A Guide to Running an Eco-Friendly Restaurant
If you’re in the restaurant business, then you know how discerning your customers can be. Everything from the flavor profile of your menu to your decor and how your wine pairs with your entrees can come under scrutiny when you have diners at your establishment. That being said, beyond the way that your restaurant serves its customers, consumers are becoming increasingly interested in the values and ethics of the ownership behind the kitchen. As such, it behooves you, as a restaurateur, to think about how you can have your restaurant exude more than just your flavors and also represent what you believe and care about.
Nowadays, one of the top concerns on many consumers’ minds has to do with the environment. More and more people are recognizing the dangerous effects of global warming as the climate gets hotter and wildfires get more out of hand each summer. As such, any business that’s able to do something about reducing their carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment can really score big with customers. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to running your restaurant in a more environmentally friendly way, it can be helpful to have a list of ideas to help you jumpstart your brainstorming. From comparing your electric rate and searching for a new electric supplier to recycling your used cooking oil and turning grease into biodiesel, here are a few ways you can run a more eco-friendly restaurant.
Take a look at your electric plan.
An easy place to start if you want to be more environmentally conscious is with your energy plan. Your energy bill may be higher than it needs to be if your utilities aren’t the most eco-friendly. Finding an electric service capable of offering more energy-efficient service from renewable sources is cheaper than traditional electric rates and better for the environment. If you want to find the best rate and the best service, you might want to compare electricity providers online. There are several different websites that can help you weigh the pros and cons of different natural gas or electric utility companies, whether it’s based on the price of their rate plan or the supplier’s customer service. Having all of this information at your fingertips thanks to the internet can be a major boon for your business since you can focus on finding a renewable energy supplier and moving on with other aspects of your business.
Speaking of other aspects of your business, if you use an HVAC system for your heating and air conditioning, it’s a good idea to make sure that your HVAC is energy-efficient as well. If you’ve just bought your restaurant and aren’t sure about how old your HVAC is or what sort of unit it is, it’s a good idea to contact an AC service to get more information about your AC. Some air conditioning services may also be able to handle the installation of a new air conditioning unit or furnace if you need a more energy-efficient option. Definitely talk about your options with your AC technician if you’re unfamiliar with the HVAC industry and are already looking to find maintenance services in the surrounding area.
Recycle what you can.
Even if you don’t have years of experience in the world of environmentalism, you probably know that recycling is an important part of conserving resources and helping the environment. However, you may not know that you can recycle the vegetable oil, cooking oil, and other grease and fats that are in your grease traps as a restaurant. Collecting used cooking oil is a great way to help create biofuel, which powers a variety of machinery in a more sustainable way. One of the best things about recycling cooking oil is that it’s something that you will already generate owning and operating a restaurant. As such, you may create gallons of oil over the lifetime of your restaurant, doing your part to help the environment through oil collection and recycling.
While it can be tough to stay up-to-date with every single thing that your customers expect from you, living out your values as a restaurateur pays big dividends in a few different ways. For starters, when you’re expressing your values at home in your personal life as well as at work in your professional life, you’re likely to feel happier. Beyond a greater sense of satisfaction, that sense of authenticity is attractive to customers as well. Additionally, aligning yourself with causes you care about—such as the environment and climate change—can really boost your profits, too. When you’re a pioneer in your field for a specific cause, you’ll attract like-minded customers and generate more press. As such, whether you’re recycling cooking oil and grease, or switching up your electric plan by finding an electric provider capable of offering more environmentally friendly energy plans, you’re bound to find success living out your values.