‘Go green’ is the new motto for society, and it is high time to change our lifestyle with increased pollution. While there are so many ways you can go green and help reduce pollution in the environment, this conversation is for all the restaurant owners and their management. If you want to know all the possible simple ways your restaurants can go more green, keep on reading.
The simple ways your restaurant can go greener are
- Reducing food waste
- Using efficient light and energy
- Saving water
- Going digital with a menu
- Choosing eco-friendly packaging
- Buying local ingredients and groceries
- Using natural cleaning products,
- Recyclable furniture,
- Using eco-friendly disposable,
- Encouraging sustainable transportation
- Educating people including staff members about going green.
With the increase in pollution, our environment has been suffering a lot. It is very important for everyone to acknowledge this problem and work towards making our environment a better place to live. With the ‘Go Green’ concept, we can actually step closer to our goals.
So, if you run a restaurant, you must also understand that you, too, can contribute to making the earth better and greener. By eliminating a few things and implementing new ways, restaurants can make a great impact on the environment. So, suppose you want to be an environmental hero. In that case, this conversation will make you one by just following very simple yet effective strategies.
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How Can You Make Your Restaurant Go More Green?
Running a restaurant does not only mean serving your customers with the best food and doubling your profit. It also means that you contribute for the betterment of the society as well. Now, as we all know, pollution is at its peak, and soon it will reach beyond and far from our control.
This is the time when you, as a restaurant owner, can make sure to be on the right side of history by eliminating pollution and making the earth greener. Let us dive into all the simple ways you can make your restaurant go more green.
1. Reduce Food Waste In Your Restaurant
Food wastage is one of the major issues, and many of us do not acknowledge this. Still, it has adverse effects on the environment. If you want to reduce pollution, then put a break on the food wastage in your restaurant. If you want to do the same, there can be many great ways to follow.
Like planning your menu according to the requirement, avoiding purchasing stocks, storing food correctly to avoid any spoilage, practicing stock rotation, and many more now; there can be times when you have lots of leftovers. Now, in this situation, instead of dumping out all the food, it is better to donate to the needy ones. This way, you not only reduce food waste but feed the hungry stomachs.
There are many times when a customer orders extra food, making it easy for them by packing the leftovers so that they can carry and eat the food later. One of the important steps to reduce food wastage is to train all the staff members, including chefs, in managing food properly.
If you promote sustainable preparation of food, then there will be zero waste of ingredients as well. There are many ways you can avoid food wastage. Some of what we have discussed already, and there are some more, such as :
2. Storing food correctly
One of the most important things to avoid food wastage is to store food correctly. From ingredients to prepared food, if they are not stored properly, then they will get spoiled super easily. That is why you have to make sure to practice a good storing process to avoid wastage.
3. Keep a stock inventory.
Keeping a stock inventory is super important. Many times, some ingredients are lying in storage, and we are unaware of the same. This is one of the most common reasons why food gets wasted in big restaurants. They have to throw out spoiled food due to hygienic protocols that lead to so much wastage.
4. Label the food
Labeling the food is another way you can save any wastage of food. You can mention the expiry date, food name, product information, and allergens. This is one of the most efficient ways to save food wastage. Organizing food by labeling will help you keep track of everything and eliminate food wastage.
5. Check use-by dates
Most of the time, we don’t check the expiry date, and that is where we make mistakes and spoil the whole dish after using expired ingredients. We also don’t use the elements and products that are close to expiry just because we were not aware of them. Therefore, keep a check on the use-by dates and use them before they expire.
6. Anticipate the demand
The best way to avoid any food wastage is to know the demand. Suppose you are able to anticipate the demand. In that case, it is easier for you to prepare the dishes accordingly and avoid any wastage. If you know the demand, then it is easier to prepare the food, and then you not only save wastage but also save a lot of money.
7. Use Leftover ingredients
Now there are so many dishes that require so many ingredients, and after you make them, there is still some of it left. You should definitely use the leftover ingredients. Do not discard the ingredients if they are fresh and clean. It is best to use them again in other dishes to avoid food wastage.
