Ways to go green in your restaurant

Doing what we can for our planet is of the utmost importance. In recent years, taking extra environmentally-friendly measures has become more common all over the world, but it has especially affected restaurant owners for several reasons. First, as business owners they have more responsibility to reduce the negative impact running their business has on the earth. If that isn’t motivation enough, there are several ways to make your restaurant more eco-friendly that will actually increase your profit margin, including tax incentives.  Also, it is a great aspect of your restaurant that you can market to attract a whole new crowd of customers. Find out how you can protect the environment and help your business.

Setting up Shop

If you are building a restaurant, there are many things you can do to set it up in an Earth-friendly fashion.  Use as many recycled products as you can in the construction of the building.  Opt for low-flow toilets in the bathrooms, and install energy efficient hand driers rather than paper towels.  Also, if you are in an area that accommodates it, put solar panels up on the roof to help cut down on energy consumption.  Finally, revolving doors are a great way to keep the temperature in the room stable in a high-traffic area.

The Food You Serve

Put some thought into where you purchase your food for the restaurant.  Organic items may cost more at times, but the payoff is worthwhile.  These vegetables, dairy, and proteins can be marked up slightly on the menu, and marketed as organic.  You will have a reduction in your carbon imprint, and please your market at the same time.  Another thing you can do is stick to local establishments for your supplies.  Find the best bakery, farm, and butcher in your immediate vicinity.  The further the trucks travel to get to your establishment, the worse the impact on the environment.  You will also be playing a large role in helping the local economy if you adopt these practices.

Conscientious Take-Out

When people call the restaurant to pick up an order, there are several ways you can make the experience more eco-friendly.  Start by stocking environmentally friendly carry out containers.  Ask them how many people are sharing the meal, and whether or not they require napkins or plastic utensils.  Check to see which, if any, sauces they would like to go with the meal.  This way, your staff isn’t putting these items in every order and wasting products.

You can also set up a program to give away reusable bags to customers that spend a certain amount of money.  By reusing the bag, they will get a small percentage off their bill.  This reduces the amount of waste you produce, and keeps them excited to come back for more.

Whether you are improving an existing business, or starting an environmentally friendly restaurant from the ground up, there are multitudes of creative ways to improve the kind of impact your restaurant will have on our planet.

Jess Holmes is part of a team of writers and specializes in writing advice oriented pieces.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You're also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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