Are your supplies organic? Many of the established suppliers will use produce that has been genetically modified or has been sprayed with chemicals so the produce keeps it shape and colour. However, this will allow chemical fumes to enter the atmosphere which will damage the ozone layer. You should purchase from organic suppliers as the produce will not be contaminated by chemicals which will cause the produce to have a better taste. Organic produce will actually improve the quality of your meals. Organic foods have the infamous reputation of having extortionate prices but this is not always the case. The price of organic produce will depend on the location, season and the amount of produce which is available. This shows that you should only buy supplies from organic suppliers as this will save the environment and could save your money.
Where do you get your supplies from? As a restaurateur, it is important to realise that if you buy from suppliers which are located far from you, you will produce a substantial amount of pollution. This is because the delivery vehicles will have to travel a significant number of miles which will lead to them producing a larger amount of air pollution. You may think that local suppliers will be more expensive due to them being an independent store or farm. However, buying locally can actually be cheaper as you will be able to build relationships with the suppliers which will enable you to negotiate a lower price. Due to the shorter distance between you and your supplier, you will save a substantial amount of money on petrol. Remember, if you purchase from a local supplier, you will be putting money back in the local community. This will lead to the local community having a higher income which will encourage them to visit your restaurant. Do you care about the local community? If you buy from local suppliers, you will be investing in the local community which will show the local people that you care about them. Buying locally will be extremely beneficial for your restaurant as you will be able to encourage local people to visit your restaurant.
Do you waste food? As a restaurateur, you will severely struggle to generate a profit if you have a substantial amount of food wastage. This is because you will not be making a return on the food that you waste which will increase your costs. There are many simple ways that you will be able to reduce food waste in your restaurant. For example, you will be able to use the bones of fish to make stocks. You will also be able to recycle vegetable peels by using them in stocks and sauces. Do you give your customers big portions? If your customers are regularly leaving food on their plate, you should reduce the size of your portions to prevent food from being wasted. However, if you reduce the sizes of your portions substantially, customers may not want to purchase your meals as they will not be getting good value for their money. If there is edible food left over, you should donate it to the homeless shelter. This will give your restaurant a good reputation. If the food isn’t edible, you should compost it. Are you using a lot of water? You should install flow restrictors on water faucets in your establishment to reduce the amount of water you use. Are you being charged a substantial rate for the usage of water? You should invest into a water meter as you will only be charged for the water you use.
As a restaurateur, you will use a substantial amount of energy on a daily basis and of course, this costs money. However, there are ways to reduce the amount of energy you use. It is recommended for you to use lights that respond to motion sensors. This will prevent the lights from being turned on constantly as they will automatically turn off when no people are present. Using energy efficient lights are a cost-efficient way of reducing the amount of energy that you use. Do you turn all of your appliances off at night? Before you leave your restaurant at night, you should ensure that your electrical appliances e.g. POS systems are turned off at night. You should ensure that your refrigerators are sealed as this will prevent warm air from entering your refrigerator and cold air will not be able to leave your refrigerator. This will reduce the amount of energy your refrigerator will use to stay cool.
Do you recycle? As a restaurateur, it is important to realise that you will be able to recycle almost anything in your restaurant. This includes the wrapping for takeaway, disposable utensils and even the furniture of your restaurant. This will dramatically reduce the costs as you will not need to purchase as many materials. You will also reduce the wastage of your restaurant as you will be able to reuse your materials. Do you reuse your napkins and table cloths? It is recommended to use table cloths and napkins that can be washed as this will enable you to reuse them after a customer has finished with them. This is significantly better for the environment as you will be reducing the amount of waste that you throw away.
Do you use toxic cleaning supplies? If you are using toxic cleaning supplies, the fumes could enter your employee’s and customer’s airways which could damage their health. No one wants to be in a restaurant that stinks of bleach. Using non- toxic cleaning supplies and biodegradable soap are safer and will show your employees and customers that you care about their health. You will also be able to generate more sales as using non-toxic cleaning supplies can be used as a unique selling point for your establishment. Do your customers know that your restaurant is eco-friendly? Using non-toxic cleaning supplies is an effective way of displaying that your restaurant cares about the environment.
Is your restaurant green?