Top 10 Eco-Rules for Restaurants

It’s all the rage with an importance so great it could make or break your restaurant. No, we are not talking about kale salads or apple-cured bacon; instead, it’s about turning your restaurant green.

Improving your restaurant’s eco-friendly practices will not only attract more customers, but also will save money and improve your bottom line.

Many of you have already instituted green policies in your foodservice operation. You don’t just talk about sustainability, you live it, and by doing so, you deliver a real and very important message to your customers: That you care about the community and environment.

Therefore, it is not enough just to serve the freshest and most delicious pasta on the planet or your time-honored, family recipe homemade soup. In today’s world, you need to be sensitive to the environment and implement policies that will ensure not only the life of your restaurant, but of the world.

That said, here are 10 Basic Eco-Tips that every restaurant should have in place:

1. Recycle – This should be at the top of the list. Pay attention to what you throw out and where you throw it. Do you have recycle bins? A compost heap? Train your employees on the best practices involving recycling. Check out local governmental rules to help craft your policies.

2. Get Rid of Styrofoam – Foam is out and compostables are in when it comes to servingware. Today’s compostables are more sturdy and hold heat better so that your customer will love that his pasta did not drip onto his car or clothes and that it was hot when he got it home.

3. Upgrade Your Equipment – Switch to new energy efficient washers, ranges, refrigerators and other appliances. It may cost more up front but will save money in the long run, as you will appreciate the lower utility bill.

4. No More Toxins – Replace toxic cleaning chemicals with green supplies.

5. Save Water – Install flow restrictors to control both kitchen and lavatory usage.

6. Go Local – The closer the food is grown and processed, the greener it is. Talk to local farmers and processers to see if you can source your menu ingredients around the corner rather than around the world.

7. Cloth, Paper, Straws – No, this is not a new game. Quite simply, use cloth instead of paper napkins and make straws optional. Both kinds of paper are wasteful. More and more cities are banning plastic anyways so you should get on track now.

8. Turn It Off! – Shut down ovens when not in use, and reduce the number of dishwashing cycles by waiting for full loads. Same goes for AC and lighting.

9. Go Digital – Minimize paper receipts and whenever possible, send out digital receipts via your POS system. In addition, you can collect email addresses to use for advertising and promotion. Now that’s recycling!ecosticks pic

10. Use Eco-Friendly Ingredients – That’s one of the reasons Sugar Foods created EcoSticks because it reduces the overall footprint by offering a power-packed sweetener in a smaller package. Check out other products from companies that care about the environment and make the switch.

You do not have to be an organic restaurant to show concern about the environment, but you do have to care. Even smaller, simpler steps can impact the planet. Going green is more than just a popularity contest and the resulting satisfaction you gain will not only sustain the environment but your business.

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