As restaurants start to reopen their doors, now is the perfect time to reassess the way your business runs. While extremely challenging and nerve-wracking to say the least, COVID-19 has also helped nature thrive. It’s a great idea to continue to help our environment during these challenging times and beyond.
It’s easy, impactful, and cost-effective to implement more eco-friendly practices into your restaurant’s operations. Believe it or not, the food industry is one of the least sustainable industries today. From high carbon footprints to plastic waste to food waste, the way that many of today’s restaurants run makes them highly culpable for being ecologically unfriendly.
As big of a cliché as this statement is, change can start with you – right there in your restaurant kitchen. There are countless eco-friendly restaurant ideas that range from small, baby steps to big leaps – all of which are sustainable for you and the environment.
Here are a couple of eco-friendly restaurant ideas that you can start implementing in your business today:
Paper, specifically ultra-processed and non-recycled paper, is responsible for the loss of massive areas of forests across the globe. Many of these paper products end up in the restaurant industry in the form of receipts, order forms, menus, office printing, etc. They make up a huge part of the industry’s carbon footprint.
Address this by switching to digital wherever possible. For example, you can go digital with your accounting needs, administrative uses, and by making receipts completely optional.
Meat consumption accounts for a huge chunk of our carbon footprint. Our species’ appetite for pork, chicken, beef, and even fish is not only responsible for high greenhouse gas emissions, but also for massive ecological imbalance and loss of natural habitat for many species. It is logical to counter this problem by cutting down on our meat consumption and encouraging patrons to eat more plant-based foods.
Be part of this in a number of ways. Test out getting on board projects like Meatless Mondays and add more plant-based options to the menu. There is a lot of room for creativity here, and lots of delicious foods to try.
If you haven’t yet, make the switch to more energy-efficient appliances for your restaurant. It’s a win-win for your lowered energy costs and for the decreased carbon footprint of your operations.
Taking on the farm to table route with your food supplies wins on two levels. First, you are reducing the greenhouse gas emission it takes to get your food to you. Second, local produce means less need to use plastic for your supplies.
As an added bonus, you are also helping local farmers who are forced to compete with larger, packaged food manufacturers. Create a menu around seasonal produce in your locale to make this work for you on the business-side of things.
Here’s a sad fact: plastic and the food industry are inseparable. But while we cannot completely get rid of plastics from our operations, single-use plastics like cutlery, straws, cups, etc. can be replaced.
Switch to metal or bamboo cutlery, incentivize customer-use of reusable food/drink containers, switch to reusable straws, use unbleached paper/cardboard for takeout, etc. Use this as another opportunity to get creative.
Bigger, more tangible change can only be achieved when more people – or in this case, restaurants – are onboard. Partner with other stakeholders and players in the local restaurant industry as well as the government to make systemic changes that everyone can join in or contribute to.
Making a change can sound a little daunting but it doesn’t have to be! The first step you take is enough to propel your business toward a more sustainable direction. And that step doesn’t have to be huge. It can be as simple as replacing paper towels with reusable cloth napkins and tablecloths.
Aside from greenhouse emissions, waste is one of the biggest and most negative environmental impacts that the restaurant industry is responsible for. Reduce your contribution to the local landfills by switching to cloth napkins and tablecloths instead of paper placemats and paper napkins. In particular, work with a restaurant linen service provider that offers complete supply and service support for your restaurant’s needs.
Interested in partnering with a professional linen service provider for your restaurant? Contact the reliable experts at Dust-Tex today to speak with a representative. Call us at 808-842-4811.