Going Green for the Good of Your Business
There has never been a better time to bring the phrase “Going Green” into your restaurant. More and more consumers are growing increasingly concerned with their carbon footprint and how the products they use are affecting our environment. And at a moment when climate change is on everyone’s mind, it might be the perfect time to look into the ways you can incorporate “green” initiatives into your business—and make some green in the process.
Besides the obvious environmental benefits of implementing earth-friendly practices into your restaurant, there are other great outcomes to consider. Think about the vast amounts of consumers choosing their eateries based on how their food is sourced, prepared, and even the way the restaurant operates. Give yourself those bragging rights by working to reduce your energy usage, cutting back on disposable items (or switching to biodegradable options), and minimizing food waste. Think about fun ways to encourage your customers to join your Green Team by offering small discounts or a free drink if they bring their own straw or reusable coffee mug. In the end, you’ll both feel like you’re doing your part for the environment.
Where does the biggest swath of energy come from in your business? Your appliances. They are almost constantly running, and that puts a huge strain on the environment (not to mention your energy bills). To cut back on your energy usage, make the switch to appliances that are Energy Star Qualified. You can also opt for LED or CFL light bulbs and install motion-sensor lights in your bathrooms instead of keeping them lit all day. And if you want to keep your restaurant cool in certain areas (like the kitchen), use portable air conditioning units rather than cranking the AC in the entire building. Your freezing-cold guests will thank you!
Consumers love to see where their food comes from. If you’re fortunate enough to have the space, consider growing your own herbs, small vegetables and fruits to use in your dishes—and don’t skimp on the bragging, because your customers are sure to eat it up. But even if you don’t have enough room to grow your own grub, buying locally sourced foods is another surefire way to please your customers and the earth.
We’ve written before about the benefits of portion control when it comes to your bottom line, but it’s also important to consider the impact food waste has on the environment. The industrial agriculture sector is one of the world’s largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions. So yet another great reason to Buy Local is because small-scale farming has a much lower negative impact on the environment. In reducing the amount of food we throw away each day, we are also making great strides in reducing our carbon footprints.
Finally, take a good look at your cleaning supplies. Eco-friendly cleaning products are readily available today, and you can also make plenty of cleansers on your own (and likely cheaper!) with just a few inexpensive kitchen items.
The bottom line is this: We’re all responsible for doing our part for the environment, and there are plenty of small steps business owners can take that’ll make a big impact on our world. If you’re interested in investing in energy-efficient appliances or other green initiatives, consider a line of credit from ARF Financial. We have flexible loan terms that allow you to make payments that work for you, and approvals take as little as 24 hours. Come visit us online to request a free quote!