Wondering how you can make your restaurant business more environmentally sustainable? We have 5 great ways for you to get started. Check them out.
If you’re looking to invest in a restaurant that supports an environmentally sustainable culture, then think twice about where you get your produce. If you’re buying it from halfway across the world, you are most likely dealing with the chemicals and toxins that are sprayed to ‘protect’ them. But also think about the amount of fuel that’s used to transport the food to your doorstep. Instead, consider local farmers and stores. Not only will you be helping the environment, offering healthier food choices, but you’ll also be putting your money back into your own community, ensuring it’s supported. Be sure to include your initiative in your vision and mission statement. There are a lot of people who seek out restaurants and cafes that hold environmental values.
Reduce Your Waste
It may be tough for a restaurant to implement a zero-waste culture, but that doesn’t mean you can’t substantially reduce it. The single most important step towards waste reduction is in regards to food. Far too many restaurants throw away food after closing. But reducing waste goes beyond just food. Ensure that your restaurant takes recycling and composting seriously. Try to at least eliminate all the disposables when you serve food. This way you decrease your waste production and make your restaurant much classier. Think hard about your packaging. What happens when a customer wants the food to go? Are you using plastic bags, utensils and Styrofoam to package meals? There are ways to implement a culture where your customers bring in their own reusable containers. For food that is ‘to-go’ think about more sustainable ways to package. Compostable or recycled paper for example are much better options than plastic and Styrofoam.
Keep Your Menu Vegetarian and Vegan Friendly
Research shows that by eliminating or reducing animal products and byproducts, you by default are an environmentalist. Aside from being more compassionate to animals, a vegetarian diet also reduces air and water pollution. It’s also common sense – by catering to vegetarian and vegan customers, you expand your target market. People choose veggie options for a variety of reasons. Be it health, animal rights, environmental or price. But for a restaurant that wants to keep things ‘green,’ having extensive veggie options is a must.
‘Green’ Your Cleaning and Maintenance
The point is to think ‘green’ every step of the way. For example, when it comes to cleaning, use healthier and chemical-free cleaning products. White vinegar and baking soda can go a long way. To learn more about the toxins lurking in conventional cleaning products check out our previous blog. Another great way to make your restaurant more sustainable is to invest in energy efficient appliances (for example: ovens and refrigerators) – this helps the environment and your bills.
Build a Culture
Awareness is key. Communicate your goals and values with your potential customers. We need to talk about environmental sustainability, going ‘green’ and adopting a waste-management system. Invite your customers along and ask them to join this global conversation. When it comes to advertisement go paperless and rely on social media. Think about events and campaigns that bring these issues to the forefront of discussion.
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