Are you considering an environmentally friendly concept for
your restaurant? Perhaps you want to offer a natural or organic food menu. Do
you simply want to become more environmentally responsible as a food service
No matter which end of the spectrum you land on--
ACityDiscount has some cool ways for you to turn your restaurant into a full
blown “Green” operation.
For those of you establishing a restaurant with a green
concept, you will want to establish a few distinguishing characteristics, and
have a commitment to sustainable meals.
Creating an Eco-Friendly Restaurant
Being eco-friendly means not being harmful to the
environment. You may also find references to low or no-impact business models.
With determination and guidelines, this does not have to be a difficult task. A
few ways you can be eco-friendly:
- Consider an on-site organic garden (or
alternatively, partner with organic growers)
- Recycle food wastes into compost pile to fertilize your restaurants garden
- Recycle cooking oil - look for services in your area that provide pick up services. In some cases they will even pay you for
Energy- Efficient Kitchen Equipment
For a green eatery, energy efficiency is important when it
comes to shopping for commercial kitchen equipment. Not only does this help you
in energy savings, but it also helps protect the climate!
ENERGY STAR has been instrumental in reducing Greenhouse
Star® rated restaurant equipment is where you should start for eco-friendly
appliances for your commercial kitchen.
Generate Less Waste
Food waste in the restaurant industry accounts for a large
portion of food waste in the U.S., approximately 150,000 lbs per year
on average. That’s a startling statistic, but the great news is that together,
we can all be a part of the solution! Here are some things you can try even if
your restaurant is not Green or organic:
- Reduce over purchasing
- Ensure proper storage to decrease spoiled items
- Find alternative uses for excess food
Recycling is not only good for the planet, but it can cut
garbage removal costs as well- see, everyone wins! You can partner with your
garbage collector on a cardboard, glass or plastic recycling program. According
Restaurant Association, two-thirds of restaurateurs have recycling programs
and 51 percent of consumers are willing to pay a little more for menu items at
a restaurant that recycles. So what are you waiting for - make it green, make
it great… at the very least, participate!
When deciding on furniture for your eatery, the ambiance
should represent your mindfulness for the environment. Low voltage lighting is a great energy saving
option, and you can consider metal seating instead of wood for conservation purposes.
You may also find large windows that bring in natural light along with
live potted plants a great way to keep the air clean & customers feeling
Cultural Impact of Going Green
Often times, being “green” is a lifestyle. This lifestyle
should be implemented into your restaurant in whatever ways you can come up
with! In many cases, educating staff or
customers can have a positive effect on the community you're in.
If your restaurant is located in an urban or metropolitan
location, think about encouraging employees to walk or bike to work. Perhaps
offer an internship for other enthusiasts! Provide bike only parking in a
section of your parking lot, or offer a small discount to those that bike to
Encourage active participation in your eco-friendly methods,
by providing separate disposal bins for food waste and non-food waste. Use the
compost in your establishments garden or offer it to the community free of
charge. This could even be an opportunity to go to a school or community center
and help kids learn about healthy eating & farming.
Use biodegradable, recycled material plates and utensils or
encourage family style dinging to reduce water used during washing & waste
production. Offer small discounts for reusable cups - think about how the major
coffee chains offer to fill customers own mugs and travel containers.
Greener, Cleaner Food Industry
Now that you have the guidelines for being Greener, go on
-implement these into your restaurant plan and see what a difference it can
make for you! You will not only reap beneficial rewards for your business, but
you will literally be making the world a cleaner, greener place!
Have other great ideas for being more environmentally friendly
in the food industry? Share with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus, we love
learning more from our fellow food service industry professionals!