Sustainability is about cutting costs, eliminating waste, and improving your bottom line. Everything from proper inventory and vendor management to optimal energy and paper consumption is vital to creating a sustainable restaurant environment that is running as lean and clean as possible. Additionally, there are key restaurant technologies that you can leverage in your restaurant to help incorporate cost-reducing sustainable practices.
If you’re a restaurant owner and you want to run a more sustainable restaurant, here are three ways you can get started right now.
1. Shop Smart
The first thing you’ll want to consider are your vendors. Are you buying local? Local suppliers eliminate the need for excess fuel and C02 emissions used for transporting products, so find vendors in your area, like local farmers, to team up with instead.
Another part of becoming a sustainable restaurant is to purchase in season produce. Not only is this cheaper, fresher, tastier and more appealing to your customers, but you’ll be able to support local farmers instead of importing goods from far away.
When possible, buy in bulk. This will save money and reduce the amount of transportation needed to get the food from the vendor to your restaurant.
2. Cut the Waste
Food waste is a huge problem in the United States; it makes up about 30-40% of the food supply. To reduce food waste in your sustainable restaurant, you must control inventory costs. Your point of sale system should help you determine how much you need of each ingredient. Don’t overstock items that don’t sell, only to have them spoil on the shelves. Set automatic reorder alerts to notify you when the inventory you have on hand is running low.
You can also reduce portion sizes on your menu. Large portion sizes result in food being thrown out or harmful materials like Styrofoam being used to take leftovers home. Reduce portion sizes and consider using biodegradable take out containers.
Additionally, consider switching to energy efficient appliances. This will help reduce your monthly bills. Make sure you and your employees turn off lights when they aren’t needed, and consider switching to low-flow, sensor faucets. You can call up your local water and electric department for additional tips, such as purchasing LED lights and using thermostats that switch off automatically.
3. Go Paperless
When your waiters print receipts, they’re printing at least two copies: one for your restaurant’s records and one for your customer. Switching to e-receipts will save dollars on paper costs.
You can use mobile POS to eliminate the need for order tickets, and install self-ordering kiosks to reduce the need for paper menus. These technologies will also increase order accuracy, streamline order prep, and increase ticket sizes.
Creating a Sustainable Restaurant
Switching to sustainable practices in your restaurant will save you time, money and energy in the process. To start incorporating sustainability-supporting technology in your restaurant that will increase sales and decrease waste, contact Focus today.