Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

GridPoint helps Chipotle cut energy consumption across US fast-food outlets

Steve Rogerson
June 28, 2016
The Chipotle fast-food chain has reduced energy consumption by 13 per cent across 127 US outlets using data-driven energy management systems (EMSs) from Virginia-based GridPoint.
The company deployed submetering, monitoring and intelligent building control technology, combined with cloud-based analytics software and service offerings.
As part of its energy reduction strategy, the fast-food outlets started with the implementation of asset-level submetering and centralised management of air conditioning and override thresholds to optimise savings without sacrificing the comfort of customers.
The EMSs are installed in multiple outlets across Chipotle’s three brands – Chipotle Mexican Grill, Pizzeria Locale and ShopHouse. The system includes HVAC control, temperature monitoring and asset-level sub-metering, which details energy expenditure of specific equipment including HVAC units, walk-in coolers, kitchen hoods and steam tables.
Sites have since been continuously optimised through algorithmic control and data analysis to reduce peaks and operational drift leveraging GridPoint’s structured and historical asset-level data. Collected data are aggregated in a cloud-based software platform and broken down into alarm and exception reports designed for Chipotle’s facilities team. The team can monitor usage trends, verify equipment is working properly and identify savings opportunities across their fleet of sites.
Chipotle relies on various services to ensure its sites are running efficiently. GridPoint’s control support services enable site managers to seek assistance with adjusting temperatures, store hours and schedules while keeping within pre-set corporate standards and maintaining customer comfort. The energy advisory services team provides hands-on analytical support to identify exceptions and other on-site behaviour that could negatively impact energy savings and sustainability goals.
“GridPoint’s data-driven products play an essential role in our ability to affect our environmental impact across our restaurants nationally,” said Carolyn Anderson, executive director at Chipotle. “The financial benefits we see continue to grow as we deploy throughout our enterprise and is an exceptional by-product of working with partners like GridPoint. The full-service approach has proven critical to our success because it enables us to get the most out of our EMS investment. GridPoint’s flexibility in offering a comprehensive EMS as a service with little to no upfront investment combined with its attractive returns makes it a great fit across our concepts, and further drives corporate sustainability goals at each location.”
Additionally, the EMS improves the efficiency of Chipotle’s teams for operational savings, primarily by reducing the resources required to service and maintain sites. Diagnostic tools can be used to identify and triage HVAC or other system issues at a site before dispatching a technician, which provides greater information to make service activity more efficient and reduces the number of return visits by validating repairs before a technician leaves the site.
“Chipotle’s commitment to food with integrity takes corporate responsibility to the next level,” said GridPoint’s president Mark Danzenbaker. “From sourcing top-of-the-line ingredients, to supporting local farmers, Chipotle’s mission to cultivate a better world is evident in all aspects of their business and GridPoint is honoured to play a role supporting their efforts in reaching this goal.”