Of all the businesses you can run, a restaurant is the most high-stress, detail-oriented option. It requires a ton of dedication; even then, every day is an uphill battle. Keeping your business both customer-centric and not a disaster is tough enough on its own. Besides serving delicious food, keeping things sanitary, sustainable and efficient is essential.
Here are some tips for running a sustainable and professional restaurant business.
1. Source Ingredients Locally
If you’re starting your restaurant from scratch, build your menu around local ingredients and resources at your disposal. If you already have a menu, see what you can source locally and sustainably. Try to slowly integrate locally sourced food into your menu. Visit local farmer’s markets and make local connections that can become a wider web of local businesses supporting each other for a more sustainable end product.
Opting for locally sourced ingredients can reduce your carbon footprint by cutting travel costs and avoiding preservatives. In addition, sustainable ingredients are environmentally friendly and promote healthier eating habits.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Energy Use
Energy consumption is big for any business, especially if you’re a restaurateur. Use energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, and smart thermostats to help reduce energy bills and maximize your sustainability. You’d be surprised how much money you can save by reducing energy use.
If possible, draw from renewable energy sources to keep your business sustainable. Whether you can install solar panels or if you have wind turbines in your area, make sure you’ve exhausted all your options. It’ll be more efficient and more environmentally friendly in the long run.
3. Have a Sanitation Code
Sanitation is integral to a successful restaurant business. Your local government likely has its own sanitation code you should be following, but maintaining your own standard of cleanliness is a great way to keep things sanitary and efficient. That includes frequent hand washing, wearing gloves and hairnets, using separate cutting boards for different types of food, and sanitizing surfaces regularly.
Ensure that your staff is trained in food safety and hygiene practices and follows them rigorously. Keep your kitchen updated with the safest equipment. For example, see if you have proper commercial kitchen drainage installed. You want your interior to be easy to clean according to your standards.
While sanitation might not seem related to environmental friendliness, they’re more entwined than you’d expect. Reducing and correctly managing waste is integral to a sustainable restaurant business.
4. Water Conservation
Water, especially in some parts of the world, is a precious resource you should conserve as much as possible. Install low-flow faucets, toilets, and dishwashers to reduce your water bill and carbon footprint.
While the restaurant business is challenging on its own, you need to consciously reduce your environmental impact, conserve resources, and maintain a professional standard. Sustainability not only grants you a more profitable and resource-efficient business but lets you flex your managerial skills.
You also get the extra benefit of a sustainable brand. You can advertise your carbon footprint and connection to other small businesses in your area. Knowing that your restaurant is locally sourced and ethically run will bring you more business.
By making slow, minor changes to your operations, you can make a big difference to the environment and the community.