8. Use Energy Efficient Lights & Appliances
Without any doubt, the ambiance of a restaurant matters a lot. If the atmosphere and setting of a restaurant are not pleasing, then customers won’t find it appealing to sit and eat at the place. Now, the most effective way to make the setting of any restaurant more attractive is to add lights and use electrical appliances like air conditioners, air purifiers, televisions, etc.
Even though it is daylight outside, most of the restaurants use lights that make the place look brighter. This is where one has to be very responsible. Using lights and electric appliances is fine only if they are eco-friendly.
We are already aware of the harmful waves the appliances produce, and they are hazardous to the environment. I am not only talking about lights and appliances, but there are many cooking appliances too that produce harmful gases or rays that are mixed in the environment and pollute the surroundings.
It is best if you use energy-efficient appliances. If possible, go for solar energy, and trust me, you can run your restaurant for a very low cost in the long run without compromising the environment. Look for energy star-rated appliances that do not emit harmful rays or gasses to reduce the greenhouse effect.
Whenever choosing cooking equipment, make sure that you go for highly efficient ones that not only ease your cooking process but also do not harm the environment in any way.
One of the smartest things I have seen many restaurant owners do is use smart lights that have timers and dimmers. This saves electricity and is obviously very important for the environment. You can also have efficient light bulbs like CFLs and LEDs.
As per me, go for the LEDs as they are super efficient and save a lot of energy. Another thing that most of us really miss out on is cleaning the appliances from time to time. If you keep the appliances clean and tidy, they will not use much electricity and eventually save a lot of energy.
9. Try To Save Water
Water is one of the three most important things that is required for humans to survive on the planet. It is not a hidden fact that the world is getting closer to a situation where there is no water left for drinking purposes. Now, as a restaurant owner, you already know that water is used in so many processes.
From cooking food to cleaning and restrooms, without water, it is not possible to run a restaurant. Make sure that you follow all the practices that save water. Use automatic tabs that dispose of a limited amount of water in the restrooms.
Reuse the water that is usually drained during cooking in washrooms. Practice rainwater harvesting and other similar things that can save water. One such way is to soak the dirty utensils so that one does not have to use lots of water to clean their utensils.
10. Use Digital Menus
One time, I was at a Japanese restaurant, and instead of a regular physical menu, I was asked to scan the QR and check out their digital menu. I was simply amazed by this feature, which made me think about why they decided to eliminate the traditional physical menu and go digital.
The first thought that came to my mind was that it was very obvious they were saving lots of money on physical menus. However, when I calculated, their digital menu must have cost them some money. So it was not only about saving money but much more than that. They were able to reduce the paper consumption that was used to make their menus.
Also, the physical menus did not have a long shelf life, and it was a never-ending use of paper for the menus. With a digital menu, this problem was solved directly. No use of paper or other things that are required in making physical menus is a very eco-friendly step.
This not only reduces paper wastage but also makes it a more efficient and effective way to provide menus at the restaurant. Even customers find it more convenient to access the digital menu, and there is no hassle.
11. Use Eco-Friendly Packaging
Many restaurants provide delivery services, and they use great packaging materials so that the food does not spill and stays fresh for a good time. Now, most of the restaurant owners do not bother about the material for the packaging. However, now they should really look into this. Most of the packaging materials are made with plastic that is not biodegradable.
They pollute the land, and there is no proper disposal of the plastic. If you ask me, switching to eco-friendly packaging is not only safe for the environment but also saves a lot of money. You can go for wooden utensils if possible or maybe go for reusable bags so that there is less pollution. Using paper cups and straws instead of plastic ones is really a great idea. You can even provide take-out boxes to your customers.
Recycling is another option that can be very useful in order to make the environment a better place. So, use recycled products for the packaging materials, and this will also save a lot of money. Also, it is very important to educate the customers on proper recycling or disposal of the packages. This way, you really help the environment to go green and reduce pollution.
