Reducing carbon footprint leads to a more environmentally friendly restaurant

5 ways restaurant owners can reduce their carbon footprint

Reducing your carbon footprint and developing sustainable practices should be your number one priority.

Changing the way you run your restaurant might seem like a hassle now, but doing so will improve overall business operations in the long run. Restaurant sustainability, in particular, is becoming important for customers and governments.

For example, some initiatives include Yelp’s new feature where customers can rate a restaurant based on their sustainability practices and the European Parliament approving a law to ban single-use plastics by 2021. If you want to develop a positive relationship with customers and regulators, you may need to invest in sustainable practices and sustainable technology that reduce your carbon impact.

With that in mind, here are 6 ways to reduce your restaurant’s carbon footprint

Energy optimisation

Reduce your restaurant’s energy consumption levels by optimising how much lighting, water and gas your restaurant consumes. The best way to reduce the amount of energy consumed is to invest in sustainable technology. Light motion sensors, low-energy lighting, and efficient air conditioning are great ways to reduce your carbon footprint (and your light bill). You can also reduce water consumption by installing faucets with timers, dual-flush systems and eco-technology for washing equipment. Cooking equipment like high-efficiency ovens, steamers and griddles can reduce gas consumption. Optimising energy costs improves restaurant sustainability, lowers operation costs and develops goodwill with customers.

Reduce wasted food

Each year, restaurants waste over 199,100 tonnes of food, on average, costing them over £682 million. Reducing wasted food not only cuts down your carbon footprint but also eliminates inefficiencies and save hundreds of pounds. To reduce the amount of food wasted, you have to change food disposal policies and inventory management.

When customers leave left-overs, analyse what they have not eaten. If you see certain food items left out, then avoid ordering that particular item in the future. That way, you are throwing away less food and you have a better idea of what customers want. You can record what is not popular with customers on your EPOS system and use it to optimise inventory management.

If there is any leftover food, you can donate to food banks, soup kitchens or engage in trash cooking, so that food is used, instead of thrown away. All these practices reduce food waste, improve sustainability and saves hundreds of pounds.

If there is any leftover food, you can donate to food banks, soup kitchens or engage in trash cooking, so that food is used, instead of thrown away. All these practices reduce food waste, improve sustainability and saves hundreds of pounds.

Sustainable purchases

Reassessing your purchases is one of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact. From the equipment used to food items, a large part of building a sustainable restaurant is in what you order. Instead of having disposable equipment like plastic cups and straws on tables, invest in reusable tableware like glasses, cutlery and napkins. Hence, you can reduce the amount of material thrown away and save yourself a fortune in ordering new equipment. But what about food?

You can reduce your carbon footprint by ordering local so that goods don’t have to be transported from a long distance. Purchase from local trades and sustainable farms to ensure your raw materials are coming from sustainable areas.

Train and educate your staff

You need to educate your staff about the new sustainability policy. Changing your equipment, food disposal policies and purchases is excellent, but you also need to train your staff. If your employees are trained, then they can carry out these new policies with efficiency and help transform your restaurant. For example, waiters can tell customers about the new sustainable methods for cooking food, thus, creating goodwill. Training is also a great way to integrate sustainability into your company philosophy.

However, if you don’t train your staff, they will struggle to adjust and will make mistakes along the way. These errors cause delays, damages and a lot of trouble you don’t need. Be sure to train your staff – make them your greatest asset in reducing your restaurant’s carbon footprint.

Use an EPOS system

Making your restaurant sustainable means making several changes to your practices. It’s going to be challenging because you need to implement changes and track them to make sure they are having the intended effect of reducing your carbon footprint.

An EPOS system can be beneficial in this situation. For example, if you want to reduce food waste, you can organise your inventory through your EPOS system, according to their preservation level, and cook them accordingly. Furthermore, you can implement waiter pads or tablets placed on tables so customers can send orders directly to the kitchen – reducing dependence on paper and making your restaurant more environmentally friendly. Therefore, an EPOS system helps you effectively oversee changes, while also contributing to a carbon-free restaurant.

Key takeaways

With customers becoming more environmentally conscious and governments enforcing sustainability practices, it’s essential for restaurants to reduce their carbon footprint and be more sustainable. This means restaurants must make changes to their energy usage, food management practices and technology used. In the short run, the changes might be an annoyance, but in the long term, you will benefit thanks to lower costs, more efficient practices and customer goodwill.

To learn more about the best practices to build a successful restaurant, visit the eposEX blog.

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