Nowadays, being an eco-friendly company is as important for your reputation as it is for saving the planet. Customers feel better about using a green company than an environmentally-unfriendly one. This includes restaurants.
There are a few ways in which you can run a greener restaurant business. Below are just 5 examples.
Reduce food waste
Wasted food puts unnecessary demand on the entire food industry – and restaurants are responsible for some of the largest amounts of food waste (second only to supermarkets). Not using food before its expiry date and over-preparing food are some of the biggest causes of food waste. You can prevent expiration and over-preparation by:
- Promoting dishes with ingredients that are close to expiry/that you have prepared a lot of
- Reducing preparation for dishes that are rarely ordered/removing these dishes from your menu
- Tracking and predicting customer demand in order to order just enough ingredients
Use more local ingredients
Supporting local farmers is good for the planet because it reduces the amount of shipping required for ingredients. This typically means relying more on home-grown seasonal ingredients. Telling customers that you use local ingredients is a great selling point, as many customers love to know that they are supporting local businesses. You can find such ingredients by shopping at farmer’s markets and getting to know local producers in your area (it’s worth creating personal connections, as you may end up getting better quality produce and discounted services).
Opt for recyclable takeaway packaging
If you offer food to take away, make sure that it is served in recyclable takeaway packaging. Take-away restaurants are responsible for huge amounts of non-recyclable disposable plastic waste. Switching to recyclable or biodegradable packaging options can reduce plastic from filling up landfill sites and make your customers feel better about their purchases. Such packaging is typically made from materials like bagasse or bamboo, and can be just as durable as standard plastic packaging.
Use eco-friendly cleaning products
It could also be worth evaluating your cleaning products. Many cleaning solutions come in non-recyclable bottles. Switching to cleaning solutions in recyclable or biodegradable bottles can reduce the pollution of landfill sites. You could also consider looking into using less chemicals. Some cleaning chemicals produce harmful toxins which end up polluting the air and waterways. Organic cleaning products are much better for the environment and are worth using instead.
Switch to energy-efficient equipment
How energy-efficient are your kitchen machines? If they’re fairly new, it’s likely that they’re pretty energy-efficient. However, older ovens and dishwashers and fridges could be consuming a huge amount of energy. Continuing to use such machinery could result in high energy bills for you, while also putting more demand on the energy grid and therefore increasing your carbon footprint. By switching to newer energy-efficient appliances, you could save a lot of money on your energy bills and help reduce your company’s carbon emissions. Most products should come with an energy rating that can help you determine how energy efficient they are.