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5 Ways to Improve Sustainability in Restaurants

Sustainability in restaurants plays a huge factor in long-term success. It is important to identify the number of ways to make your restaurant more sustainable. A sustainable restaurant means promoting health for your business, customers and your employees. First and foremost, many people may be wondering what does sustainability truly mean? Sustainability is the balance between three major pillars: environment, equity, and economy. By building a sustainable restaurant, restaurateurs can reduce their carbon footprint on the environment, in addition to contributing to the overall health of the community. From a business standpoint, creating a restaurant designed to consider itself an environmentally conscious venture, can also help to attract more patrons. 

A sustainable business plan and the implementation of this type of broad policy will undoubtedly contribute in boosting one’s reputation- especially ethically speaking. According to industry reports through the National Restaurant Association, more than half of dining out consumers credit a restaurant’s efforts in sustainability to play a substantial factor in where they choose to eat. Positive feedback and community buzz highlighting green-like business practices can increase those 5-star reviews, as well as word of mouth. Restaurants who remain committed to sustainability, like designing a menu of locally-sourced ingredients or complying with anti-plastic movements, add appeal when it comes to engaging their customers and of course provide tremendous benefits for their own business and environmental impact.  

Here we insight a number of ways to make your restaurant more sustainable. 

Let’s Discuss Menu Options

When guests sit down they immediately want to see your menu. Ever since the pandemic, restaurants were forced to eliminate paper menus, and that’s where QR codes got reintroduced to the world, and are still being suggested in the restaurant space. As popular as QR codes have gotten, we believe printed menus will find its way slowly back into restaurants.

Using recycled paper for your menu can be one of the quickest fixes and easiest ways a restaurant can kick off sustainable business practices. If you have a menu which rotates seasonally, this is a very cost effective option. This allows your restaurant to support the seasonality of dishes, sourced locally, and also remain trendy and paper conscious. Another great alternative when it comes to printed menus are the super durable synthetic papers that withstand the test of time without wear and tear—ultimately cutting the amount and costs of paper.

Cutting Your Food Waste  

Most restaurants do not realize how much an expense goes to general waste or landfill. One of the most subtle but effective ways to control food waste is by offering different portion sizes on the menu. You can have a choice of side dishes without the abundance of leftovers to cut on food waste. Also, initiatives to recycle all applicable materials helps to deliver more advantages within their supply chain. Restaurants can even send certain packaging back to suppliers to be reused. By doing this, restaurateurs can control the level of environmental impact and operating costs all at once. Another way of cutting your food waste is to compost the leftover scraps from service and put it back into your own farm or garden to reduce waste. If this is not in your wheelhouse, there are plenty of opportunities to donate to the community. 

Sustainable Seafood 

The factors of fresh, high-quality seafood do not go away just because of the word frozen. Do not avoid these frozen selections. When seafood is caught and immediately frozen, it does not lose any of its benefits of fresh factor or deliciousness. Frozen high-quality seafood can be a tremendous part of a restaurant’s business and revenue stream. Menus can reflect sustainable seafood all year round, and at much better pricing for all of our favorite starters and entrees—especially the audience who seeks healthier options will see value in restaurants who carry sustainable seafood. Freezing will add to the sustainability because it guarantees the selections to be available throughout the year and at a stable expense for the food service operators and the fishermen. Restaurants will be saving on the financial investment of the seafood products themselves and the increased time extension on the use of these products.


Environmentally-Friendly Packaging

Environmentally-friendly packages are a huge update that one can make to become ‘greener’ and more conscious. When you reevaluate your carryout packages and containers to be more sustainable, your delivery stream can increase by almost 60%! The Profitable Table by Woolco Foods explores the new ways to improve not only your customer’s dining experience but also, their takeout trends and carry out packaging. Whether it’s eco-friendly, modern design, or a focus on food safety, the latest podcast will provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for your restaurant and why it’s key to increasing off-premise business. If you want to improve on subpar packaging for restaurant takeout and delivery, first you need to ask yourself the below:

  • Are the packages and cups that we are supplying sturdy to support the meal?
  • Do these containers prevent leaks, spills, and drips?
  • Are boxes easy to open and close?
  • Do boxes stay closed?
  • Do drinks stay cold or hot in their cups?
  • Do napkins hold up or shred immediately?

Offer More Vegan & Vegetarian Options 

When you offer more vegan and vegetarian options you inadvertently preserve more water and combat hunger issues. Another major factor for creating sustainable business is coming up with a menu which can allow the raising of diverse plants, and plant-based foods, which nourish soil and lead to long-term surplus of farm grown, fresh foods. So much energy goes into raising livestock for food. Vegan and vegetarian diets allow for a reduction in energy consumption and less processing. Also, the more plants and grains grown the more gets pumped back into purifying the air. Many people do not realize how offering a more vegan and vegetarian menu can have such an impact on sustainable business. It is also a wonderful way to engage with others who are seeking this type of lifestyle.