Businesses in the restaurant industry are making incredible efforts to become eco-friendly and, given the ever-increasing energy costs and the declining availability of renewable natural resources, this is a good thing. Conservation is not an obstacle nor a nuisance. On the contrary, there are several benefits to going green, such as reducing harmful waste and minimizing the environmental footprint. The restaurant industry is quite versatile, which means that you can make your business more sustainable. This is what you can do to increase efficiency and conservation.
Cook with the Seasons
If you want to get the best value for your money, and serve better food, cook what is in the season. Restaurant owners and chefs everywhere are taking advantage of seasonal menus, focusing exclusively on quality and nutrition. Freshly picked fruits and vegetables are delectable, and they have more nutrients as opposed to which are not in season. The latter is covered with waxes, pesticides, and preservatives that help maintain their fresh appearance. So, start or increase your use of local farms and suppliers. Offer customers ingredients that have been harvested from local resources and which directly contribute to the community.
Change the menu a couple of times a year. Rotate two new dishes every six weeks to accommodate new ingredients. Not only is eating produce in the season tastier and more nutritious, but also better for the planet. The world is not growing sufficient vegetables and fruits for every person to eat healthy, which is why it is recommended to use fresh veggies and fruits whenever possible. Operating like this requires a little bit of flexibility and creativity from the employees of the establishment, but it is well worth the effort.
Offer Biodegradable Straws
Straws have become a complicated issue when it comes down to the restaurant industry. Straws are not good for the environment. These universal drinking tools, which are present in almost every establishment, end up in the ocean and endanger marine life. Plastic is not biodegradable. As a matter of fact, it breaks down into bits and pieces that are referred to as microplastics. Microplastics are dangerous for all living organisms, including humans. Unsurprisingly, more and more cities around the world are pushing for bans.
The great news is that there are numerous alternatives to plastic straws. Take biodegradable straws, for instance. They are manufactured from plant starches and oil. Biodegradable straws have minimal effects on the environment, as they can degrade completely and decompose. For specific beverages, such as cocktails and smoothies, make sure to have biodegradable straws. It is important to understand that there is so much plastic waste entering every level of the ocean and ending up in our plates. You have the power to change things for the better, and you should take advantage of this opportunity.
Recycle Cooking Oil
Oil is used for anything from French fries to sophisticated meals, like a slow-cooked lamb. We even like to put oil in our salads. In recent years, people have become more concerned with the disposal of cooking oil waste. Why? Because even small quantities can cause a lot of harm to the environment. Spills occur, and they can harm animals and insects, prevent photosynthesis in plants, disrupt the food chain, etc.
Most importantly, oil spills can make the water undrinkable. Once the cooking oil has cooled, you have to figure out what to do with it. It is not recommended to put the oil in the trash or throw it down the drain because it can clog the pipes and damage the sewer mains. You should better use specialized containers.
The question now is: What to do with the waste? Well, you hand it over to a company that recycles cooking oil to make biodiesel, which can be used in any automotive diesel engine in its purest form. This way, you will be doing a world of good. Used oil recycling leads to the creation of many new products, such as cosmetics and stock feeds. What happens is that the biological by-products are processed and sold for new applications. The company handles the oil waste collection process from beginning to end, so you have nothing to worry about. If you have any used cooking oil or fat, give the experts a call.
Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
There is no better time than now to make your restaurant more energy-efficient. Invest in appliances that let you enjoy energy efficiency without sacrificing quality. These pieces of equipment will contribute to the success of your business and help you cut down on energy bills. Since your operating costs are generally spent on energy, it is a good idea to make the transition to Energy Star certified appliances such as:
- Steam cooking equipment
It is an investment that will certainly pay off. You can save approximately 70% by replacing outdated appliances.
Pay Attention to Portion Size
Consumers do not always consider the consequences of their actions. They do not eat all the food on the plate, thinking that they will make fools of themselves if they eat everything. Undereating is a problem because it results in food waste. To make sure the food gets eaten, make adjustments to the portion size. Ensure the portion sizes is within a suitable range, which reduces food waste. You will not have to deal anymore with leftover food on the plates. Determine how much food you are currently offering clients and change portion sizes.
The key is to embrace smaller portions. Interestingly, if you offer the same portion size on a large plate and a small plate, there will be less waste on the small plate. Getting back on topic, restaurant guests will appreciate smaller portions, and they will enjoy having access to high-quality meals. Do not pack the plates with portions that go beyond the recommended serving size. It is not good for the environment, in addition to the fact that people will be consuming more calories. The choices that you make at the restaurant can have a big impact on the environment. Benefits of reducing food waste include but are not limited to fewer toxic chemicals, reduced global warming emissions, etc.