The restaurant industry as a whole is starting to incorporate more eco-friendly practices – and for good reason. Customers are starting to prefer and even expect restaurants to be more cognizant of the impact they have on the environment. Apart from being better for the environment, a sustainable restaurant can expect to save more money and even drum up more business.
Paper straws have been the subject of a lot of discussions, but there are a variety of ways restaurants are improving resource management. Healthy eating and better living conditions are growing concerns among younger generations, so restaurants are reflecting these values in order to appeal to these consumers.
Let’s take a look at five great ways you can make your restaurant more eco-friendly.
01 Choose Sustainable Equipment
Upgrading to more efficient equipment might not be as noticeable or flashy as some of the trendier topics, but it can make a huge difference. Not to mention, more efficient equipment is sure to pay for itself in due time. Energy efficient equipment is more sustainable, lowering a restaurant’s footprint on the environment. Equipment can come in the form of eco-friendly refrigeration, energy star appliances, and even high-efficiency toilets.
It also doesn’t hurt to make sure equipment is turned off when the doors close at the end of the day.
02 Avoid Chemicals Where Possible
A restaurant’s clean-up protocol is always a cause for consideration, but cleaning products that contain toxic chemicals should start to be phased out wherever possible. While it’s true that eco-friendly cleaning products can be more expensive, there are other ways restaurants can get back those costs. For example, using your POS system’s inventory tracking to minimize waste and improve efficiency will more than make up for the nominal costs associated with natural cleaning products.
03 Cut Down on Water Use
When restaurants fail to properly monitor their water usage, costs can really begin to add up. While it might not seem like a big deal to let a faucet run for a little while, the amount of waste might surprise you. Just five minutes of unnecessary faucet use can mean 10 gallons of water down the drain. That translates to enough energy to power a light bulb for 18 hours. Think about how common it is to let the water run while performing certain tasks. Eliminating excessive water usage can save a ton of money on a yearly basis. Don’t forget to consider leaky pipes or faucets; hundreds of gallons of water can be lost each year due to leaks.
04 Go Paperless
Going paperless is easier than ever thanks to the advent of mobile devices. The paper for receipts can be a significant cost that can easily be avoided by sending digital receipts. These days, many customers prefer to receive receipts in email or text message form, anyway. Working with a POS system that allows for digital receipts is a must. Beyond the cost savings of going paperless, this will also have a clear benefit on the environment.
Restaurants should also consider utilizing mobile POS devices and kitchen display systems to reduce the use of paper in the business. Not only are these alternatives more accurate than handwritten orders, but they are also better for the environment.
05 Think About Giving Back
As great as it is to make your restaurant more sustainable, there’s a lot to gain from turning your efforts outward as well. Getting involved with the community and some local charities is a great look for your business, potentially generating more visits and better customer loyalty. It also wouldn’t hurt to make customers aware of your eco-friendly practices.
Small changes in your restaurant can contribute to a safer, healthier environment as well as a more pleasant experience for your guests. To stay up-to-date on restaurant technology trends and more, be sure to sign up for e-mail alerts. You’ll get our blog posts sent straight to your inbox!