Gone are the days when restaurants were able to sell themselves with fancy menus alone. Today’s customers want their dollars to go beyond the bills and towards sustainability. With a growing concern over climate change or disrupted ecosystems, sustainability has become a hot topic in the restaurant industry. Customers want to know if the restaurant they are eating at is focused on reducing the damage caused to nature.
As a result, restaurant businesses are realizing the need to do their bit for the environment and gain a leg up on their competition. If you own a restaurant and want to improve your sustainability strategy, below are some cost-effective ways to do so.
Incorporate sustainability with small steps
No matter the size of your restaurant business, you can take small steps first to incorporate sustainability. For example-
- Whether you are a restaurant owner, caterer, or a party planner, utensils and catering packaging supplies are a must-have. You can switch to eco-friendly catering equipment that are recyclable, sustainable, stylish, as well as offer functionality.
- Use biodegradable bin bags that will decompose in a matter of months or a couple of years at most.
- Substitute non-recyclable packaging for recyclable materials.
- You can print your menus on recycled paper. Besides, you can pause printed receipts and send digital receipts to customers.
- When trying to make your restaurant more eco-friendly and sustainable, it’s important to consider your paper usage along with menu production. You can rapidly reduce the amount of paper used by switching to eco-friendly digital menu boards.
Recycle wherever possible
Though you can cut down the material wastage and decrease recycling needs, it is a bit unavoidable. Thus, it is good to go an extra mile to ensure recycling wherever possible. Be it a tin, cardboard, or plastic, make sure you have proper bins to cover the recyclable waste. Also, keep the employees and customers informed on how to throw the waste in separate bins. You can talk to waste collectors to know if you have missed out on anything that is not covered.
Try to reduce food waste
Hospitality and food services produce millions of tons of waste, including packaging, food, non-food waste, etc. And, less than half of this waste is recycled. Such a significant level of waste is worrisome and is a strain on the planet. One can easily find landfills bursting at the seams. Even worse? This leaves a huge carbon footprint behind.
One reason for restaurant waste could be poor menu portioning, which can be resolved. Thus, it is recommended to revise your menu and portions you serve for dishes. One great tip is to offer multiple portion sizes so that consumers can choose what they will be able to eat conveniently.
Don’t waste the waste
In addition to reducing the waste, it is also necessary to look for ways to prevent waste from going to waste. You can join food donation schemes to offer food to the homeless. Or, you can offer to sell the leftover ingredients at a cheap rate. Another thing you can do is to create a compost garden and grow your own produce. It will be an incredibly great step towards sustainability.
Offer more vegan options
Be it greenhouse gasses emission, water pollution, deforestation, or soil contamination, the impact these activities have on animals is a serious concern. Selling more vegetarian dishes can help you keep a check on your contribution to this growing problem.
Another benefit of adding vegan dishes is the added bonus of pulling an environmentally-conscious consumer base. Your sustainable practices will influence their decision to eat at your restaurant. However, make sure to highlight vegan dishes on your menu, or they may not feel comfortable to order.
So, these are handfuls of easy tips that can help you get started with incorporating sustainability in your restaurant business.