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Golden Arches Dimmed to Save Energy

Winter Power Taskforce

Golden Arches Dimmed to Save Energy

The internationally famous golden arches of McDonald’s are being temporarily dimmed to help New Zealand meet its 10% power savings target for the coming winter.

McDonald’s response to the call to conserve energy has been to implement a policy of turning off all unnecessary lighting and machinery, including dimming its famous golden arches signage at some locations.

“That was quite a tough call to make because lighting actually plays a key role in telling people your business is open and waiting to help,” says company spokesman Liam Jeory.

“But, we’ve decided we must do our bit and made the call to turn off the arches at those of our restaurants that also feature the large rooftop McDonald’s signs. Those rooftop signs can stay on while the arches are off. However, the arches will have to stay on at those restaurants that only have that signage.”

Winter taskforce co-ordinator Patrick Strange welcomed the response while acknowledging the possible impact on the restaurant’s brand and its business.

“This is the type of response we want from business and residential customers. McDonald’s have set themselves a 10% target by turning off the arches and introducing other power saving measures and I hope others follow their lead,” says Mr Strange.

Mr Jeory said McDonald’s has provided all the managers and owners of its 148 restaurants throughout New Zealand with suggestions on how to reduce their electricity consumption, through reduced lighting and turning off any machines that may not be in immediate use.

“That’s quite a management task as we have stringent food safety guidelines that mean we have to anticipate demand to ensure machinery used for cooking is switched on and at the right temperature before restaurants come into a peak demand period,” he said.

“Car park lighting is also very important for the security of customers and staff at night - so we are looking at other measures such as turning off rooftop bulbs and display lighting inside our restaurants.

“We just have to strike a balance between ensuring customers know we are open and doing our bit to conserve electricity.”

Mr Jeory also says an innovative energy management system with the potential to reduce annual restaurant electricity usage by the equivalent of one month’s power is being trialled at two restaurant locations.

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