How Can Restaurants 'Go Green'?
Such efforts include getting more durable and sustainable uniforms for staff such as Chef coats or denim aprons, where you won’t need to keep renewing them all the time and can use the same uniforms for longer periods of time.
What are the advantages that a restaurant can gain from going ‘green’?
- Keeps your customers happy – People are far more educated and concerned about environmental protection these days than ever before and many people believe that businesses would reduce the negative impact they have on the environment, hence, when it comes to commercial businesses, they will opt for those who are ‘green’ over those who are not. Adopting initiatives that help save and protect the environment is one of the best ways of keeping your customers happy and coming back to you.
- Reduce costs – Restaurants use a lot of power and energy to keep their operations running, especially in the kitchen department. By using energy saving equipment and other initiatives, they can not only reduce the power consumption but save on expenses related to power and energy as well. Although such endeavors may have a big initial investment, over time, they can really cut back and save on their bills.
- Reducing waste – Reducing waste, especially food waste, in a restaurant is a top priority as a business can lose a lot of money in wasted and thrown out food. In addition, it also creates a huge negative impact on the environment, with increased garbage and landfills, and so much more. Reducing waste can not only improve the environment, but can improve profits as well for the business.
So, what are the green plans that you can initiate for your restaurant, café or hotel to ensure that you keep the environment as well as your customers happy?
- Food – Purchasing locally produced ingredients is far more cost efficient and it ensures that you are not only helping the local, small-time farmers, but are concerned about the freshness of the food you serve as well. Local purchasing means you get your daily stock of fresh produce, which will improve the quality and taste of the food you serve. In addition, you can also go for organically grown food, which although may cost a little higher, has a greater appeal among customers. Some restaurants and hotels also have their own fruit, vegetable and spice gardens, and use their own produce for their menu items.
- Local sourcing – Local sourcing also means that you reduce the amount of fuel spent on travel, since the farmers are close to you in the local area. Investing in your local community is an advantage when it comes to drawing in your customers, as they look at you as a responsible business.
- Reducing water consumption – There are many ways that you can reduce water consumption in a commercial establishment, such as installing flow restrictors to taps in restrooms and kitchens, which result in people only using the amount of water they need, rather than wasting it.
- Reducing waste – Food waste is a huge problem faced by many restaurants, however there are a lot of small practices that can be adopted to minimize this. Such practices include, using fish and meat bones for preparing stock, using vegetable peel to prepare vegetable stock and sauces, keeping an eye on portion sizes to minimize food waste by customers etc. In addition, many establishments donate excess prepared food to homeless shelters and soup kitchens, and also compost inedible items to fertilize their own fruit and vegetables gardens.
- Energy efficiency – Motion sensor lighting, solar lighting and heating, as well as using insulating blinds and shades at your establishment are the many ways in which you can reduce energy consumption for a greener operation. These not only help protect the environment and our precious resources, but will also have a huge impact on profits as well.
- Other items – Almost everything used in a restaurant can be recycled, such as paper, plastic, glass etc, and the important thing is to ensure that they are discarded in properly marked bins to enable easy recycling processes. In addition, you can also adopt the use of reusable items such as table cloths and cloth serviettes, and much more durable uniforms for staff, such as denim aprons, which can reduce the amount of waste you incur on a daily basis.
- Cleaning supplies – Many companies now produce eco-friendly biodegradable cleaning supplies because of the environment impact that certain chemicals and detergents have. Hence a restaurant looking to ‘go green’ can use such eco-friendly cleaning supplies in their reestablishment.
Although sometimes the initial cost of investing in eco-friendly practices may be high, in the long run it can be very beneficial to commercial establishments such as restaurants, hotels and cafes, since they can reduce their costs, as well as increase their sales, with more and more customers coming to them because of their environmentally friendly processes. The biggest return they get however, is the protection of the environment we live in, and not leaving a negative footprint in it for future generations.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Virginia Hawthorne, a.k.a Georgie writes books and articles, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. She’s best known for writing fiction and fantasy. She also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from business strategies to world facts and historical subjects. She enjoys pizza, as should all right thinking people. She lives in the west suburb of Sri Lanka with her mother and her outrageously annoying two siblings, and two cats.