You’ve taken the plunge and decided to open your new restaurant. Once you get the business aspects out of the way—funding, licenses, permits, and more—get ready to help it go green. Sustainability should be as big a part of your business plan as profitability. Restaurants, even vegan ones, can churn out their share of pollution. Get ahead of the curve and prepare to run a restaurant that does it all: prepares delicious food, satisfies customers, and helps save the earth! Here are three steps to maintain clean and green restaurant facilities.
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Don’t Waste Food
Your mother, father, or other legal guardian was right: never waste food. Help your customers do likewise. Food waste is a double-edged sword. It’s a drain on the resources required to raise the crops or animals, and it cuts into your profits. Be smart about the food you use, how you use it, and how long it lasts. Keep tabs and use foods that will rot or otherwise go bad first after a certain date. Rotate their position in storage so you know to use it right away. Reappraise your portion sizes if customers aren’t finishing their meals. Finally, donate to those who can use whatever you don’t use—food banks and the like. It’s good for the community, saves you money, and may even give you a deduction or two come tax season.
Energy Efficient Equipment
Find energy-efficient appliances and equipment when picking out your stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, and other commercial-grade kitchen gear. Gas and electricity bills are a big part of your future expenses. Unless you plan to serve room-temperature dishes (not advisable), you’ll need all the above devices. They will cost more than non-energy-efficient appliances, but they’ll give you a greater return on your investment as you burn less gas and use less electricity. Also, consider buying pre-owned equipment. You’ll save dollars and keep a perfectly useful stove, fridge, or another appliance from ending up in a landfill. Maintain your equipment for the greatest efficiency. Regularly inspect and service your stoves. Pipes leading to and from your stove, sinks, and other devices are subject to hazardous or expensive corrosion and leaks.
Keep your restaurant clean and healthy, but don’t hurt the environment while doing so. Many aerosols, phosphates, oven cleaners, and other chemicals and cleaning agents can damage the local flora and fauna. Look for greener cleaning agents. Check the label for dangerous chemicals like chlorine, phosphates, and others, and choose biodegradable packaging over plastics.
Those are just three steps to maintain clean and green restaurant facilities. Environmental mindfulness isn’t just good for the environment and your health, it’s good for your restaurant’s reputation. Go green while you feed your clientele.