1 – Work with local farmers
2 – Offer seasonal menus
3 – Offer more vegetarian and vegan options
4 – Reduce wood waste
5 – Switch to digital receipts
6 – Get rid of plastic straws
7 – Reuse and upcycle
8 – Invest in energy-efficient appliances
9 – Improve based on customer feedback
In this post, we will discuss 9 ways to make your restaurant more sustainable through the right technology, suppliers and restaurant organisation techniques.
Sustainability is becoming increasingly popular, and many surveys show that both customers and restaurant owners are becoming more environmentally conscious and eco-friendly. Whether it’s genuine concern about the environment or a desire to attract more customers, becoming a sustainable business will be a good decision for everyone: for you, for your customers and the planet.
While many people believe that making a restaurant more sustainable will be very pricey, sustainability doesn’t need to come at a high cost. In some cases, you can even save money by becoming a more sustainable business. In other instances, it can be a bit more challenging and expensive; however, your customers and the planet will appreciate it. By becoming more sustainable, you can attract more customers who are interested in greener and more eco-friendly options.
So how can you make your restaurant more sustainable? Without further ado, let’s start with the easy and efficient ways to make your restaurant more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
9 easy ways to make your restaurant more sustainable and eco-friendly in the UK
Work with local farmers
One of the most obvious ways to make your restaurant more sustainable is by working with local farmers, family businesses and local producers. When you don’t import ingredients from other continents, you not only help to reduce carbon emissions caused by public transport, but you also support local producers and the local economy in general. When sourcing locally, you can also ensure the top quality of the ingredients and even visit the producers (often – family businesses).
Offer seasonal menus
Eating seasonal produce is usually healthier and better for people. Moreover, eating seasonal food is more sustainable, as again, there is no long-haul transport involved. Furthermore, seasonal food also helps restaurants safe money, as seasonal produce is usually available in abundance and is often affordable. Offering seasonal menus is an excellent way for a restaurant to adjust its menu and start using fruits and vegetables that are in season. It’s also a great way to offer new dishes for your returning customers.
Offer more vegetarian and vegan options
Meat and dairy industry are the two most polluting branches of the food industry. Moreover, more and more people are considering reducing their meat consumption because of ethical reasons. Vegetarian food doesn’t have to be boring – you can still be creative with a lot of vegetarian and even vegan dishes. Many of your customers will appreciate the abundance of vegetarian dishes in your menu, too.
Reduce food waste
While some of the restaurants nowadays are becoming completely zero-waste (check out Silo), for most of the places, it’s still an impossible task. That, however, doesn’t stop you from reducing your food waste as much as possible.
How can you reduce your restaurant food waste?
Well, first, you can invest in a good and advanced ePOS that would help you organise and track your ingredients and stock. Secondly, you can introduce a special surprise set menu with the ingredients that are in surplus and otherwise might have been wasted. Then, you can also reduce the quantities of the ingredients you’re ordering – it’s much better to run out of a couple of dishes from the menu than throw away kilos of meat and fish.
It’s hard to make use of all the stock you ordered, hence some waste will be inevitable. In this case, you can compost the organic waste and minimise the amount of garbage your throw in the landfill.
Don’t print another paper receipt, switch to the digital bills.
UK restaurant industry prints an insane amount of bills every year and 90% of them can’t be recycled, as they are printed on the thermal paper. Most of the bills are never even looked at and are thrown away after a couple of minutes. While many small businesses (and bigger companies as well) already switched to paperless receipts, the restaurant industry hasn’t evolved much in this area, until TableYeti came along.
TableYeti is a smart mobile payment terminal that allows you to get rid of paper receipts and switch to digital bills instead. Moreover, it improves the table turn times, gathers real-time customer feedback and increases waiter tips. Also, TableYeti is available without a contract and works with all ePOS. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can read more about TableYeti credit card terminal here. Please help us save trees!
Get rid of all the plastic straws and containers
Another critical aspect of sustainability is the reduction of single-use plastic consumption. It’s pretty evident how harmful are plastic straws for the environment, yet many restaurants around the world are still using them.
The best way to get rid of the paper straws is by asking a customer first if they need one. If they do, you can then provide them with either paper straws, reusable metal straws or biodegradable plastic straws.
Use reusable plastic containers to decrease the usage of single-use plastic. You can agree with your suppliers that all your ingredients and food would be delivered in reusable crates and containers.
Reuse and upcycle
When it comes to restaurant interior, you can also be more sustainable. You can buy second-hand tables, chairs and various decorations and this way, give these items a new life. You can even upcycle and re-design all the second-hand goods you buy, so it’s consistent with your restaurant design.
Use energy-efficient appliances
Another way to make your restaurant more sustainable is by using energy-efficient appliances. In the case of appliances, you can also buy them second-hand, but make sure that they are energy efficient. Some of the most efficient appliances are induction hobs and pressure cookers. Make sure to only use appliances when they are needed, so they don’t stay switched on all day.
Improve based on customer feedback
What’s an ultimate sustainable restaurant? The one that listens to its customers, actions on their feedback and continues its sustainable operations throughout the years. It’s essential to listen to your customers, because no matter how energy-efficient are your appliances – if your customers are not happy, you will probably cease the operations at some point. Hence, it is always important to ask your customers for feedback and act on it. You can also educate your customers about the changes that are going on at your restaurant and make sure that they are aware of your sustainable initiatives.
Summary of 9 ways to make your restaurant more sustainable
There are more ways to make your restaurant more sustainable – from saving water to changing your cleaning products. Even you can’t implement all these bits at once, remember that every little helps. You can become more sustainable every day by doing small bits and pieces that, in the end, will make you more sustainable and eco-friendly. As we mentioned before, becoming sustainable doesn’t mean higher costs; it can actually help you reduce costs in some ways. Moreover, according to several surveys, customers are willing to pay up to 10-20% more for sustainable goods.
We at TableYeti can help you get rid of non-recyclable paper receipts and replace them with digital bills as well as gather real-time feedback from your customers. If you’re interested in installing TableYeti smart payment terminal at your restaurant, get in touch!
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