While other areas of consumer products lag, organic food sales continue to grow because of consumer demand. So, serving organics at your restaurant is a great idea if you want to increase restaurant profits. However, it is also important to note that consumers think organic + Eco-friendly is better than organic alone or eco-friendly alone. You should combine the two elements to maximize your restaurant’s potential. So, what are best Eco-friendly practices that you can follow and promote your organic restaurant?
Green Your Food Offerings
Being a restaurant, you will want to start by going green in the key element: the food you serve. As you’re already an organic restaurant serving food, that’s a positive step, but organic is not the only factor that affects food sustainability. In fact, organic and sustainable don’t always go hand-in-hand, so you’ll need to up your game. Other food options and practices you should consider include the following:
- Serve many vegetarian and vegan options. Not only is vegetarian food growing in popularity, but it’s Eco-friendly to boot. Meat is Eco-intensive, while whole, plant-based foods cut back on environmental damage. Make sure you offer plenty of plant based choices.
Reduce Waste in your Organic Restaurant
There are dozens of small ways to reduce waste in a restaurant.
- Have proper serve size that will result in less food waste. Donate leftover food to local shelters.
- Go paperless – take online reservations, keep customer info in the computer, not on paper, create paperless billing for all vendors and employees, and pay your bills online. Learn more about creating a paperless office system. Also use a POS in your business that provides option to go paperless, like POS available at http://getcirq.com.
Have Strict Recycling Policies in Place
Check with your local waste and recycling companies and then recycle everything you can. In most states, plastics, glass, paper, cardboard and aluminum can all be recycled. Many states offer recycling for other items too, such as old electronics, broken kitchen equipment, batteries, light bulbs, paints, chemicals and more. Some areas also offer grease recycling, turning what might be simply waste, into biodiesel or reusable energy
Use Energy Efficiently
According to the Green Restaurant Association, restaurants are the number one largest consumer of electricity in the commercial sector. That’s crazy, but makes sense. It takes a lot of energy to run a restaurant. Luckily, there are many practical and even easy steps you can take to reduce your energy impact.
- Keep indoor temperatures moderate, not too hot or cold and always use a programmable thermostat.
- Use Energy Star-compliant roof material and windows that help block temperature extremes.
- If you plan to renovate use energy efficient insulation, duct seal, and weather strip. Plus make sure there are plenty of windows to allow daylight in.
- Install a highly efficient water heater
- Use energy efficient lighting.
- For more intense energy savings, look into on-site renewable energy options like solar panels, wind turbine, geothermal, solar water heater, solar exhaust and so on.
Tell Your Customers All About Your Eco-friendly Practices!
To create organic restaurant and to go green is good, but if you don’t tell your customers, they may not know. Many green practices are things you can’t see, so be sure to inform your patrons that you are doing all you can do to protect the environment.
Offer recycled content pamphlets that explain what your restaurant is doing under green business practices and list all your perks on the company website.
Include your Eco-practices in all your marketing endeavors, especially on social media. Be sure to celebrate Eco-specific events like Earth Day at your restaurant, which gives you another chance to promote your initiatives.