No matter your opinion on global warming, one thing’s for certain: gas and electricity aren’t the cheapest of life’s necessities.

Wholesale and energy supplier prices continue to rise and locked-in tariffs are a constant source of concern for the regulators. Energy, it would seem, is likely to always be a contentious issue both at home and in business. But, what about those two words we’re forever hearing in the media: ‘carbon footprint’?

Again, whether you believe global warming to be nothing more than scaremongering or a genuine threat to life as we know it, the idea of running an operation that does as little harm to the environment as possible is rather appealing.

In this post, we’ve picked out four brilliant ways to reduce your restaurant’s carbon footprint, and there’s a strong chance you simply won’t have given them prior thought.

1. Reduce the dishwasher temperature

We all do it; you throw in the plates, pots, pans and cutlery, pop in a tablet and press the big, green ‘GO!’ button.

That’s how dishwashers have always worked, right?

In fact, dishwashers come with all manner of different operating modes – many of which will reduce their energy consumption considerably. Try opting for a lower temperature wash on a more regular basis and see if you see the same results – there’s a good chance everything will be just as clean when you open that door.

2. Seal door and window air gaps

Take a look at the windows and doors in your restaurant; where they meet the brickwork, can you see any minute gaps? Likewise, are there visible gaps within the frames themselves?

You might be surprised by how many you find, and you’d be equally surprised by what an effect such defects can have on your heating bill. To fix them and retain as much heat inside as possible, apply weather stripping to seal up any gaps you discover.

3. Opt for ‘task lighting’

If you’ve got just one or two light switches for the entire restaurant, you’re probably spending far too much on electricity.

Illuminating all of the restaurant even when certain sections are rarely in use is highly inefficient. There’s an answer, thankfully, and it lies in the form of something called ‘task lighting’. This refers to the principal of using counter lighting instead of overhead lights in the kitchen, but can also be applied in the dining area.

Speak to an electrician and find out the cost for grouping sections of the overhead lights so that they can be operated independently. If you’re lucky, the cost will be negligible and the outcome will enable you to be far more strategic with your restaurant illumination.

4. Implement a ‘turn it off’ policy

Right – time for the obvious one; a piece of advice our parents were forever extolling the virtues of, but which regularly fell on deaf ears.

If something isn’t being used, be it a light, kitchen appliance or EPOS terminal – turn it off. Create a culture where this mantra is lived by and you should quickly see some very big savings indeed.

Wrapping up

Have we inspired you to go green?

We can’t guarantee that the tips above will reduce your energy consumption considerably, but they should have a noticeable effect on the bills and give you that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with looking after planet Earth as best you can.

Image credit