The restaurant industry has reached an all-time peak of ruthlessness, marked by a number of leading high street chain restaurants struggling to carry on, or even failing completely. Survival in such a competitive industry relies more than ever on devising a sustainable business model that brings a profit and achieves longevity. Cutting costs is an important factor in this, and this issue can produce some great ways to make a restaurant more environmentally friendly, and more engaging for customers. World Environment Day has seen businesses everywhere looking at ways to minimise their carbon footprints, so here are some ways restaurants can do the same without alienating their customer base.
Get Seasonal with Selections
Seasonality of produce is given such little thought nowadays thanks to global trade and importation. While this has made consumer life much richer and more varied, imported produce is not the solution if a restaurant is looking to be better for the environment. Not only does the introduction of seasonal menus reduce costs and cut out the pollution attached to long haul importation, but gives an eatery a much more rustic and alluring character. Research has found that customers prefer to try new things when they eat at a restaurant, and seasonal offerings can be a good opportunity to introduce celebrations, festivals and promotions, such as Harvest Festival Specials.
Try the Home Grown Route
Producing your own ingredients has so many advantages, and contrary to popular belief, it can be done cheaply, easily and without too much time or effort involved. Not everybody has free access to an allotment or large garden, but there are plenty of fine substitutes, such as pots, grow boxes and pop-up mini greenhouses, which can be kept in conservatories, gardens, roofs or patios if the restaurant itself doesn’t have the space. Staple ingredients such as potatoes, onions and herbs can be grown all year round, and while providing a fun and productive project for staff to work on behind the scenes, it is a hugely appealing factor for those consumers looking for restaurants who care about the environment as much as they do. Home grown produce is a huge selling point, so declare it on menus, signs and specials boards.
Support Local Producers
Many businesses fail because the supply chain they put together at the start of their journey simply isn’t sustainable, and this is usually due to poor cost-effectiveness. Looking closer to home for produce can be a great way to reduce costs and transportation, and to become a part of a local network of independent businesses who can support each other. A common mistake with supply chains is that too many people go for the first available option, where they should be shopping around for quotes like they would with any other purchase. Technological advances are helping to make this part easier. GoKart is a mobile app that provides a way for restaurants to place orders, browse sellers and prices, and organise delivery simply and securely. By taking such steps and remaining local, restaurants can reduce their outgoing costs, and their environmental damage, through minimal packaging and transport costs.
Get Tough on Waste
Recycling and waste disposal is more environmentally conscious than ever before and very accessible, so restaurants should be using the services available to make sure their waste is properly disposed of, and costs are reduced. Another simple and space-efficient solution is to get an on-premises composter, the products of which can then be put back into the restaurant’s homegrown ingredients. In other areas, take steps to reduce packaging with your orders, and shop around again, this time to find the best rates for local recycling and waste services. Once you start sorting a restaurant’s waste and sending it to the correct processors, it will begin to become apparent just how much waste food businesses produce.
Create a Green Work Culture
Any good business relies on a team of people who enjoy healthy working relationships and share the vision and values of the company and its creators. If staff are not passionate about the business’s core values and does not use them as the basis for their working style, then they are not going to be a decent representative of the brand. In terms of environmental consciousness, an employee without that passion may not see the problem with cutting corners, by dumping all waste in the same bin, or not bothering to water the company crops. Not only is this not in keeping with the company’s ethics, but will soon begin to accumulate in the bottom line, and lose precious profit. A team that understands and shares the environmental concerns of the business is a vital component of a green restaurant business.
About the Author
Anx Patel is the CEO of GoKart and a proven business visionary with 17 successful years experience in retail, wholesale and technology. He has a real passion for life, and how we can use technology to improve the way we do business, and manage our lives.
GoKart is a fast growth UK B2B business mobile trading platform that saves food businesses up to 20% on their ingredients by combining their buying power in their simple to use ordering app.
With the current struggles on the high street, Anx and his vision for GoKart is helping food businesses to prosper by controlling the cost of ingredients. A business that is growing 35% month on month and empowering the next great food brands to evolve.
For more information visit www.getgokart.com