Reduce your carbon footprint in restaurant management
One of the current challenges in a restaurant is reducing the negative impact that their operations have on the environment, or what we would call reducing the carbon footprint created by the business during its services. Are you aware of your restaurant’s carbon footprint? Do you have any protocol for reducing it?
Let’s start by understanding the term:
Carbon footprint: The amount of greenhouse gas emissions that a living being, person or organization produces, measured in tons of emitted CO2 (carbon dioxide).
One thing is certain; the increase of this percentage is responsible for what we know as global warming and its destructive consequences.
How do I determine my restaurant’s carbon footprint?
To do so, we need to analyze the entire footprint that our business’s life cycle leaves behind, from obtaining raw materials and transporting them, the production of our dishes, offering new services, waste management, etc. As you can see, it is a tremendous carbon footprint.
Unfortunately, the restaurant and hospitality industries are among the industries that produce the greatest carbon footprint, which is why it is a growing priority to get down to business and join forces to create restaurants that are…
Sustainable and committed to the planet.
Responsible about the consequences of their activities.
Adaptive to the latest trends.
Here are some basic steps to achieve this in your restaurant management:
Train and educate your team
To start things off, it is ideal to integrate a company philosophy in your restaurant by training the team in the changes to be made, why these changes are being made, and the positive impact that they would have throughout the entire company and the environment. Educating staff is crucial for ensuring that things are done right and over the long term.
There are companies that specialize in helping restaurants take this big step, with the right information and methodology. You can look them up in your neighborhood and hire these services, which could be very useful.
Practice sustainable purchasing
One of the most important activities in restaurant management is purchases. It is also one of the areas where we can reduce our carbon footprint the most by doing the following:
- Purchasing reusable tableware, such as cups, cutlery, glasses, napkins, etc. instead of plastic or disposable equipment, as well as replacing bottled water with filtered water.
- Purchasing seasonal products that are local, are fair trade, have recyclable packaging and reduce the impact of transporting them.
- Purchasing sustainable farming and fishing products from farms where the animals are treated with respect and animal well-being is promoted. Think about the fact that the beef industry is responsible for the world’s greatest methane emissions.
Effective waste management
We can also do great work here.
- We can begin with an initial prevention phase, so as to produce the least waste possible. Store them in food groups according to their preservation level, label them with expiration dates and cook them according to these parameters so that nothing goes to waste.
- Have the proper equipment for cutting, peeling and processing products efficiently since a well-sharpened knife can make a world of a difference.
- Analyse the leftover food on the plates and serve less of the products that customers tend to leave on their plates the most, and you can even remove from the menu products that are not ordered very often nor very profitable.
- Join the trash cooking trend, since it allows you to re-use shells, seeds, entrails and other “leftovers” as ingredients for other recipes.
- And, of course, recycle. Designate a specific area to do so, where staff can separate waste, wash the waste that requires washing before being recycled and take them to the appropriate containers. You can also donate leftover food to food banks or soup kitchens before discarding them.
General cost optimization
- Another important measure is to analyse the restaurant’s energy consumption and create a plan to reduce it as much as possible. Sustainable restaurants generally install equipment that is more energy efficient, as well as low-energy lighting systems, lights with motion sensors, in addition to efficient air conditioning.
- It is important to reduce water waste by installing dual-flush systems, faucets with timers and eco-technology for washing all the equipment. The same goes for gas consumption.
These measures can also lower bills, even by up to 20%. We optimise our restaurant management and also get more out of our budgets.
A win-win at all levels. The restaurant wins, the customers win, the community wins, the planet wins. Will you join in and have a more sustainable restaurant?