Turning your restaurant green not only makes good business sense, but serves as good public relations for your restaurant. A recent study by the National Restaurant Association found that 69% of consumers would prefer to dine in a restaurant serving food “grown or raised in an organic or environmentally-friendly way.” Fortunately, there are a whole host of ways you can lower the impact your restaurant has on the environment. Follow some of these steps to let your customers know how you are helping and reap the rewards.
Source Local, Buy Seasonal
Source ingredients locally and serve a seasonal menu. Using ingredients that have traveled a long way adds to your carbon footprint. Buying from local suppliers will cut the amount of resources used to get food from the farmer’s field to your customer’s plate and will also help the local economy. Ask about our Regional First vendors.
Healthy oceans equal healthy seafood. In recent years, the health of the fishing and seafood industry has caused increasing concern to both consumers and providers. Too often, overfishing and non-sustainable fishing practices have led to increased shortages of seafood. Simple resources like Seafood Watch by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, have allowed both consumer and restaurant owners to evaluate what seafood is sustainable depending on season and geography. (Download the app at seafoodwatch.org)
Chance are, you’re trashing plenty of things that are recyclable. Make it easy for your employees to recycle by providing labeled cans and bins. Depending on where your restaurant’s located, consider starting a compost pile. This can be a great way to use leftover food scraps.
Slow the Flow
Limit the amount of water you use. Train your kitchen staff to make sure all taps are turned off as soon as possible and consider installing water-saving devices such as touchless sensor faucets, floor paddles for water, and flow restrictors. Last but not least, always let the customer ask for a glass of water before assuming they want one.
Lower Your Electrical Bill
Did we mention the cost saving benefits caused by being more environmentally friendly? Replace standard light bulbs with energy-saving light bulbs. Also, install motion sensor in areas that don’t need to be lit at all times to conserve energy.
Most restaurants use them, but we all know that Styrofoam hangs out in landfills forever. Why not switch to biodegradable takeout containers? Additionally, use less paper and plastic by considering re-useables like cloth napkins and multi-use menus. Ask your rep about our eco-friendly disposable products.