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6 Tips for Making Your Restaurant Greener

This month, we celebrate Earth Day, and National Restaurant Consultants offers tips for an environmentally-friendly restaurant

By Sarah Ann Noel - April 3, 2018

It may be chilly today, but for the most part, Denver is warming up. And maybe there was a snowstorm in New York City this week, but that won't stop New Yorkers from pretending that it's fully spring. At least we can always count on Los Angeles to feel warm. But whatever the weather where you are, we all function by the same calendar. It's officially April and we all have spring on our minds and we're turning our attention to greener things. 

This year, Earth Day falls on April 22. In celebration, we'd like to take those springtime vibes and turn them into a different sort of green. Spring isn't just about green grass and fresh buds--it's about our efforts to take care of those things. It can be difficult to implement eco-friendly practices into a big operation like a restaurant; but that doesn't mean it can't be done. Often, it's just about baby steps. Our restaurant consultants have six tips on making your restaurant a little bit greener; and even if you only implement one, it will make a difference.
  1. Take a look at your cleaning supplies. Restaurant-grade cleaning is tricky. You have to meet high standards of cleanliness for the safety and enjoyment of your guests. But there are some cleaning products with more modern chemicals that are friendlier to the environment and still clean with industrial strength. Take a look at some options through Green Janitorial Products or Envirofluid.
  2. Reduce your non-recyclable waste. The age of styrofoam is over! There are lots of environmentally-conscious products available for "disposable" supplies, such as carry-out containers and napkins made from biodegradable or recycled materials. 
  3. Eliminate paper. While paper is recyclable, with technology increasing, paper use can easily decrease. Our restaurant consultants are particularly fond of integrating technology into restaurants. This Toast blog argues in favor of modern-day receipting--with some added benefits for the earth and your bottom line. 
  4. Reevaluate your lighting. Whenever possible, utilize the natural light--it makes your guests happier and your space brighter. As the day wanes and you need to switch on the light fixtures, consider using energy-efficient bulbs. It's another eco-friendly practice that will also equal money back in your business.
  5. Research your composting options. As the New York Times wrote, composting in restaurants can be complex. But that doesn't mean it's impossible. In Denver, there are bike-powered composting services available. Denver does tend to be especially green, but the National Restaurant Association has a list of ten tips for composting at your restaurant. And if you'd like to do it yourself, there's a great how-to here.
  6. Make your menu local. Our restaurant consultants talk a lot about the the trend back toward local sources, especially farm-to-table food options. If you don't know where to start to meet your local farmers, take a look at Local Harvest, complete with a search database.
Not only will going green steward the earth we've been given, it will save your business money in the long-term and offer appeal to your guests. If you have questions about managing a green business or restaurant, contact a restaurant consultant today. 

Photo by Lacey Williams on Unsplash