Implementing Sustainable Solutions For Your Foodservice Business

Key points

  • Consumers are keen to support those foodservice businesses offering 'cleaner and greener’ solutions
  • More efficient energy management can reduce your operating costs by up to 30 per cent
  • Ethical ingredient sourcing and moving to recycled/recyclable materials can make a big difference to your contribution to sustainability
  • Buying local produce helps build a more resilient local economy for the future

TODAY’S CONSUMERS are increasingly focused on how their food is produced and keen to support those foodservice businesses that are offering ‘cleaner and greener’ solutions. As such there is a clear competitive advantage to be gained in implementing environmentally sustainable practices in your business.

Here are some steps worth considering:

* EFFICIENT ENERGY MANAGEMENT is very important for foodservice businesses – most restaurants and buildings with commercial kitchens consume about 2 ½ times more energy than other commercial buildings according to an Energy Star survey. Energy waste is often due to excess heat and noise generated from inefficient appliances, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, lighting and refrigeration systems. Energy Star found foodservice businesses that invest in moving to more energy efficient equipment can reduce operating costs by up to 30 per cent without sacrificing quality, ambience or comfort.

* MOVE TO USING RECYCLED/RECYCLABLE MATERIALS IN YOUR BUSINESS – you’ll be surprised to see how many items can fit into that category! Reclaimed wood for your furniture, green building materials, biodegradable utensils and recycled paper are just a few examples. You can also recycle your plastics such as bottles and containers, boxes, cutlery and Styrofoam packaging. Buying non-food supplies in bulk can also reduce your overall packaging usage.

* ETHICAL INGREDIENT SOURCING can make a big difference to your contribution to sustainability. For example, choosing suppliers who are committed to practices which respect farmers, animals and primary producers – such as those with third party certification to sustainable farming schemes. You might also consider sourcing product from those suppliers dedicated to reducing hormone and antibiotic use in meat and protecting the environment.

*  BUYING LOCAL PRODUCE is a great way to ensure regional sustainability for farmers and communities while also saving money on transport, packaging and storage. You’re also making a positive contribution towards maintaining local employment and your customers will appreciate the fresh seasonal food which tastes better – because locally grown fruits and vegetables are often allowed to ripen for longer and as such are handled less. And by supporting smaller-scale organic farming and energy efficient agricultural methods, you’ll be playing a role in creating a more resilient local economy for the future.