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12 Ways To Help You Become A Sustainable Restaurant


September 14, 2022

There are many reasons to make your restaurant more sustainable. It can save you money, help the environment, and improve your reputation.

In this post, we'll give you twelve ways to make your restaurant more sustainable. Implementing even a few of these changes will help you make a big difference!

12 Ways to Make Your Restaurant More Eco-Friendly

1. Assess which areas can be made more environmentally friendly

The first step is to assess what areas of your restaurant could be more sustainable. Once you have identified these areas, research sustainable options for each one. Some sustainable options for a restaurant include using energy-efficient appliances, recycling and composting, using sustainable building materials, using environmentally friendly cleaning products, and serving locally sourced food.

If you are looking to make your restaurant more sustainable, there are many options available. The key is to find the sustainable option that best fits your restaurant’s needs.

2. Clean with eco-friendly options

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One of the most important factors in a restaurant’s success is cleanliness. Unfortunately, there are more restaurant cleaning products that are toxic than not. However, if you look hard enough, you can find affordable options to make your restaurant more eco-friendly. Look for affordable options that will still get the job done.

Seek out sustainable, eco-friendly cleaning products. This is important because it sets the tone for the rest of the restaurant - if you're using sustainable products, guests will know that your establishment is serious about being sustainable. There are many sustainable cleaning product companies out there, so do some research and find one that fits your needs.


3. Reduce energy consumption

The first step is to switch to sustainable, energy-efficient equipment. Kitchen equipment is known to have very high energy usage in restaurants. Look for energy-efficient equipment that carries the ENERGY STAR label. This type of equipment produces less energy waste, thus helping you reduce your restaurant's carbon footprint.

Use pieces of equipment like low-flush toilets, Energy Star appliances, and Energy Star refrigeration. Additionally, make sure all of your equipment like POS systems, lights, and ovens are turned off at your close of business every day.

Another method to reduce electricity consumption is to use energy-efficient light bulbs, such as LED, halogen, and CFL bulbs. You can also install motion sensor lights in your bathrooms instead of keeping the lights on throughout the day. You can also use spot air conditioners to cool your space rather than running the building's air conditioning.

Also, don’t forget to regularly clean the condenser coils on your refrigeration equipment. Dust accumulating on your refrigeration equipment causes it to work harder and waste electricity.

There are many ways to reduce energy consumption in a restaurant. From using energy-efficient appliances to turning off lights when they're not needed, every little bit helps. Implementing even a few of these sustainable practices can make a big difference for the environment – and your bottom line.

4. Go local for your ingredients

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One way to make your restaurant more sustainable is to use sustainable ingredients. This means using ingredients that are locally sourced, organic, and fair trade. By using sustainable ingredients, you’ll be supporting local farmers and businesses, and reducing your carbon footprint.

Using local and seasonal produce is a great way to reduce your restaurant's carbon footprint. Local produce doesn't have to travel as far to reach your restaurant, so it emits less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Seasonal produce is also typically fresher and tastier than out-of-season produce that has been shipped from far away.

Seafood is a popular menu item for restaurants, but it can be unsustainable and damaging to the environment, depending on where you source it. Look for sustainable seafood options that are certified by organizations like the Marine Stewardship Council or Aquaculture Stewardship Council. These options will be environmentally friendly and sustainable.

The livestock industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. To make your restaurant more sustainable, try to source meat and dairy from local farms that practice humane animal husbandry and don't use unnecessary antibiotics.

If you want to run a sustainable restaurant, one of the most important things you can do is serve sustainable ingredients. They are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides. Source these ingredients from local farmers’ markets or even grow your own!

5. Minimize food waste

Food waste is a huge problem in the restaurant industry. In fact, it’s estimated that restaurants throw away up to 10% of the food they purchase.

But there are a number of ways you can reduce food waste in your restaurant, including:

  • Planning ahead and only ordering the number of ingredients that you need
  • Getting creative with your menu and using up ingredients that would otherwise go to waste
  • Donating any surplus food to charities or food banks

6. Choose reusable products

Use reusable products to minimize waste@3x.webp

If you're looking for ways to make your restaurant more sustainable, you may also want to consider using sustainable packaging for takeout and delivery orders. Sustainable packaging options are made from materials such as recycled paper or biodegradable plastic. Using sustainable packaging can help to reduce your restaurant's environmental impact and build goodwill with your customers.

