Graybar Serves up Made-to-Order Energy Solutions for Newk's Restaurant Chain
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    Graybar Serves up Made-to-Order Energy Solutions for Newk's Restaurant Chain



    With more than 50 fast-casual restaurant locations, Newk’s Eatery is known for a variety of made-to-order menu choices, including fresh tossed salads, gourmet pizzas and homemade soups. But, at Newk’s 4,000-square-foot Mountain Brook, Ala., restaurant, Franchisee Todd Jackson was facing a challenge. The restaurant’s electric bills were 20 percent higher than its larger counterpart in Vestavia Hills. In addition, the existing lighting system required two to three light bulb changes per day, which Jackson wanted to address to ensure a warm and welcoming atmosphere for guests.

    Since Newk's corporate team was already working with Graybar to develop lighting solutions for newer locations, the two companies began taking a closer look at lighting options for the Mountain Brook restaurant.


    Graybar conducted an energy audit to quantify the projected benefits of an upgrade to more energy-efficient alternatives. The team discovered that the existing track lighting system required 7,820 watts to light the facility, which contributed to its high electric bills. By simply replacing halogen lamps with LEDs, the restaurant could reduce its total wattage needs by 90 percent.

    Graybar introduced local electrical contractor Craft Electric to assist in the planning and installation of the retrofit. The team worked to ensure the solution would also address Newk’s short ceilings and limited space for light fixtures.

    Newks interior
    ???????It was determined that recessed LED fixtures could offer more efficiency and a longer lifespan, while delivering the same amount of light, using less power. Because the solution also required integration into the existing dimming system, Graybar tapped its network of manufacturers and brought in a local Lutron representative to successfully configure the dimming module.

    "Graybar's proposal demonstrated that the retrofit was a wise investment, which helped me quickly and easily pass the recommendation on to my counterparts and get approval," said Jackson. "The retrofit made sense for our business goals and our efforts toward sustainability, and revitalized the restaurant atmosphere. We're extremely pleased with the outcome."


    Completed in June 2013, Newk's estimates its electric bills will decrease from $4,269 a year to $418 — gaining approximately $43,000 over a 10-year lifecycle. Further, Newk's estimates that it will fully realize its return on investment in just two and a half years.

    Since this retrofit, Graybar has continued to supply Newk's with sustainable solutions, enabling them to save energy and money while also improving the overall dining experience of customers.