How can you increase the sustainability and profit of your restaurant with a green approach?
Do you know that today's customers prefer low-carbon footprint food and restaurants? In addition, you can reduce your ecological footprint and increase restaurant profitability by using eco-friendly practices.
The Y and Z generations are increasingly preferring eco-friendly businesses and paying more for locally sourced foods. The new generation prefers to support organizations that share the same basic values, such as prioritizing sustainability.
If you can implement sustainability for your restaurant, you can save money and increase profitability. A 2019 Fast Company study analyzed the financial status of 114 restaurants in 12 countries. They found that every $1 invested in reducing food waste led to a $7 cost savings. You can also implement various eco-friendly ways to reduce your expenses.
Reduce Food Waste
Look for solutions to reduce food waste. Observe the process for pre- and post-consumer waste. If there is a local food bank in your area, you can donate food there. Also, controlling inventory processes will provide you with important insights to reduce food waste. Inventory management solutions like Qapera can help you reduce food waste. With the application, you can analyze every material you purchase and flawlessly track how often each material is used.
The solution does not only end in the kitchen. It is necessary to observe the amount of food left on customers' plates. To save money and waste, reduce serving sizes by using smaller plates or smaller portions. Then, observe the amount of food left on plates again.
Consider using a digital cookbook to make portioning easier. All of your staff can access this cookbook through their cell phones. This way, your staff will know how much of each material to use and create as little waste as possible when preparing orders.
Also, create a food waste journal to track any unused materials in plates. You can add spills, burned products, spoiled foods, and expired materials to it.
Review Your Vendors
Aim to work with vendors who are trying to reduce waste. In other words, try to find sellers who minimize unnecessary packaging and costs, and sell in bulk. Also, look at where your materials are shipped from. Research whether a product can be supplied from another nearby location. By purchasing restaurant materials locally, you can support your neighbors and smaller businesses and save on shipping costs nationwide. By reducing carbon emissions during delivery, you can also reduce your carbon footprint.
Review your expenses and consider how to reduce costs. For example, you can repair dripping faucets and consider only bringing water to customers when requested. This way, you can save on water bills and save water in general.
You can also reduce your electricity bill by lowering the thermostat by a few degrees. By using low-energy smart bulbs with timers or motion sensors, which do not need to be on all the time, in areas like bathrooms and storage, you can save energy.
When purchasing new devices you need, consider Energy Star-approved products. Energy Star emphasizes that the newer your devices, the more you save. Especially with their own brand of Energy Star products, there is a tool that shows how much you can save over time by upgrading your current devices.
Use Eco-Friendly Materials
Instead of using hard plastics and styrofoam in your package orders, you can consider using biodegradable delivery bags, napkins, and packaging containers. Replace plastic straws with paper ones. You can also choose reusable materials instead of disposable plastics and other non-recyclable materials in your restaurant. These options may seem more expensive in the short term, but consider the impact they can have on your customer base. You can attract more customers who want to support sustainable restaurants.
Increase Your Sales Volume
Now that you've made changes, you can consider letting everyone know that you are eco-friendly. Your customers will be happy to see that your carbon footprint is decreasing. Also, inform your guests that your products come from sustainable local growers. You can change the names of those dishes on the menu that are grown locally or add a symbol to clarify which ones are.
By doing your best, you can contribute to the community's sustainability initiatives. For example, participate in recycling programs or ecological events. In this way, you will have made efforts for the sustainability of nature and also promoted your restaurant's name in the community.