Many established restaurants have already put in place sustainable initiatives to minimize their environmental impact, while those under development are considering sustainability a major part of how they design their restaurant layout and source materials to build their concepts.
Creating a more sustainable operation should start with the layout of the kitchen. It is important that the layout not only allows chefs to move around more freely but also ensures that the equipment is positioned smartly. For instance, placing an ice machine next to an oven not only results in wasted energy but also accelerates equipment breakdown, forcing restaurant owners to invest in new equipment more frequently.
Restaurants should work closely with their kitchen suppliers to prioritize the use of high-efficiency equipment, LED light bulbs, induction cookers where applicable and the installation of smart thermostats.
By opting for high-efficiency equipment, restaurants can significantly reduce their energy consumption. LED light bulbs are known for their energy efficiency, longevity and reduced heat output, providing substantial energy savings over traditional lighting options.
The use of integrating induction cookers is a highly efficient technology as it directly heats the cookware, minimizing energy loss compared to traditional gas or electric stoves.
Furthermore, the installation of smart thermostats enables intelligent temperature management, optimizing energy usage and enhancing comfort levels.
By working closely with kitchen suppliers to incorporate these energy-efficient measures, restaurants can make significant strides in reducing their environmental footprint while also reaping the benefits of lower energy costs.
From an operational perspective, we have seen an incredible reduction of single-use plastics and more restaurants using environmentally friendly packaging. However, more needs to be done to reduce the costs of biodegradable packaging worldwide so more restaurants are able to adopt this practice.
Creating biodegradable plastics often takes less energy than traditional plastics and releases fewer harmful substances when degrading. Although more costly, the transition of restaurants to biodegradable packaging will lead to a reduction in prices.
One of the most promising trends is sustainability focused menus. By sourcing their products locally whenever possible, reducing waste and often showcasing more plant-based menu options, restaurants can support local farmers, decrease their carbon footprint and potentially reduce their overall purchasing costs.
While many restaurants have embraced sustainable practices to reduce their environmental impact, there is certainly more to be done to protect our planet for future generations.