Low-Cost Ways to Make Restaurants More Sustainable
It is well know that today’s consumers wish to know if the food they choose in a restaurant is responsibly sourced and if the particular eatery is placing efforts in reducing the damage the operations do to the environment. Recent surveys have shown that 60 percent of consumers want to seek out sustainable restaurants, and over two-thirds of them are willing to pay more to dine at sustainable eateries. Going green attract new loyal fans and offer chances to increase prices if offsetting the costs of doing so is needed after implementing the new strategies. As a big part of the job is providing guests with what they want, restaurants today are looking for efficient ways to be more sustainable and possibly in the most cost-effective ways possible:
- Sourcing seasonal products is a good strategy to make a restaurant more sustainable, by rotating menu items based on seasons, when they are actually very fresh. Using seasonal produce, cheese, meats and more can actually be a cost-saving effective strategy as these items are in abundance during the harvesting season, which drives costs down.
- Green your supply chain. Many restaurants choose vendors very far from their location. This of course drive up product prices and produces unnecessary carbon emissions, hard on the environment. Choosing vendors who can provide you with products that don’t have to travel long distances would be nice but of course…... it is not always possible.
- Knowing where the seafood comes from helps to fight overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices that represent a danger to the health of the oceans. Sustainable seafood is more expensive, but shopping what’s in season or what’s available locally can help keep costs down.
- Vegetarian and vegan options reduce the negative impact on the planet. By replacing one meat option or two with more vegetarian and vegan dishes is a good way to be more sustainable without affecting too much sales. Meat and dairy aren’t only not sustainable, they’re also expensive. Vegetarian and vegan items can have higher profit margins and can actually contribute to saving.
- Reclaiming the restaurant’s décor. This is a great strategy to be sustainable and trendy at same time. Not everything needs to be brand new. Used linens, dishware, wall decorations from closing businesses is also a great money-saving strategy.
- Buying top-quality appliances. This is good for theenvironment as newer ppliances are more energy efficient and easier to repair if they break down, meaning they won’t need to be replaced any time soon.
- Consuming less water and electricity. It is possible to save on water and energy installing timers on lights and low-flow toilets and sinks in your restrooms. Although there is an upfront cost, savings on future energy and water bills offsets those costs.
- Cutting down on waste. Throwing away expired food can be avoided with better inventories procedures, portion sizes can be reduced, leftover van be used for stocks and sauces.
- Joining a recycling program. Many options exist to support these initiatives. Some recycling programs are free, but some do cost small fees to join.
- Ditching one-use plastics (as much as possible). First step is offering drinks in glasses only, and If they really need a straw then second step is providing recyclable and reusable straw alternatives like biodegradable paper, bamboo, pasta, or even metal.