Remember when running a successful business relied on a great product, engaging marketing, competitive pricing and unbeatable service?
Well, things have changed considerably. Research suggests that 88% of school students believe social and environmental issues should be priorities in business. This is partly why ‘going green’ is becoming an increasingly important thing for firms in any sector.
If you run a restaurant, you’re in the perfect position to establish your green credentials and make them a key differentiator that will draw in more business.
Here’s seven quick-fire tips for becoming a green restaurant this year.
1. Start composting
Let’s begin with the nitty-gritty. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, composting is a great way to reduce greenhouse gasses and food waste.
It’s easy, too – just keep a separate bin in the kitchen into which staff can chuck food waste, and dump its contents into an outdoor compost bin every day.
2. Use sustainable furniture
There’s lots of ways you can become greener as a resultant that don’t involve food. The furniture, for instance, could be purchased locally from companies who up-cycle and recreate furniture from what would have been waste material.
The same goes for your napkins and tablecloths. The amount of washing they demand means you’re unnecessarily putting a strain on the environment. Instead, why not opt for paper-based materials that can eventually be recycled?
3. Conserve water
Your restaurant will get through a huge amount of water each shift, and conserving water is becoming increasingly important for environmentally-aware businesses.
There’s a few ways you can do this. For example, you could switch from bottled water to in-house filtration and replace your toilets with water-saving variants that reduce the amount of water each flush uses.
4. Go organic at the bar
You may already have introduced organic ingredients for your food menu, but what about the bar?
There are some wonderful organic wines that don’t rely on the same environmentally-harmful farming practices as regular wines. And you know what? They taste fantastic, too!
5. Abide by the three Rs
Reduce, reuse, recycle; these three Rs are the letters every sustainable restaurant should live by.
There’s so much you can do with them, too. Bar mats that are made from 100% recycled material, reusable cups and even chlorine-free recycled toilet paper will make a huge difference to your green efforts.
If you’ve got the space for it (a small back garden area will normally suffice), there’s little excuse not to start growing your own fruit and vegetables as a restaurateur.
Buying from third parties – even if they’re sustainable – still involves transport of some kind, and we all know that indirectly raises one’s carbon footprint. But grow-your-own, and you can bask in the glory of tasty natural goodness that has only travelled a few yards to reach the kitchen.
7. Reduce food waste
One of the most impactful things you can do as a restaurateur is reduce your food waste. Because, boy, is there a lot of it in this industry!
The Green Restaurant Association suggests that restaurants waste on average between 25,000 and 75,000 pounds of food every year. And that’s just in America.
To avoid adding to this, invest in digital inventory software, donate your surplus food to charities and make sure the kitchen team work closely to expiration dates. It’s much easier than you might think!
Going green as a restaurant isn’t difficult, but it does require patience and a dogged determination to be more environmentally friendly. We hope our tips above help you do just that!
Share your own green tips in the comments section, below: