Sustainability in your Restaurant
Why is sustainability important?
Sustainability is particularly important in the hospitality sector, as the way we produce, distribute, and dispose of waste food has a huge impact on the planet.
There have long been concerns about the state of our planet, and how long its resources may last. This coupled with the increasing impact of global warming and the resulting effect on the environment means that there is a responsibility on all of us, to minimise our impact on the planet.
There is also a growing trend of customers wanting the brands they buy and use to be more sustainable. Demonstrating your sustainability efforts and showing you care about the environment, can bring new customers and ensure loyalty amongst existing customers as they recognise your work.
How can I be more sustainable?
"A small change can make a big difference"
It is worth thinking about how small changes in your restaurant, can help bigger changes in the environment.
Below are some of the ways you can make your restaurant more sustainable:
- Cutting down on the amount of paper used during the order process. Thermal till printers are standard in almost all retail stores and restaurants however, the paper used in them cannot be recycled, due to the thermal coating used.
Recycle as much packaging as you can. This may sound obvious, however you may also want to rethink where you get your ingredients. If you are unable to recycle the packaging your suppliers use, ask them if they will take back and reuse the packaging or crates they deliver to you.
- Cooking what’s in season allows for sustainable growth, and reduces the costs of importing goods from overseas when they are out of season locally. This does require some creativity and willingness to change menus as ingredients change. This can be particularly important in regards to fish, some fish go through cycles of repopulation throughout the year, and fishing them during this time can be damaging to the species.
- Food waste can be reduced by reducing portion sizes of meals you notice are regularly not being finished. Some unused food can be donated to food banks, or other organisations that can use it, rather than being thrown away.
- Energy-efficient appliances reduce energy consumption. Saving you money, and at the same time reducing the amount of electricity produced from non-sustainable sources such as coal or gas. You could also look into energy providers who produce energy via sustainable sources such as wind, tidal or solar.
- Conserve Water. Waste water needs to be treated to be made usable again. Water processing emits thousands of tonnes of CO2 each year as well as using harmful chemicals.
- Using recycled or up-cycled furniture and decorations. This can be cheaper than new items and potentially prevents them from ending up in landfill.
- Partner with schemes that help the environment. Carbon Free Dining is a great example, as they not only help the environment, but also the developing communities in which they plant their trees. More information about Carbon Free Dining can be found here.
Of course, taking on all of these things at once would be overwhelming. It is important to start small and work your way up. Make one or two changes first and build from there, making sure you are comfortable with each change before adding another.
Also vitally, don’t forget to publicise what you are doing! Making the public aware that you are becoming more sustainable will attract people who value the effort and the outcomes.
KRCS have partnered with Carbon Free Dining and Lightspeed Restaurant Point of Sale to make it easier for restaurateurs to become more sustainable. For more information about our solutions, please contact our experts on firstname.lastname@example.org