Some priorities for sustainability of restaurants include reducing single use plastics, reducing on both energy as well as landfills and choosing more sustainable ingredients. Those restaurants which are socially conscious prefer to advertise the ways in which they contribute to the cause of sustainability. As a result, consumers are knowledgeable about climate change and pollution, so are ready and willing to do their part by supporting businesses and organizations which are committed to the environment. Adopting sustainable practices will have many benefits that help cut down on everyday waste and attract socially conscious consumers. Simple methods can be used to make your restaurant sustainable this year.
What is sustainability in restaurants
The sustainability has different standards for various industries, in general, sustainability means protecting, preserving and restoring the natural environment. It includes promoting social equity and uplifting all communities. This can be achieved easily by restaurants by using a wide range of different methods.
Sustainability trends in restaurants
There are specific trends that are in restaurant sustainability , with environmental researchers revealing certain critical priorities mitigating climate change and other worldwide concerns. Restaurant consultants should consider implementing some ways to create sustainability, that would help make a huge difference in the community. Start by reducing your energy waste, greenhouse gas emissions, food waste, disposable bags and sourcing sustainable ingredients. We shall discuss sustainability trends in restaurants in five categories.
1). Tracking and Reducing Energy Waste
All restaurants generate energy that can affect the environment, thus using less energy ensures lower environmental impact. In simpler words, efficient energy usage can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as air pollution by using fewer fossil fuels. Energy wasted adds up to costs being added too. To evaluate the amount of energy used as against the wasted energy, a restaurant consultant would have to commission an energy audit. Also take a proper look at the expenses on energy spent each month, quarter and year. This measure would help you account for restaurant industry’s seasonal trends, help you see how successful you are with your efforts.
2). Install Timers and Motion Sensors on Your Lights
One good sustainability trend in restaurants to reduce energy waste, is by keeping the lighting of rooms with no occupants off. This helps if timers and motion sensors are used, because they help you cut down on your light related energy waste, as this automation eliminates human error. This automatic light technology should be first used in the least occupied spaces first, such as the bathroom or any storage rooms.
3). Use Leds or Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLS)
The next tithing a restaurant consultant has to do is to upgrade your lightbulbs to LEDs and CFLs, as they use less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs. An LED bulb uses one fourth the energy of a traditional one while it lasts 15 to 25 times longer, while the CFL bulb uses the same energy and lasts for about 10 times longer. These bulbs come in various colors and shapes that can match your restaurant’s style, along with upgrading your light bulbs which ideally forms an effective way of reducing your energy waste and in turn save money
4). Use Natural Light and Fresh Air When Possible
One main important sustainability trend in restaurant is the usage of natural light and fresh air whenever possible, which automatically cuts back on energy consumption. It is known by all how air and natural light have significant health effects, which will impact your employees and guests, with the amount of vitamin D it offers, contributes to healthy eyes, good sleep at night and improves your mood. All of these together can effectively create a productive environment, while you save on artificial light. Therefore, ensure that you have more windows or opening the blinds more often. Yet another fine sustainability trend in restaurants is by incorporating outdoor seating, placing some tables and chairs outdoor wherever possible as some customers would love to sit in the open and dine on a cool lovely day. Spending time in the open keeps you happier, healthier, improves concentration and also reduces stress.
5). Invest in Low-Flow Toilets, Sinks and Spray Valves
One latest sustainability trend in restaurants is low-flow water fixtures, which has a chance of becoming a law in the coming years. The low-flow toilet models, sinks or spray valves reduce the water waste in your restaurant. Ensure that you replace older toilets by the ones having EPA “Water Sense” label, as these older toilets use up to 6 gallons of water per flush while the low flow appliances use only 1.28 to 1.6 gallons per flush, using a variety of different gravity and pressure techniques. Result being, save water outflow, conserve water source and reduce your monthly bills.
6). Clean your Refrigerator’s Condenser Coils
When your refrigerator condenser coils are cleaned regularly, this can reduce energy waste and also extend the life span of the appliance. A restaurant consultant should ensure to have efficient refrigeration at the restaurant in order to have a significant impact on energy usage. Apply the following steps to clean the condenser coils: –
(a) Disconnect the power supply for safety.
b) Vacuum away any visible dust and debris.
c). Brush away stubborn debris.
d). Vacuum if needed.
7). Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Another way to make your restaurant sustainable is to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, meaning your carbon footprint is both direct and indirect. So, think about some potential strategies like:
a). Upgrade Appliances – this helps reduce energy waste and minimize greenhouse gas emissions, although this might need to dig into your savings for having a budget. Look for appliances with Energy Star ratings and EPA approval.
b). Recycle and Reuse – objects that are used can be upgraded for a cost, but remember you are reducing on greenhouse gas emissions. This method can be less expensive, minimise costs, help support local furniture reclamation businesses, but definitely increase your positive impact on your community.
All the above are favourite sustainability trends in restaurants whenever applied can help the environment positively, minimise expenses too. If you have the means, do think about investing in alternative energy sources such as solar, wind or hydroelectric. Since solar technology has improved over the past decades, and is found to be more efficient and reliable too, you can decrease the use of fossil fuels and natural gas. Also note that there can be tax incentives for choosing alternative energy, so have an open mind and choose from any of the above options.