Can your restaurant get greener?

Many restaurants are making strides to lower their carbon footprints, as part of their business goals and in an attempt to address rising diner demand. But before diving into a complete overhaul, identifying potential stumbling blocks can help make the road shorter. Creating a plan that identifies where your greatest impediments lay means getting ahead of these concerns for a smooth transition into a greener future.

What elements do restaurants need to consider as they set and achieve environmental goals? Taking a greener approach relies on evaluating your efforts. Here are some suggestions for lowering your carbon footprint without always breaking the bank:

  • Lower your water usage with low flow toilets and taps, along with sensor systems. This helps you reduce use and costs, while also making high traffic areas more sanitary.
  • Food preparation equipment accounts for 35 per cent of the energy used the average commercial kitchen. Look for equipment that lowers your energy use, from coffee brewers to dishwashers to refrigeration units, and more.
  • Keep the coils clean on your refrigeration unit. When dust gathers on the coils, the unit has to work harder to do its job.
  • Evaluate your deliveries. Lengthen the time between truck visits by buying local or buying in bulk, wherever you can.
  • Minimize food waste by menu engineering, using ingredients before they go bad, streamlining takeout operations to avoid food sitting too long, and managing your inventory efficiently.

From waste to transportation to energy and sourcing, there are opportunities to lower your carbon footprint, but a data-based approach is the way forward. There are some key steps to take make the most of your efforts and stay informed with real-time results:

  • Start by implementing a data system where you can track, scale, and automate greener initiatives.
  • Evaluate your current systems to determine where there are opportunities for improvement.
  • Communicate with suppliers and distributors to confirm that their visions are in line with your environmental goals.
  • Include your employees for maximum participation and ask them for their feedback on improving processes to reach your goals.

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By making some changes, remaining data-focused, and involving your team in the process, your restaurant can get closer to your environmental goals.