Restaurant sustainability is not a philosophy, it is more about people’s attitudes and lifestyles. Many people dismiss sustainability as something that cannot be achieved. It may sound expensive when you are just starting out, but think of the long term effects and how to reduce the impact on your environment. How can you turn your restaurant into a long term, sustainable business that lasts through the ups and downs of the industry?
While there are millions of people going hungry in Africa every day, the landfill sees more food than they do. Yes, most restaurants end up throwing out unused food. If you have a large surplus, organize a donation either monthly or whenever you deem fit. Check with your local food back if they will come to collect the extra food.
Keep a detailed inventory. Track your stock and perishable goods in particular so that it will reduce wastage in the future. Analyze date related to your stock so that you have a good grasp of what exactly you need to order, this will save you time and money.
There are some food types that cannot be used as compost. In such instances drop off food waste at local composing facilities in your area. You may also be able to dilute it and use it your own backyard.
Use recycle bins. While these bins may take up space it doesn’t have to be an unattractive sight. Get some bins and have your staff get creative with them. This is a great way to not only encourage your staff but also customers to start recycling.
A hospitality consultant will advise you to buy local products. Work with local farmers and vendors to reduce the cost of buying from out of city or state. While not everyone has their own farmland or grows ingredients on their home property it can help reduce food mileage on your menu.
Cook seasonally. This means going hand in hand with nature, it is good for the health and environment. While your chef may need to up his creativity a notch it will make your restaurant more sustainable in the long term.