Millennials and younger consumers care more about sustainable business practices than ever. In fact, a recent Nielsen* online study found that Millennials are most willing to shell out extra money for sustainable offerings! Consequently, eco-conscious Millennials are avoiding restaurants and companies that fail to adopt more green business practices or minimize the damage their operations do to the environment. How would your restaurant score in terms of sustainability? Keep reading for our five ways to make your restaurant more eco-friendly:
1.) Ditch plastic straws
From Seattle to San Francisco to Milwaukee – major cities across the country are continuing to institute a plastic straw ban. Even Starbucks plans to phase out plastic straws by 2020, and there are countless other foodservice establishments who are joining them in this environmental milestone – why not join in the movement? Have paper straws on hand in case a customer asks for one, they’ll only cost you a penny more and will keep pesky plastic out of our oceans.
2.) Opt for paper products
Getting rid of any Styrofoam to-go boxes or containers, especially if you do a lot of take-out business, can have a hugely positive impact on the environment. Styrofoam is non-recyclable and replacing it with a more eco-friendly option can be a crucial step in reducing the carbon footprint of your business. Cardboard and paper containers work just as well, and they will ultimately decompose.
3.) Compost to reduce food waste
36 million tons of food waste ends up in landfills each year. If you’re in the restaurant business you see firsthand how much food is left uneaten and thrown away daily, so why not put your scraps to good use by composting! Composting (or food waste recycling) means taking any food waste and breaking it down in dirt to enrich soil. This will generate a more positive perception of your brand to guests and will greatly lower your businesses’ environmental impact on landfills.
4.) Invest in energy-saving appliances
It’s easy for a restaurant to rack up costs when it comes to electricity, but investing in more energy efficient equipment will pay off in the long-run. Consider low flush toilets and make sure all POS systems, lights, and ovens are turned off when closing each night. The addition of an energy-efficient Natura Sparkling Water Machine will also save your business money and will align your business with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.
5.) Reduce water waste
Restaurants use a lot of water. Between cooking, dishwashing, serving guests, and clean up—your water bill could take a good chunk out of your monthly budget. Avoiding unnecessary water use should be at the forefront of every restaurant owner’s mind and it’s a relatively easy way to further sustainability efforts. Installing a point-of-use restaurant water filtration system in your kitchen will allow your back-of-house staff to dispense the perfect amount of clean, filtered, and sparkling water for cooking and drinking.
Jump-start your restaurants’ sustainability efforts today! Learn more about Natura commercial water filtration for your foodservice establishment here.