In quick-serve restaurants, dozens of energy-consuming assets are critical to the successful operation of the business, including HVAC units, kitchen equipment, and indoor and outdoor lights. These assets are often required to run throughout the day to maintain normal operations and ensure customer comfort, but with a comprehensive energy management system (EMS) in place, there are numerous opportunities for savings.

As an energy-conscious quick-serve restaurant, TOMS King deployed GridPoint’s EMS at six initial Burger King restaurants in April 2013. The restaurant operator identified savings opportunities through increased visibility into energy consumption, detailed analysis of trends and issues, and more intelligent control over HVAC and lighting using GridPoint’s EMS. Once GridPoint’s solution proved successful, TOMS King extended it to their entire restaurant portfolio, including their many recently-remodeled restaurants in Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.


For the initial sites, GridPoint implemented HVAC and lighting controls, installed extensive asset-level submetering, and monitored several pieces of equipment, as detailed in Figure 1. TOMS King also gained access to GridPoint’s cloud-based software platform, GridPoint Energy Manager, which aggregates and visualizes data collected at each site. Additionally, TOMS King subscribed to GridPoint’s Energy Advisory and Control Support Services to get the most value out of that EMS data while optimizing their fleet of Burger King restaurants.

Figure 1:

Control Submetering Monitoring
  • 5 HVAC units
  • Parking, kitchen and dining lights, and outdoor signage
  • 5 HVAC units
  • Parking, kitchen, and dining lights, plus signage
  • Refrigeration (coolers/freezers)
  • Ovens, fryers, fryer fans, and broiler fans
  • Biscuit ovens and egg cookers
  • Ice, milkshake, and slush machines
  • Water heaters
  • HVAC runtime, zone, and supply temperatures
  • Cooler/freezer temperatures
  • Cooler/freezer door position


TOMS King’s energy savings were driven by several operational improvements, including more aggressive but comfortable HVAC setpoints, practical temporary adjustment allowances, intelligent morning HVAC recovery and overnight setback, and greater insight into equipment issues with advanced reports and alarms customized for TOMS King restaurants.

TOMS King instituted a consistent heating and cooling policy to ensure comfort for guests and more than 2,000 team members. GridPoint recommended a gradual implementation plan, which reduced any perception of abrupt change and allowed for the identification of limited exceptions to accommodate unique situations related to building orientation, mechanical system idiosyncrasies, and seasonal variance. For both HVAC and lighting, the GridPoint solution put an end to unnecessary cooling and lighting usage during unoccupied hours.

GridPoint also worked with TOMS King to develop a formal process for all heating, cooling, and lighting adjustments across their fleet of Burger King restaurants. The GridPoint mobile and desktop applications provide visibility to TOMS King’s Directors of Operations and District Managers, along with 24-hour call center support to ensure the energy management program continues to deliver restaurant comfort, operational visibility, and energy savings. These tools and policies provide the foundation for the continuous commissioning of the facilities and avoid drifting away from the goals of the energy management program.

In addition, TOMS King lowers energy costs by reduction of consumption and demand peaks using GridPoint’s advanced control strategies. Specifically, HVAC Setback/Recovery and Load Curtailment algorithms, as pictured in Figure 2.


TOMS King has also found great value in GridPoint’s Energy Advisory Services, which give customers access to GridPoint’s data analysts who have years of industry expertise and unique knowledge of vertical best practices based on GridPoint’s deep customer base and archive of 75 billion energy data points.

These analysts helped TOMS King identify anomalies, performed enterprise-wide analysis, and produced custom reports to expose even greater savings opportunities. In particular, TOMS King increased their understanding of various HVAC issues with a report that compared zone temperatures, supply temperatures, and cooling setpoints along with unit energy demand (kW) and run time (Figure 3).

This report, made possible with GridPoint’s asset-level submetering and monitoring data, was instrumental in exposing periods where the HVAC units were calling for cooling, but the energy demand had flat-lined, and the resulting zone temperatures spiked above the setpoint.

Figure 2: GridPoint’s HVAC Recovery, Setback and Load Curtailment features improve operations

Lastly, GridPoint worked closely with TOMS King to implement a series of intelligent alarms that alert management when system issues arise on-site. GridPoint’s alarms consider multiple submetering and monitoring channels and feature configurable pending open and pending close periods, so conditions must persist for a certain time before the alarm is triggered or closed. This feature reduces “noisy” alarm notifications, which tend to be ignored over time.

GridPoint developed alarms and exception reports for the coolers and freezers, which leveraged data collected from temperature probes and door monitoring devices. This allowed TOMS King to see when the cooler or freezer temperatures moved above or below preferred thresholds and provided visibility into extended periods when the cooler or freezer doors were left open. These features complement and support TOMS King’s existing food management and safety programs.

Custom HVAC issue report created for Shake Shack

Figure 3: Custom HVAC issue report created for TOMS King


By leveraging GridPoint’s comprehensive EMS, TOMS King achieved valuable energy savings and implemented operational improvements to deliver quantifiable results.

Additionally, TOMS King now has access to a wealth of real-time, asset-level data through GridPoint Energy Manager and GridPoint’s Energy Advisory Services for unprecedented visibility into how their sites operate and consume energy. This data enables detailed analysis of enterprise-wide trends and provides a constant feedback loop between TOMS King and restaurant management for more intelligent and optimized system management and control.