Did you know that 35% of consumers are willing to spend 25% more on sustainable products? As time goes on, more and more people are looking to dine at green restaurants. People want to eat at locations that not only offer great food but are friendly to the environment.
Below we’ll review some of the ways you can have a more eco-friendly restaurant.
Reduce Water Waste
If you want to conserve water instead of waste it, there are a few measures you can take. Conserving water helps cut down on your water costs as well as reduce how much water gets wasted each year. A leaky faucet alone can result in the loss of thousands of gallons of water.
Here are a few things you can do to cut down water waste:
- Only start your dishwasher once it’s full
- Thaw your food in your refrigerator and not under running water
- Only serve water to guests who request it
- Check your pipes and faucets for leaks – if they’re leaking get them fixed as soon as possible
- Use equipment (e.g. dishwashers, toilets, and ice makers) that is more water-efficient
- If you use linens, pick a cleaning service that has machines that use less water. Alternatively, you can install a water-efficient washing machine.
- Use in-house filtered water instead of bottled water
- Use low-flow spray faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms
- If you have plants outside of your restaurant, try picking ones that need less water. Moreover, if you use sprinklers make sure they go off at set times instead of randomly. Make sure your sprinklers are watering your plants and not sidewalks or parking lots.
Reduce Food Waste
A great way to reduce food waste is to track your inventory. You can use a point of sales (POS) system to manage your inventory.
Check to see how much food you’re getting in and how quickly it’s being used. If you’re buying too much food, that will result in a lot of food going bad. Not only will you have food waste, but you’ll be throwing money out the window.
If you have vegetable scraps, you can use those to make either broths or stocks. When using overripe fruits, you can make tasty desserts.
Make sure the perishables going in first are the ones being used first (use the FIFO system, first in, first out). This way you won’t have as much spoiled food.
If you see that customers aren’t eating all the food you’re sending out, try making smaller portions.
Use Disposable and Recyclable Products
If you use plastic products, try switching to biodegradable or compostable products instead. For example, you could use paper straws instead of plastic ones.
Paper straws are more friendly to the environment as they’ll disintegrate over time. Moreover, recycling straws is much easier and they can then be repurposed.
Meanwhile, plastic pollutes our oceans as they release micro-plastics. Plastic recycling machines have a harder time recycling them due to their size. This results in the straws ending up in landfills and oceans instead.
If you use plastic take out containers, check to see if they’re recyclable. You’ll want PLA plastic containers as they’re 100% compostable.
Any bottles, cardboard, or boxes you have, make sure to recycle them instead of throwing them in the trash. Contact your local recycling and/or waste companies to see what can and can’t be recycled.
Use Less Paper
Restaurants go through a lot of paper every day, especially when it comes to receipts. Now, there are POS systems you can use that will email guests their receipts.
Moreover, a growing trend is putting your menu on a tablet or a table-side digital menu. This cuts out all paper menus. If you can’t afford that option, you can try making your menu smaller. You can do this by:
- Reducing the number of items on the menu
- Reducing the font size (but not too small that people can’t see what’s written)
- Making any pictures you have on your menu smaller
If you advertise by putting flyers up, consider using social media platforms instead. You’ll reach a much wider audience this way too! Have ways for people to access your restaurant’s website through these platforms as well.
Another way you can go paperless is to have more systems function online. For example, have your reservation system and all employee and vendor billing online.
Use More Efficient Energy Sources
If you don’t have energy-efficient equipment, now would be a good time to replace them. This can include dishwashers, fridges, air conditioners, heating units, microwaves, ovens, etc.
Moreover, consider more efficient forms of lighting. For example, LED lights will last much longer and need less energy than other forms of lighting. In fact, they need 75% less energy than incandescent lighting.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Reduce the amount of driving you and your distributors will need to do by buying local products. Certain products you should buy in bulk so you can reduce the number of trips you need to make. This is especially true for products you can’t get locally.
To make it easier to buy from local farmers, cook what’s in season. What’s more, a seasonal menu will allow your guests to try different meals throughout the year. This will keep your restaurant fresh and have guests excited to return.
On top of that, seasonal food will be cheaper than if you try to buy foods that aren’t currently in season.
Moreover, you can grow some of the produce or herbs you use. You can make a small garden near the restaurant or on the roof (e.g. by making a raised garden).
Green Restaurants Are the Way to Go!
Now that you know a little more about green restaurants, it’s time to become more eco-friendly. It may be difficult in the beginning, but in the end, it’ll be worth it. It’ll save you money in the long run and it’ll be better for the environment.
Reach out to us today if you want to learn more!