How to make a restaurant sustainable
What is a sustainable restaurant
Sustainability is becoming more and more important in our lives and it’s also a key topic to create a better future for next generations. As individuals, we have become more aware of the small actions that we can take to build a more sustainable future. Nevertheless, industries have also a key role to decrease pollution and increase greener habits. Restaurants are also part of a huge industry and therefore, they can also contribute to sustainability 🍃. A sustainable restaurant is the one driven to reduce to the minimum its carbon footprint, food waste production, energy consumption…. Let’s see the changes you could implement in your restaurant so it becomes more sustainable.
How to make a restaurant more sustainable
Even though there are multiple things that need to be taken into consideration to reduce the environmental footprint, there are also simple habits and changes that you can implement to create a greener environment in your restaurant and contribute to sustainability. Let’s discover some measures a restaurant can implement.
In the kitchen
Cook seasonal food. Using seasonal ingredients will not only allow you to reduce environmental impact but it will also enhance the flavours of your dishes and enable your chef to experiment new recipes to surprise your diners 👩🍳
Buy local. Locavore movement is something that is becoming more important. Try to buy as local as possible by creating a network which will allow you to reduce the pollution impact on the purchase of your different products.
Reduce your waste. Planning and forecasting will be your best allies when reducing waste-production. Analyse the food consumption of your restaurant and establish some parameters that will help you overbuy and have an excess of food. Practising good stock control and introducing safe food preservation measures will also keep you from throwing away food at the end of the service. Finally, enabling leftovers take-aways will considerably reduce the amount of food to throw away.
Include sustainable packaging. Did you know that there are a lot of new businesses creating sustainable packaging. If you’re doing take away or you’ll be open to include leftovers take-away, don’t hesitate to do some research on the different options you have to provide sustainable packaging and hence, reduce the usage of plastic 🥡
Use sustainable cleaning products. While cleaning, make sure that you use biodegradable products without aggressive components for the environment.
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In the dinning room
Reduce energy consumption. Train your staff and make them aware of the importance of saving energy. Little actions such as turning off lights when not in use or reducing the amount of water while cleaning can make a big difference in energy consumption and, also very important, the monthly bills 💡
Rethink your menus. Firstly, creating digital QR menus in your restaurant will help the reduction of paper and other materials to create them. Remember to give clear instructions on how to use them so everyone can have an easy and successful experience. Secondly, giving more specific options in your menu will help you reduce food waste. For example, specify the sides they can choose and either if they want it or not and therefore, you’ll increase the possibilities they’ll eat it.
Rethink your decoration. There are different ways to make decorations more sustainable. For example, using pre-used furniture will help the environment and will give your restaurant a vintage style too. On the other hand, you can also add some indoor plants which will create the perfect atmosphere for your dinners! 🌼
Train your staff. Make your staff passionate about the cause. Having a team that is aware and concerned about sustainable practices will ease you a lot in the process to increase sustainability in your restaurant. Not only will they embrace the new routines with a better approach and a quicker way but also you’ll have new ideas from the team that will help to improve the existing ones. So, why don’t you try to include some workshops about sustainability and include your staff on the brainstorming for green change?
Even though you thought it was challenging to make your restaurant sustainable, you can now see that there are multiple sustainable practices for restaurants that can actually make a huge impact on both the environment and your business. Remember that it also creates a differential trait that current and future dinners will appreciate and consider when choosing a place to eat. Last but not least, bear in mind that it is worth letting your customers know what sustainable actions you’re doing, they’ll appreciate it! 😄