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Top 10 Smart Ways Your Restaurant Can Go Green
Prasad Vemulapalli | October 19, 2021

                                                     

 


Over the last few years, the Millenials have realized that it is high time we take care of our environment. Customers are constantly keeping a tab on how the restaurants are adopting eco-friendliness.

Going green appeals to your customers and helps your business cut down on food costs and save on services. Implementing the Go Green label to your restaurant may seem a herculean task initially, but with time it saves your energy and cost too.

The whole idea of going green is to practice environment-friendly methods that can help your business by reducing carbon footprint and use minimal resources such as electricity and water. The restaurants can also help reduce by cutting down on disposable products and minimizing food waste.

1. Reduce Food Waste

Excess food is one of the most common problems faced by restaurant owners. You must take adequate measures to curb the wastage of food. You can practice some of the below-mentioned ways to implement an environmentally friendly restaurant.

  • Use a Digital Inventory Management Tool : The restaurants have adapted to the latest technology to limit food waste. The digital inventory tool like PeachWorks or BevSpot helps them manage the expiry of the products in their inventory. This tool also gives a real-time status of the inventory, thus reducing over-order.

  • Highlight Expiration Dates: Guide your chefs to plan out their menu cards based on the ingredients that are due for expiry. They should keep a tab on the items by adding stickers like “use by” to make the staff aware of the near expiry. 

  • Donate Surplus Food: You are bound to encounter instances wherein you have a surplus amount of food despite using the best practices. Get associated with a pantry for times like this. Giving away usable food guarantees that none is wasted. It’s also an excellent way to indulge in charity, making your restaurant more popular for its good deeds.

2. Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances

The restaurant consumes high energy as the air conditioners, heaters, and appliances are on a constant run.  To adapt changes to your restaurant, consider transitioning to energy-efficient appliances and use best practices to limit air conditioners and heaters’ usage in summers and winters, respectively.

When it’s time to renew or upgrade equipment, look out for the appliances with the Energy Star logo. These appliances consume less energy and perform well.

3. Revamp Your Cleaning Routine

Cleanliness and hygiene are the most sought out in all restaurants. To maintain the shine, restaurants use a lot of chemicals that are a threat to the environment. Conventional cleaning products are harsh chemicals that don’t break down and thus pollute the air and water table. Moreover, guests hate the bleached smell.

Try incorporating environmentally friendly products that have the same cleaning power and are not made of harsh elements. Of late, steam cleaning has gained popularity which can be used to clean your floors and carpets.

4. Go Local and Grow Your Food

For every restaurant, the staple food is the fresh vegetables and fruits you source from. Many restaurants of late have started growing their greens for salads and dressing. You can convert your roof or patio into a mini-garden. Try layering your restaurant layout with different sizes of pots to add greenery.

The diners look forward to a fresh and organic food supply. Getting a first-hand experience where the customer can choose the green’s and vegetables can come in handy to your profits. For all that you cannot grow, start sourcing from local farms.

When your restaurant is dependent on items from across the country, you are increasing the carbon imprint. So opt for products that are local and seasonal. This also helps in regulating your finances and makes your restaurant environment-friendly.

5. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

The environmental enthusiast follows the “3 R’s” rule.  The restaurant should work on reducing waste, reuse containers, and recycle the materials that help in sustainability.

Follow these ideas to make it click:

  • Exchange your regular toilet paper and paper napkins with chlorine-free, recycled paper
  • Order kitchen and bar mats made from 100% recycled materials or use bamboo products.
  • Recycle wood boxes, glass bottles, and cardboard into storage or crafts.
  • Switch to reusable cups and recyclable containers from plastic and styrofoam materials.
  • Join the league of restaurants that have pledged to reduce the use of straw by signing the Last Straw Pledge.

6. Include Kinder Wine

Once your restaurant has started serving organic food, you may want to include an organic bar. You may begin by adding a few organic wines to your drink list.

Widely, wine is made using chemicals and farming methods that are harmful to the climate. Many wineries are known to inject pesticides and other harmful chemicals directly into the soil, polluting the surrounding area.

Talk to wineries in your region; many smaller vintners adopt organic ways and can help you.

7. Save and Reuse Water

Water has been a prized possession over the last couple of years. Every drop is counted, and hence most of the businesses are tirelessly working on improving water conservation. Your restaurant can be part of it by including a few changes to the old school of business.

  • Make a changeover to your restrooms. Install water-saving toilets to limit the amount of water used in every flush.
  • Incorporate an in-house water filter system. This will help you reduce bottled water.  
  • Using solar energy has been in vogue. The governments have rolled out rebates for using solar panels. Install solar panels to heat water for your eco-friendly restaurant. 

8. Build a Sustainable Dining Room

The decor of the dining keeps changing according to the season and theme. You may consider sustainable ways. Try to get locally-built tables and chairs for your dining area. This shows you are focused on keeping your environment clean.

You may limit the usage of tablecloths and napkins. Linens have been ruling the restaurant industry for a long time and were considered environmentally friendly products. But to keep the sheen, they undergo chemical treatments, bleaches, and starches. Thus, to reduce the process opt for paper materials that can be recycled.

9. Consider Composting

Food waste should be segregated from your plastic waste. Arrange separate cans to drop the wet and dry waste. The wet waste can be converted to compost by using simple and effective techniques. 

To make compost at your premises. Keep two separate bins for food waste—one in your kitchen and the other outdoors. End of the day, dump all the food waste into the bin kept outdoors. Eventually, the food waste gets converted to compost. Composting helps reduce greenhouse gases and food waste.

The compost produced can fertilize your rooftop or kitchen garden. In case you don’t own a garden, you can donate it to the community garden.

10. Get Certified

Spread the word about your good deed. Let the customers know about the environmentally friendly practices you have incorporated into your business. You can be part of the green business through the Green Restaurant Association certification process.

Bottom Line

Going green is an innovative and kind move. Converting your restaurant to an environmentally friendly one can satisfy your diners, attract new customers, and improve your business. Many customers want to be associated with those businesses which help in conserving the environment. Most importantly, you’re doing your bit to protect the planet.

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