Restaurant sustainability has moved past its trend phase — it’s here to stay. A whopping 65 percent of diners now take a vested interest in where the food on their plates comes from, from how it was sourced to how it was processed. Every restaurateur who wants to stay relevant and be successful has no choice but to start playing the sustainability game.
If you’ve been thinking of trying to be more sustainable but just weren’t sure how, here are five ways your restaurant can successfully come out on top of this “green” trend.
1. Decrease Portion Sizes
Not only are super-sized portions bad for our health, they’re bad for the environment! Overconsumption and food waste will take a toll on your bottom line over time, and who wants that? Do your part to reverse wasteful ways at your restaurant by re-imagining your portion sizes. From playing with plate sizes to offering more shared dishes, there are tons of ways you can decrease portion sizes and elevate your restaurant’s green status.
2. Buy Local
Whether it’s that farmers’ market down the street or a supplier you know who buys local, start making a conscious effort to source local produce and ingredients. You’ll find you’ll probably save on the transportation costs you would normally pay for food items imported from afar. Bonus: the less distance the food has to cover to get to your restaurant, the fresher it will be — win-win!
3. Serve What’s in Season
Let your menu reflect nature’s natural flow by creating a seasonal menu. Seasonal menus offer a farm-to-table appeal, relying solely on the local produce available in a given season. In-season produce is usually grown closer to where it’s sold, meaning it won’t have to travel long distances just to spoil by the time it gets to your kitchen. Remember: you don’t need to scrap your existing menu just to get in sync with in-season produce. Start small by substituting any out-of-season items with plentiful in-season items.
4. Consider a Digital Menu
If you really want to live and breathe this how-to and love the idea of switching up your menu every season, you need to keep one thing in mind: paper waste and design costs. To keep your menu exciting without the added stress, consider leveraging your mobile POS as a digital menu. You’ll reduce unnecessary paper waste and impress patrons with a beautiful new (frequently updated) menu.
5. Get Growing
While it’s all well and good to foster fruitful relationships with local farmers and suppliers, it doesn’t get more ‘local’ than your own backyard. If you’ve got the space, why not grow your own produce? Even if you’re only able to grow herbs, the unparalleled freshness they’ll bring to your offerings will be well worth it — not to mention the money you’ll save on ordering and transporting these items to your restaurant. Pro tip: you can use your food waste as compost!
By making a conscious effort to run a greener restaurant, you’ll have a positive impact on the environment, your bottom line, and even more so, sustainability savvy consumers. With that in mind, who wouldn’t want to go green!
This is a guest post from TouchBistro.