How to implement sustainable habits in your restaurant: Learn the 16 main ones

How to implement sustainable habits in your restaurant: Learn the 16 main ones

did you know that more and more prestigious restaurants are striving to reduce their carbon footprint in each of their operations? Incorporating sustainable habits in hospitality has become an indispensable practice in the restaurant industry. By adopting these measures, you will show commitment and concern for the environment to ensure a healthier environment.

The results will be evident and you will be able to transmit the vision of your hospitality business to each and every visitor. Best of all, you will save significant costs in the process

Here are the top 16 sustainable habits that will boost sustainable development in your restaurant:

1. Donate your leftover food to improve your sustainable consumption habits

According to specialists, currently more than 800 million individuals lack the resources to feed themselves adequately. And it is estimated that in our country alone, each restaurant business throws away approximately 3,000 kilos of food per year. If this is not corrected, the consequences will be enormous.

The solution could be much closer than you think if there is a concerted effort by restaurants. Start by analysing each of your operations. The idea is that you set up a system to get your surplus food to the most disadvantaged.

In this way, you help members of the community while minimising the waste your kitchen generates – certainly one of the most effective environmentally sustainable habits, with the potential to make a difference in the short term!

2. Frequently update your perishable inventory

A restaurant’s sustainable habits should include up-to-date inventory management. By doing so, you will anticipate to prevent food waste and minimise your expenses

In this regard, some studies state that more than 1/3 of the food harvested in the world ends up in landfills. And this, in figures, means that the hospitality industry will lose around 4 billion euros.

Don’t forget to implement a “first in, first out” principle in your restaurant’s warehouse. This is most effective in the case of perishable goods, by organising them according to their best-before date. For this reason, we believe it is one of the best sustainable habits in a company.

3. Incorporate vegetarian ingredients in your restaurant menu

Vegetarian dishes have become a trend due to the desire of many diners to reduce meat consumption. You can take advantage of this in your sustainable restaurant by promoting vegetarian options that impact the senses of your visitors.

Remember that livestock farming tends to use more resources and generate more pollution compared to agriculture. And the best thing is that vegetarian diets are associated with the promotion of healthier habits.

4. Use organic and local products

Every day, more and more customers are asking for seasonal and locally produced food. The benefits of these practices are relevant, as it boosts the economic development of the community without threatening the environment.

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For example, if you have fish dishes on your menu, the idea is to communicate with local fishermen who are committed to their environment. In this way, you significantly reduce the CO2 emissions associated with transporting and preserving food. And the best thing is that you will offer fresh preparations with the highest quality standards.

5. Efficiently reduce your waste

It is a fact that organic waste mainly ends up in landfills, and a small percentage is used in composting plants. Regardless of the case, managing waste requires a lot of energy.

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So much so that some studies estimate that for every kilogram of solid waste, about 3 kg of CO2 is emitted. The idea is to reduce the amount of waste produced in your restaurant each day to sustainable levels

Use an instrument to record the volume of waste during set periods and plan strategies to reduce these indicators. A success story can be found in the English restaurant Tiny Leaf in Notting Hill, which has become a pioneer of “zero waste” businesses.

6. Recycle as much as you can in your hospitality business

A sustainable hospitality business should encourage the installation of a recycling system for waste treatment. And it will be even better if you get your customers to be part of the project.

The purpose is to project the values of the project, so that they become daily habits for the people involved. To do this, buy coloured recycling bins and place them in high-traffic places in your restaurant.

And if you want to get better results, include a promotion of your most valued products for those diners who use the system.

7. Use your waste as an energy source

Once you have separated your waste, you must treat it correctly to give it a new use. And how do you achieve this? Well, through sustainable projects for the creation of energy sources that you can implement directly in your restaurant.

An outstanding example is currently being implemented in many Parisian restaurants, which use waste to obtain biogas. As a result, they can use this element to generate electricity, compost and even heat. And the most important thing is that these are functional procedures that are totally environmentally friendly.

8. Use your business water consciously

According to some studies, water consumption by the catering sector will increase by 30% in the next decade. For this reason, it is vital to take care of every drop to make a truly sustainable business

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A smart habit in this regard is to use the dishwasher only at maximum capacity. It is also a good idea to install special taps with motion sensors and low-flow toilets

And finally, use rainwater to water your restaurant’s vegetable garden and run your toilet systems.

9. Support the work of charitable causes

Sustainable restaurants are part of foundations committed to helping the environment and other social causes. Therefore, it is common for them to participate in non-profit events in order to help the underprivileged

Some businesses focus on serving smaller portions to reduce hunger in their community. Afterwards, the surplus of each dish is packaged to be given to organisations that are trying to reduce child malnutrition.

