Happy Earth Day! While everyone is being a little more cautious about the environment today, there are ways for your restaurant to be cautious 24/7, 365 days a year. Implementing a sustainability program at your restaurant doesn’t have to be hard, and can save a lot of money down to road. The best part? Helping our Earth become a better planet to live!
Sustainability Tips for Your Restaurant
The National Restaurant Association outlined three simple solutions for Earth Day:
- Create a start-up and shut-down schedule
- Fix leaky sinks
- Donate leftover food
Creating a Schedule
Creating a start-up and shut-down schedule will reduce overall energy use. You can find outlets online that provide free start-up and shut-down schedules, which helps operators only use equipment and lights when necessary. The NRA states, “Shari’s Café & Pies, a chain with 100 locations across the Pacific Northwest, implemented this similar strategy and has saved $4,145 per year per location.” Now that’s a lot of energy savings!
Fix your leaky sinks, I repeat, fix your leaky sinks! A small drip can actually add up to thousands of gallons of water going down the drain, each year. That can end up costing your restaurant hundreds of dollars. Why let that money go down the drain (literally) when you can simply fix your faucet!
Any leftover food that you accumulate at your restaurant, please donate it. The NRA states that more food reaches landfills than other type of municipal solid waste. It is estimated that 25-40 percent of the food that is grown, processed and transported in the United States will never be consumed. If you’re unsure of where to take your leftover food, there are many nonprofit organizations out there that would be glad to either take it for you or let you know of a deserving charity to drop it off!
Energy Star Equipment
Installing ENERGY STAR equipment at your restaurant can add up to big savings. These products are certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. Central offers hundreds of ENERGY STAR products that not only save you money on your energy bills but are also top rated in their specific categories! Browse through our ENERGY STAR rated products by clicking here.
Earth Day Promotions
While you can use these promotional ideas for Earth Day, they are great for using all year long to help save the environment and energy!
Dine out with the lights out
Turn off the lights for your breakfast and lunchtime hours to save energy and cut down on electricity usage. When it starts to get dark, light candles for not only an energy-saving option but also create a beautiful ambiance for your customers!
Have an offer for a free drink or cup of coffee if customers bring in a reusable mug/bottle. Reusable drinkware is essential in putting a dent in the vast number of bottles and cups that go in landfills around the world.
Free item or percentage off when you use a reusable bag
You could make up a similar offer like the reusable mug one above, but this time have customers bring in their reusable bags. If you’re a grocery store, deli or bakery – this opportunity is perfect for you! Offer them a percentage off once they show (and use) their bag!
Select a menu item that you can donate all of the profits to Earth Day donations
Create a special dish that is made from only local ingredients and steer it towards an Earth Day theme. Using these ingredients encourages others to buy locally and save nonrenewable resources like gasoline that are used in the process of getting the goods from place to place. Have this dish be special and donate all of the proceeds to Earth Day donations. You could even get literal with the “Go Green” theme by having specially crafted green food for donations!
Give anyone who bikes, carpools, walks or uses public transportation to get to your restaurant a percentage off for using a green method of transportation
It’s as easy as it sounds – if a customer uses a green method of transportation to get to your restaurant or business, give them a percentage off of their order. It’s important to reward the people who thought about their eco-friendly options before they came to your restaurant!
Bring recyclable items (plastic bottles, cans, paper) to your restaurant and receive a certain amount off of their meal
Have customers bring in their recyclable items, and if they donate a certain number they can receive an amount off of their meal. This allows people to get rid of their recyclables the proper way, without just dumping them into the trash. Call your local recycling company for pickup or drop the donations off at their site.
Eat Outside if it’s nice
If you have an outdoor dining area – utilize it! Celebrate the environment you’re working to protect on Earth Day, and enjoy the great outdoors! Of course, you have to watch the weather beforehand to do this idea, but use your best judgment! It’s finally spring so customers will be itching to get out and enjoy the weather and you can use this opportunity to increase your profit if you add extra outdoor dining seating! It’s a win-win for everyone!
Remember, we should be going green all the time! If you’re looking for some eco-friendly supplies or ENERGY STAR rated equipment shop Central! Have questions? Give us a call at 800-215-9293 or chat with us live!