Sustainable packaging options include:

  • Bagasse/Sugarcane Packaging

Bagasse is the fibrous residue that is left over after sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice. It is a sustainable material that can be used to make disposable plates, bowls, and cups. These products are durable and heat-resistant, making them ideal for hot food items. Bagasse products are also microwave-safe and compostable.

  • Compostable Packaging

Packaging made from sustainable materials such as bamboo, palm leaves, and sugarcane pulp can be composted along with food waste. This type of packaging breaks down into organic matter that can be used as fertilizer.

  • Recyclable Packaging

Recyclable packaging is made from materials that can be reused. This includes glass, metal, and certain types of plastic. Recycling helps to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

  • Reusable Packaging

Reusable packaging can be used multiple times before it needs to be recycled or composted. This includes containers made from stainless steel, glass, or bamboo. Reusable packaging is a sustainable option for businesses that generate a lot of packaging waste.

Use reusable dishes, cups, and silverware instead of disposable ones. This doesn't just reduce waste, it can also save you money in the long run.

7. Learn about composting

Recycling and composting are great ways to reduce the amount of waste your restaurant produces. Recycling allows you to reuse materials while composting means breaking down food waste into soil or dirt.

If you don’t have the space for composting, you can start a recycling program for your restaurant. A good recycling program should include:

  • Separating recyclable materials from other waste
  • Encouraging customers and employees to recycle
  • Working with a local recycling company to ensure materials are recycled properly

A good recycling system will help you decrease energy, increase efficiency, save money, and the opportunity to gain and retain new customers.

8. Opt for paperless transactions and advertising

As we continue to move into a digital age, it's becoming easier to have sustainable practices in all aspects of our lives - including restaurants. If you're looking to make your restaurant more sustainable, there are a few key ways you can do so.

One way is to switch to POS systems that allow for digital receipts. This way, you can avoid using paper altogether and save some trees in the process! Many people actually prefer getting their receipts via email anyway, so it's a win-win.

Another way to become a sustainable restaurant is to cut down on paper advertising by moving your efforts online. Social media is a great (and affordable) way to reach out to potential customers, so it’s not that hard to make changes to your strategies.

9. Support sustainable initiatives

Supporting sustainable initiatives is another way to make your restaurant more sustainable. There are many sustainable initiatives that restaurants can support, such as energy efficiency programs, water conservation efforts, or local food production. Talk to your employees and customers about the sustainable initiatives you're supporting and how they can get involved.

Encouraging sustainable transportation is another great way to make your restaurant more sustainable. Many people come to restaurants by car, so anything you can do to encourage sustainable transportation will help reduce environmental impact. Try offering discounts for customers who carpool or ride their bikes, or providing electric vehicle charging stations.

10. Encourage sustainability practices among staff and customers

One of the best ways to make a sustainable restaurant business is by educating those who frequent your restaurant. Let them know about your sustainable practices and why they're important. This will help to create a sustainable culture within your restaurant.

Educate your staff and guests about your sustainable initiatives. The more people who know about what you're doing, the more likely they are to support your efforts. Hang up signs in the restaurant detailing some of the sustainable practices you've put into place, and make sure your employees are aware of what you're doing so they can answer any questions guests may have.

11. Think of eco-friendly ways to design your restaurant

In addition to using reusable utensils, you can also make your restaurant more sustainable by using recycled or upcycled furnishings. For example, you can use reclaimed wood for tables and chairs, or use mason jars for drinking glasses. These sustainable choices will not only reduce your environmental impact but can also give your restaurant a unique and stylish flair.

For cooling the place, you can install thick, insulated windows instead of adding AC units. This will help your restaurant retain heat in the winter and cool air in the summer, reducing your overall energy consumption.

12. Choose Haulla as your waste disposal partner

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The last step is to switch to Haulla. Haulla is your best partner for smarter waste management. If you only need and have pick-ups 3 times a month instead of 4 times a month, for example, we can charge less and you can pay less. This means you will be able to make additional savings on top of what you saved when you switch over to Haulla.

We are environmentally conscious innovators focused on providing businesses with the best waste management service. If you’re interested in becoming our partner, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Restaurant sustainability trends continue to rise as more businesses adopt eco-friendly ways because of customers who are more conscious than ever of the need for sustainability. By following these tips, you can shift to sustainable dining and help to make a difference.