This has several advantages, since on the one hand we eliminate a significant amount of organic waste from your restaurant. In addition, your customers will feel proud to be part of a project as laudable and important as this one. And the best thing is that they get more profit by reducing the costs of their operations.

10. Use biodegradable and toxic-free detergents

A fact that not everyone knows is that the use of commercial detergents deteriorates the environment in a very aggressive way. Some studies explain in detail the terrible consequences of each ingredient on the health of your customers and the environment

For this reason, if your aim is to turn your restaurant into a sustainable alternative, you should leave chemical detergents aside . Instead, the right thing to do is to use environmentally friendly and biodegradable products

Check the label to see if they are free of toxic residues, and if they take care of the integrity of floors and furniture. As a result, your emissions of harmful gases will be limited to a minimum and you will protect the health of your visitors.

11. Place multiple dispensers in your restaurant

The idea is to replace the use of individual packaging for sauces, sugar, salt, pepper, mustard and others with dispenser containers. This is an opportunity to make your restaurant more sustainable, as you avoid producing the associated waste.

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And indeed, it is not uncommon to see containers full of this type of waste, especially in fast food businesses. Starting these changes is relatively easy, just buy some dispensers and then refill them with the bulk products

Keep in mind that landfills are full of this type of waste, which is often made of non-environmentally friendly materials. In addition, this principle includes personal hygiene items located in the bathroom, such as towels, liquid soap and paper. The effectiveness of this strategy is being widely replicated in the world’s most prestigious restaurant chains.

12. Use machines that run on sustainable energy

If you want to go further in your desire to implement sustainable shopping habits, we suggest buying alternative energy machines. This is the case of those systems or devices that work from alternative energy such as water or wind.

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Bear in mind that in order to incorporate these renewable sources in your restaurant, you will not have to have a large budget. On the contrary, with a little creativity and ingenuity it is possible to access energy sources that do not have a negative impact on the environment.

An example of this can be seen in the generation of electricity through wind turbines and other related technologies. And if you do not have the means to implement these elements, you will need to communicate with suppliers who share your sustainable vision. As a result, you will minimise your emissions to meet your targets.

13. Use solar panels to raise water temperature

Even in these efforts, it is possible to do without electricity to heat the water in your restaurant. The idea is to use solar panels as a powerful alternative to raise the temperature of the liquid in a sustainable way

On the other hand, studies show that a large part of the energy used in restaurants in Europe is spent on heating. For this reason, you should incorporate hot water heating equipment. They are certainly an effective way to radiate heat into the spaces of your hospitality business in an environmentally friendly way.

And the best thing is that you renew the experience of your guests in your hospitality business from sustainable habits.

14. Use only certified energy-efficient appliances

On the other hand, don’t forget to promote the responsible use of electricity in your restaurant as a way to influence your staff. To achieve this, it is best to buy energy-efficient equipment. One strategy is to place these products with the label “class A” in specialised shops.

Examples include dishwashers, slicers, dehydrators and freezers, among many others. And very important is to check if they include intelligent sequencing systems for best results

The devices created under this vision, usually contain the option of standby to select prioritised circuits according to the situation.

15. Place recycled paper in all areas of your restaurant

A habit that is often underestimated, but can extend the sustainability of your business, is the use of recycled paper. This strategy consists of replacing printing, toilet and advertising paper with paper that is reused in other production cycles

To obtain recycled paper, you must treat the sheets of cardboard and paper used in other processes to give them new uses. The idea is to eliminate as much as possible this type of waste that damages nature and use it for new purposes

This is undoubtedly a superior way to contribute to the care of the valuable forests in your community. And additionally, it brings other important benefits such as the reduction of fuel and water used for its manufacture from conventional procedures.

16. Install energy-saving light bulbs in your business

In your restaurant’s utility bills, you may have noticed that electricity is one of the biggest expenses. As a consequence, sustainable habits emphasise efficient consumption management as a strategy to protect the environment.

In this sense, the best thing to do is to buy energy-saving white light bulbs or LED lamps to light the areas of your premises. In this way, you will save up to 80% of the current required by traditional systems

As you have seen, implementing sustainable habits in your restaurant is not so complicated and will bring great benefits. Take advantage of these tips to strengthen the image of your restaurant business and contribute to building a healthier environment. And keep in mind that in our online shop you can find the best products to meet your sustainability goals. See you!

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