We see it on the news and across social media daily, the dangers of climate change and the detrimental impact we are having on the environment is worsening year on year and the pressure is mounting to make a change.
A recent survey carried out on behalf of the Sustainable Restaurant Association revealed that over 80% of respondents considered sustainability as a deciding factor when choosing where to eat. With consumers more conscious than ever, being an environmentally-friendly business is not just a great move for the environment, it can also go hand-in-hand with potential financial growth.
So we’ve put together five simple changes you can make in your venue today to help make it more eco-friendly.
Reducing the amount of food your venue wastes is an easy way to lower your greenhouse emissions and can also help save you some extra cash!
Across the UK restaurants waste around 99,1000 tonnes of food but what happens to all that excess stock you bought or that mountain of carbonara you had to scrape off someone’s plate? Well, it gets taken to landfill sites to rot and produces methane - a greenhouse gas more powerful than carbon dioxide. With the UN stating that cuts to methane emissions are key to slowing down climate change in combination with the fact venues lose on average 97p from each meal they serve, it is worth considering ways to reduce food waste in your venue.
- Labelling ingredients to keep track of what you have and what needs using.
- Measure and monitor the different types of food waste, create an action plan to improve the key problem areas and review the progress each month.
- Be wary of big portion sizes and ask customers if they want to take their leftover meals home.
Selling surplus food through the waste food ordering platform ‘Too Good To Go’ is also a really effective way to reduce the amount of stock you’re throwing out. In addition to doing your bit for the planet, this also provides your venue with the opportunity to attract new customers and turn a previous loss into some extra income!
Consider going paperless
From the cutting down of trees that are essential in soaking up carbon dioxide, to the harmful gases emitted from dumping it in a landfill site, paper has a huge impact on our environment.
Switching from the traditional paper menus to a live, digitised one can not only help your restaurant become more eco-friendly, but it also brings great benefits to the customer. Guests are able to see images of the dishes before making a decision on what to order, along with the other notable benefits of digital ordering like spending more time at their table, avoiding long queues and ordering food and drinks at their own pace. It’s a win-win!
Change the way you use ice
Ice features in a wide variety of cocktails however a lot of it often gets thrown away once the drink has been strained over new ice. As the production of this popular drink ingredient requires a lot of water and energy to make, try serving more drinks on your menu that are pre-mixed and chilled as an eco-friendly alternative.
Switch to more eco-friendly cleaning products wherever possible
Cleaning isn’t always the first thing hospitality venue owners think of when they’re looking to reduce their impact on the environment but every year considerable amounts of chemicals from cleaning products are washed into rivers and streams and can enter the food chain of the animals living near them. Using environmentally friendly detergents and cleaning products when cleaning and providing eco-friendly hand soap is a great way to reduce your venue’s overall contribution to this problem.
Minimise the distance between you and your suppliers
If the ingredients you source are delivered from far away, then consider using recipes that you can source closer to home. Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint and help you keep your costs down but as customers are increasingly looking to support local businesses and try unique local dishes, this is another great method to attract more people to your venue.
There are many ways to make your hospitality venue more eco-friendly from eliminating single use plastic to getting creative and up-cycling leftover cocktail ingredients and incorporating them into menu dishes in the kitchen. Overall, it’s a great move for the environment, for your businesses and for your customers.