Sustainability in restaurants is good for business and the earth. Research showed it's something that people want as well. A survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association revealed it as a top trend predicted for the industry in 2014.
Sustainability in the food and service industry slightly differs from other verticals. In regards to restaurants, it's about managing the social and environmental impact of a business, stated the Sustainable Restaurant Association. Leaders who take steps to reach this eco-friendly goal contribute to the improvement of climate change, animal welfare and waste, affirmed the NRA. There are many ways restaurants can work towards greater sustainability. Here are some of the ways.
Feed mother earth
For starters, using less and reusing more can promote a better environment. Opportunity for this is abundantly clear in restaurants where food, beverages and supplies are constantly coming and going. Participating in compost programs and recycling can promote waste reduction, according to the NRA. Establishments that print out paper menus can cut back on waste by reusing them for other needs.
Restaurant professionals can also go green by changing packaging methods of food products. A technique called smart packaging enhances shelf life and freshness of a product. This means that chefs can use them longer instead of throwing them in the garbage.
In addition to cutting back on throwing out a lot of food and paper goods, restaurants are looking to preserve energy. Lights, dishwashers, music systems and just about every other appliance that can be on is running for the duration of a shift in a restaurant. To save on energy, restaurants can buy LED lights, get involved in water saving and invest in energy-efficient appliances. Starbucks reduced energy bills by 7 percent per store by switching to LED lighting, reported the NRA.
Other ways to get on board
Aside from helping the earth, sustainability efforts help its inhabitants. Buying local and avoiding fish or meats that may come from at-risk species can help. Seeking out farms that promote sustainability can help reduce pollution and protect the land. Restaurants should buy locally and seasonally when it's viable, stated the SRA.
Sustainability comes in many forms, and whether a restaurant leader wants to keep up with a trend or just treat the earth well, it has benefits for business and nature.
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