Tips for Running an Eco-Friendly Restaurant: Laundry Services, Waste Management and More
Today, running a successful restaurant isn’t just about curating a delectable menu and creating a lively atmosphere. As we learn more about our impact on the environment and our social responsibility to minimise this as much as possible, customers and diners have started searching for something new: eco-conscious business. Dining in environmentally-friendly restaurants has become a key part of sustaining a green lifestyle, and as result, more and more people are looking for eateries that meet this criterion.
With this in mind, it’s now more important than ever for restaurants to go green - and customer satisfaction isn’t the only reason for this. By minimising your restaurant’s environmental impact, you can also save money, support local businesses, and prepare for a greener future. There are no two ways about it - every eatery has a responsibility to adopt as many sustainable practices as possible.
Of course, some changes can’t be made overnight, however, many can be implemented within a matter of weeks or months. There are lots of great ways to run and manage an eco-friendly restaurant, and below we share some of our top tips for doing so.
Ask your employees to get involved
Without support from your employees, it’s going to be difficult to introduce and sustain green measures. Your employees need to be on board to make a real impact! With this in mind, make sure you involve your employees in any decisions you make and ask them to contribute their own ideas.
After all, your chefs will know exactly how much food is wasted every night and may have valuable ideas on how to change this. Your waiting staff will be able to tell you what your customers think and what they expect from your business. Involving your employees will also make them much more likely to understand the importance of becoming a more sustainable restaurant, which will help you make a much bigger impact in the long run.
Cook with locally sourced ingredients
One great way for restaurants to reduce their environmental impact and support other local businesses is to cook with locally sourced ingredients. After all, when you import food from overseas, the ingredients are often transported for thousands of miles. The environmental impact of this is huge - and it also means your restaurant won’t have the freshest ingredients available. By purchasing local goods, you not only minimise the air and shipping miles needed to transport the ingredients, but you also end up with much tastier food. It’s a win-win!
Create a seasonal menu
Relying on local suppliers often means working with seasonal produce. By saying no to international food imports, you will only have access to food that has been grown locally, meaning the ingredients you have available are climate and season dependent. What this means is that you’ll need to create a seasonal menu based on the ingredients you can access locally. Cooking seasonal dishes is not only a great way to give your restaurant a competitive edge, but it will also help you become a more sustainable business.
Offer plenty of green dishes
Seasonal fruits and vegetables can help you create a greener menu in more ways than one. Cooking with flavoursome fruits and vegetables to offer vegetarian and vegan options is another effective way to run a more environmentally-friendly establishment. Doing so also ensures that your restaurant can cater to people with dietary or lifestyle requirements, which can help you retain customer interest and become popular amongst new groups of diners.
Minimise your restaurant’s food waste
While you can’t always predict how much food waste your customers will generate, it is possible to figure out how much food you dispose of as a business. Instead of throwing away boxes of vegetables that have begun to rot or other ingredients that have gone out of date, put a system in place to make sure as much food is used as possible.
This includes only ordering what your restaurant needs. To do this, you will need to audit the volume of ingredients you buy and figure out the excess that you’re throwing away. With a comprehensive audit, it becomes much easier to order what you need while minimising your food waste.
Recycle all food waste responsibly
Unfortunately, you don’t always have control over the food waste generated by your customers. No matter how delicious your menu is, your customers are bound to leave food on their plates sometimes. The golden rule of dealing with food waste is finding a way to dispose of it responsibly, and food waste recycling is the most efficient way to do this. When sent to landfill, food waste generates methane gas, so making sure that your restaurant recycles all organic matter appropriately (with a zero to landfill policy) is an effective way to reduce your business’ carbon footprint.
Get rid of single-use items
If your restaurant still offers diners plastic straws or disposable paper towels, it’s time to make a change. Getting rid of single-use items is a quick and efficient way to minimise your restaurant’s waste and encourage customers to think twice before requesting a single-use product.
In many cases, you can simply substitute disposable products with non-disposable products (such as by swapping paper tablecloths for linen). Unfortunately, however, there are some products that can’t be substituted for non-disposable alternatives. In this case, consider investing in recyclable or biodegradable options. For instance, instead of offering plastic straws or cutlery, opt for paper, cardboard or cornstarch alternatives.
Opt for energy-efficient kitchen appliances
Running a commercial kitchen requires a lot of energy. From chilling perishable food to cooking up a storm, there’s no denying that a successful kitchen relies on its appliances. However, there are ways to minimise the energy your kitchen uses while achieving the same results. Many modern appliances are now designed to be as energy-efficient as possible, so you don’t need to compromise on safety, hygiene or flavour while doing your bit for the planet.
If your kitchen appliances are particularly old, investing in new equipment could also help you save money in the long-term. After all, it can cost a lot to keep running and repairing old or damaged appliances. Newer models can help you minimise restaurant downtime, save money and reduce your energy usage.
Outsource your restaurant’s commercial laundry
As every restaurant owner knows, keeping on top of your commercial laundry can be difficult. From stained chef’s whites to food-splattered table linen, taking care of your restaurant’s laundry can feel like a never-ending task. Not only that, but the continuous washing and drying of clothes and cloths can have a significant impact on the environment. With this in mind, it’s time to outsource your commercial laundry to a company with environmentally-friendly facilities.
When you work with a commercial laundry company, rest assured that you’re doing your bit for the environment. Many reputable companies, including us at South West Laundry, are committed to reducing water and detergent usage while still washing restaurant linen to the highest standards. This means you get the finest linen every time without the environmental impact. Outsourcing your restaurant’s laundry also gives you one less task to think about - perfect for busy restaurateurs!
Hire your restaurant’s linen from an eco-friendly company
In addition to outsourcing your laundry services, consider hiring your restaurant’s linen from a company that practices sustainability. Instead of purchasing new tablecloths, chef’s whites and other linens, you can simply hire everything you need from a linen rental company that specialises in commercial linen. Then, if your restaurant’s interior design changes or you’d like to introduce a new colour scheme, you don’t need to dispose of anything. You can just change your order in line with your new preferences.
When you hire linen from an established company, you will also have the linen freshly washed and dried by some of the most energy-efficient laundry facilities available. Not only does this increase the lifespan of your linen, keeping everything from your table cloths to your tea towels in great condition, but it also reduces the energy needed to do this.
South West Laundry: Environmentally-friendly commercial laundry services and linen hire solutions
Reduce energy usage, increase hygiene measures and present your diners with the finest kitchen linen with linen hire and laundry solutions from South West Laundry. We offer the highest-quality linen hire and laundry services to businesses throughout Cornwall and Devon, helping commercial kitchen and hotel owners run an efficient and customer-approved service at all times.
We make hiring linen and outsourcing laundry solutions as convenient as possible for our valued clients, taking your washing off your hands and freeing up time for you to spend on what’s important to your business. Not only that, but we make it easier than ever to stay environmentally-friendly. We use only the most energy-efficient washing and drying appliances to cut energy usage without compromising on quality.
We’re proud to hire out the finest linen to our clients in the South West, so whether you want to browse our Classic or Pure Luxury range, we have something to suit your requirements. From sparkling chef’s aprons to perfectly crisp waiter’s cloths, look no further for the highest standard linen and laundry near you.
To find out what we could do for your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. As one of the South West’s leading commercial laundry companies, we’re well-equipped to support your needs. .