation controllers monitor weather, real-time soil conditions, evaporation, and plant water use needs to calculate new watering schedules daily automatically.

Wendy’s has implemented HydroPoint’s WeatherTRAK irrigation system at some of its locations as a pilot program to ensure that the restaurants are using water more efficiently for landscaping needs.

Since implementing this technology, Wendy’s has seen a 50% reduction in irrigation water use, while tracking to save more than one million gallons of irrigation water in 2021 alone. Continued use of WeatherTRAK will help the Company reach its commitment to reduce water use by 20% by 2029.

Consumers are increasingly interested in companies that have made a commitment to reducing their environmental impact. Implementing water conservation solutions is a win-win for a company’s brand image, the bottom line and for our planet’s future.