Another thing that you can do is optimize the design of your packaging. This allows you to minimize the harmful material that is used for packaging and also decrease the pollution due to improper disposing of the packages.
12. Buy Local & Organic Ingredients
If you really want to make a move in making the environment greener, then it is your responsibility to buy all the ingredients from local sellers and markets. You may not know, but buying local ingredients is eco-friendly as they are not produced using any chemicals, so there are no harmful effects on the environment.
Another benefit of buying local ingredients is that it is super-saving. I usually prefer to buy organic and local vegetables, and the cost is so low and affordable. Not only that but buying local and organic ingredients also reduces food wastage. We all know that these products are locally grown that actually fit the norms and ethics of the environment.
You will also be supporting the local farmers by buying from them which also adds to a better economy. When you buy food and ingredients locally, you ensure that there is crop rotation, as the food produced depends on the seasons. Crop rotation, again, is a very important factor in keeping the soil fertile and healthy.
13. Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Materials
So far, we already discussed why eco-friendly packaging and ingredients are important to take our environment one step closer to going green. Now, that is not all you have to do. There is much more than packaging and organic ingredients. Cleaning is also an important part of a restaurant’s daily tasks.
The cleanliness of the restaurant should be maintained to avoid any kind of contamination with food and keep the place clean and healthy. For that, there are so many great products available. Before you use them, check whether these products are beneficial for the environment or not. Some of the tips and tricks to go eco-friendly while cleaning your restaurant are :
14. Using reusable bottles and sprays
Most of the cleaning process requires spraying cleaning solution, and for that, I would recommend using reusable bottles. This will ensure that you are not overusing plastic and reusing the same. I am sure if most of the restaurants adapt this culture, then there will be less plastic on the planet, making it a better place to live.
15. Use natural products to clean
The best thing about using natural ingredients to clean is that they do not negatively impact the environment. As we all know, cleaning solutions mostly have chemicals that are really harmful to the environment; it is important to eliminate them and use natural and eco-friendly cleaning products.
16. Reduce waste
You need to understand that it is everyone’s responsibility to reduce waste. If you don’t follow healthy practices like reusing and recycling the products, then the waste of things will be more. This only increases the pollution level on the planet. I really recommend every restaurant owner to educate their staff members on the same and reduce waste.
17. Proper Disposing
Even if you reuse and recycle, there are many things that you need to throw out. Now consider the planet as your home and dispose of the waste sustainably. If you don’t dispose of the waste properly, there can be drastic consequences.
Keep different colored dustbins for dry and wet waste. You can even categorise waste as biodegradable and non-biodegradable. Make sure that you don’t pollute the land or water just to keep your restaurant clean and waste-free.
18. Use Furniture Made From Recyclable Materials
I would tell you a secret through which you can really help the environment go green and also save a fortune on the expenses. All the restaurants need furniture for the customers to dine in and enjoy the food. Now, what if I tell you that you can get furniture made from recyclable materials? Then you would ask for the benefits of the same.
Firstly, it will save a lot of money, and secondly, it is eco-friendly. To make the furniture, wood is generally used. Suppose you are using furniture made from recyclable materials. In that case, you will be saving so many trees and other materials used for making the same.
Not only wood but if you are using furniture made from recyclable materials, then you will be helping the steel industry become more sustainable as most furniture requires steel in the material. This conserves a lot of energy, raw materials, and natural resources.
If you have old furniture, then I would advise you to recycle them instead of dumping them into waste. You can sell them at a lower price or make something out of them by recycling them.
19. Prioritize Eco-Friendly Disposables
It is very scary to note that around 23% of waste comes from containers and packages. Now, we have already talked about why disposables are really important to make the environment clean and green. You need to understand that eco-friendly disposables will really make the environment much better.
There will be less waste, and these eco-friendly disposables can be easily disposed of without polluting the environment. You can go for wooden or paper containers instead of plastic. Encourage customers to carry their own boxes to eliminate the plastic packaging. Educating people is crucial, and through your restaurant, you can send the message to a mass number of people.
