Environmental Tips for Restaurants

Restaurant Sustainablility Tips

"The roadmap to environmental responsibility for the restaurant industry follows a path of incremental steps. It is an ongoing process that continually challenges businesses to generate greater efficiencies, reduce waste and expand their capacity to use renewable resources as new technologies and practices become available. In essence, environmental responsibility is a tool — a way of approaching business decisions that helps businesses achieve their existing strategic goals more efficiently, quickly and cost effectively."

Excerpt from National Restaurant Association Conserve website:http://conserve.restaurant.org/about/index.cfm

Reduce Waste, Increase Profit ($$$)
• Purchase only what you need—Take inventory often and consider using an inventory tracking system to avoid spoilage and waste
• First In, First Out (FIFO)—use and store items in chronological order
• Store food tightly and appropriately, stalling spoilage
• Use storage containers that can be reused. You can also request food be delivered in reusable containers to avoid having to buy new containers
• Buy in bulk 
• Review your menu—find ways to incorporate all of your food products into your menu (e.g. using vegetable heads and stem to make soup stock)
• More recycling=less trash=smaller trash removal bills
• Donate edible leftover food to local community food banks
 • Consider a trash compacter to reduce dumpster tips/container pulls
• Consider a Baler to bale cardboard and other recyclables—this removes these items from your waste streams

• Work with an organics vendor to set-up a food waste disposal program:

"Better handling of food waste is one of the most important opportunities we have to decrease our environmental footprint and address hunger in America," said Scott DeFife, the NRA's (National Restaurant Association) executive vice president of policy and government affairs. "Food waste has a dramatic impact on the environment, so our goals are two-fold: we want to increase the amount of food sent to donation and also decrease the food waste that is sent to landfill."

 Waste Reduction By Area

Bar & Beverage
• Know your customers—purchase items based on what your customers buy
• Recycle bottles & cans—if you don’t have room to store your recycling, serve fountain or draft drinks
• Use reusable plates & utensils—invest in plastic cups and plates to avoid continuous purchasing of paper products
Appliances & Equipment
• Maintain kitchen appliances—it costs money to maintain, but it costs more money to shut down a kitchen when an appliance fails
• Have regular check-ups for HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air condition)—clean the coils and filters and look for air loss from refrigerator doors and freezers
• Clean fryers and filter the oil daily—this extends the life of the fryer and the oil
Grocery Items
• Buy condiments in bulk & use refillable dispensers—this is more sustainable than packet condiments. The containers from the bulk condiments can also be recycled
Paper & Janitorial Supplies
• Purchase paper products made from post-consumer waste (PCW)
• Avoid Styrofoam whenever possible—it takes up room in storage and disposal
• Use straw dispensers (health department approved) instead of prewrapped straws
• Use washable table linens
• Purchase HDPE trash bags—they’re much more environmentally friendly and are often times cheaper than LDPE or LLDPE bags
• Purchase concentrated cleaning supplies & environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies

• National Restaurant Association
• City of El Cerrito: Environmental Servies Division