In the constantly evolving world, we are living in, diners became more conscious of the sources of the food they eat. Consequently, restaurant owners have to be more responsible for their sourcing and operation management. Accordingly, the most successful restaurants are changing their operations to be more sustainable. It is important to know that sustainability is a process and an evolution that requires your team to be committed to making it work.
What are sustainable restaurants?
Sustainable restaurants are the ones that use organic produce and local consumption, where they tend to maintain a balance between resources and operations in a way that does not harm the environment.
In brief, according to the environmental leader, ” Sustainability for restaurants means operating in a way that protects, preserves or restores the natural environment, promotes social equity, enhances the lives of people and communities and contributes to economic prosperity for shareholders and stakeholders.”
Why is it important to have a sustainable restaurant?
Running an eco-friendly restaurant helps in avoiding the reduction of our world’s natural resources. Moreover, it will enhance the health of customers and the environment.
Additionally, sustainability will have a great impact on a business’s bottom line by reducing operating costs, resulting in saving money.
Here are some ways you can easily follow to implement sustainable practices into your restaurant’s daily routine:
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1. Choose eco-friendly products:
When building or maintaining your restaurant, you should use environmentally friendly products. In order to reduce the amount of waste and plastic in landfills, consider purchasing biodegradable products (cups, utensils, plates, etc.) that are free of carcinogens. You should also use the cleaning supplies that are free of chlorine and ammonia, and any chemicals that may cause eye irritation, skin irritation, and respiratory problems. You may also use the products that are made from recycled materials, like tires, rubber, or plastic to eliminate the production of new plastic.
2. Keep your menu seasonal:
Consider offering a seasonal menu and cooking what is in the season. Try to change your menu four times a year; once for each season. You may also offer two new dishes every six weeks to cook the ingredients that have short growing seasons like asparagus and serve the freshest possible produce at its peak.
To run your restaurant this way, your kitchen staff need to be flexible and creative, but you should know that the quality is well worth the effort.
3. Water and Energy Conservation
As the cost of water and energy is rising consistently, you have to adjust your usage of water and energy and consider becoming more eco-friendly and go green.
4. Look for the right suppliers:
Find an accredited sustainable supply chain for your restaurant that offers you local, organic and healthy ingredients using no chemicals to grow their products.
Moreover, do your best to support your local farms. When you purchase locally, you help in cutting down the harsh chemicals emitted by trucks used to transport products from the farm to your establishment. Additionally, you will have your products sooner and fresher.
5. Reduce Waste:
Every type of waste has a different way to be reduced. For example, food waste might go to compost. Whereas, glass and cardboard can be recycled. As for packaging, you can return it to your suppliers to be reused.
Reducing waste is a great opportunity for your restaurant for saving money and improving public perception and community relations.
6. Leaner cleaning solutions: Clean and Bag Greenly:
- Instead of using harsh chemicals and bleach in washing duties, consider biodegradable products and natural cleaning ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide, citrus oils, and baking soda. These cleaning solutions’ costs vary and may cost a bit more than the usual cleaning solutions, but take into account the environmental impact and safety of staff and customers.
- While plastic wrappings may be a convenient storage tool, on the other hand, it is also an unnecessary waste and causes an environmental nuisance.
- Consider and evaluate the option of buying plastic containers for storage to reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic wrap.
- Another option is using recycled baking parchment paper for wrapping food to store in the refrigerator. The paper manufactures from recycled and biodegradable materials, so it is environmentally friendly.