20. Encourage Sustainable Transportation
The customers that visit your restaurant come from different places. Some are from nearby, and some are from far places, and this is where you can again take a great step toward a better environment. Encouraging customers and staff members to use sustainable transportation is simply a great idea.
I know it is a little difficult to convince other people to switch their transportation modes, but hey, you need to at least try the same. Ask people to use sustainable transportation like public transport or carpooling. This can make a huge difference in the environment by reducing pollution to the next level. Become the voice of the environment and make sure that you encourage people to use sustainable transportation.
21. Educate Your Staff About Going Green
It is well said that change needs to start from the home. If you want to make a positive impact on the environment and encourage people to go green, then you need to start with your restaurant first. Educate the staff member about going green.
Tell them all the sustainable ways of running the restaurant. Ask them to participate in making the environment by simply following sustainable practices. Reusing and recycling is one of the easiest and most important ways to make the environment green, so encourage your staff members to work in the same circumference.
There are certain things that you can do from your end to ensure that the staff members follow sustainable practices. Teach them how to recycle the products. Make reusing and recycling fun and exciting.
Set up a training program to educate the staff members on ways to go sustainable. I am sure that every staff member will participate if you take the initiative to educate and make them learn about environmental sustainability.
Why Making Your Restaurant Green Is A Good Decision?
Making your restaurant green is a good decision because you not only save a lot of money but also make the environment better and cleaner. I have already mentioned that pollution is rising every day and if restaurants also initiate some effective ways to reduce the pollution, it will make a great impact.
Many of us don’t know, but every year, around $218 billion costs the US economy just from food wastage. That is not all; about 75 pounds of food per week is thrown away. Now, these numbers are so disturbing.
With Go Green, restaurants can really make a difference. Many studies have shown that by adopting sustainable ways, restaurants have saved a lot of money and doubled their profits. 99% of restaurants that implemented food loss and waste reduction programs saw an increased ROI. Another study states that around 43% of customers willingly pay extra for environmental sustainability.
Attracting customers with your sustainability programs also becomes easier. 37% of customers prefer restaurants that are eco-friendly. With time, everyone is gaining knowledge on saving the environment, and people are making big life changes as well. That is why the restaurants need to go green.
Without any doubt, the environment is continually being exploited, and the growth in pollution levels is surpassing all the records. If we do not initiate the right steps at the right time, the future of our environment will have a very negative impact.
Even if you are a restaurant owner, you must know and understand all the things that are negatively impacting the environment. Wastage of food or using hazardous packaging materials is one of the main reasons why the environment is suffering so much. So now it is time that you take matters into your own hands and make sure that your restaurant is eco-friendly.
I have shared all the possible ways that your restaurant can go greener. If you have some suggestions, put them down for others to know and spread the word to save the environment.
Just in case you want to take bigger steps like configuring your space to be more energy-efficient by upgrading your HVAC and installing SMART technology, consider hiring Budderfly. They are the experts in this sector. I hope this conversation was helpful. I will be back with some more conversations like this for you. Until then, go green.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Go Green?
Go green is a new motto for society, which basically means changing your lifestyle to help you live in an eco-friendly way. In this, people choose environmentally friendly products and follow such steps to make the earth better, greener, and pollution-free.
What are the ways your restaurant can go greener?
The simple ways your restaurant can go more green are reducing food waste, using efficient light and energy, saving water, going digital with menu, choosing eco-friendly packaging, buying local ingredients and groceries, using natural cleaning products, recyclable furniture, using eco-friendly disposable, encouraging for sustainable transportation and educating people including staff members about going green.
Why is it important for restaurants to choose eco-friendly materials for packaging?
Restaurants need to select eco-friendly materials for packaging. As we all know, after the food is consumed, the packaging materials are dumped. If they are not properly recycled and are not eco-friendly, then they will negatively affect the environment and increase pollution.