The restaurant industry is one of the biggest contributors to planet pollution. That’s why more and more establishments are doing what they can to cut back. There’s no reason your restaurant shouldn’t do the same.
Sure, it can feel daunting at first. All the changes and habits that need to be developed by a whole team may seem too much work. However, you’d be surprised how much it can help your restaurant as well.
Here are low cost ways for your restaurant to go green.
1. Ask, don’t assume
A lot of energy, water and food waste come from assuming you don’t have enough or your customers would want it. That’s why it’s better to ask and confirm first. Whether you’re about to put down a glass of free water or give cutlery to customers, don’t hesitate to ask if they need them.
The same goes when purchasing supplies for your restaurant. Spend time with the team to find out how much ingredients they need. Tightening belts means learning how to be smarter with usage and storage. This way, you’re significantly cutting back on waste.
2. Shop local, cook in season
Another low cost way for your restaurant to go green is to focus on local produce that are in season. From vegetables and fruits to the freshest catch of the day, cooking food not only becomes eco-friendlier. It is also ensuring you’re getting the most nutrients and taste out of your ingredients.
When you’re shopping local, you’re trimming down on means of travel. This way, there’s far less carbon footprints you’re generating that is extremely harmful to Mother Earth. Plus, you get to support your local farmers and suppliers.
3. Live by better packaging
You’d be surprised how many businesses continue to use single use plastic, styrofoam and the like. Eco-friendly restaurants have sworn off on those and have since started using 100% conscious packaging that are truly reusable and/or biodegradable.
Whether you’re storing weeks’ worth of ingredients in the walk-in freezer or packing for takeaway, only use eco-friendly packaging. Take the extra mile by asking your customers if they have their own containers for bringing home food with them.
4. Amplify energy conservation
Running an eco-friendly restaurant means being extremely mindful of how you consume energy. Considering the amount of electricity and water needed to run your business, it’s only crucial to develop a system to guarantee conservation.
Switch your lights and appliances to energy-saving ones. Establish a rule of turning off lights when they are not necessary, particularly during prep time and your establishment is still closed. Get your customers in on the missions by leaving notes in the restrooms so they are aware. If you can switch out some air-conditioning units with cooling fans or create space for al fresco, better.
5. Hold yourself accountable
There’s no better way to get the job done than to hold yourself accountable. Announce that you are shifting to greener practices and that you hope for their support. When you make your efforts public, you are more driven to do right by it.
It doesn’t take a lot to create an eco-friendly restaurant. Remember these steps to get started and witness just how much you want to do more.