The Right Equipment for an Eco-Friendly Restaurant
When today’s consumers dine out, they consider a number of factors to select a restaurant. In addition to considering cuisine types, cravings and cost, consumers are looking for businesses that align with their values. Sustainability is at the top of the list for priority values, with 76% of consumers saying sustainable practices are important or very important. Operators who utilize sustainable restaurant equipment can drive traffic from customers looking for eco-friendly dining experiences. These three easy-to-implement practices align with customer values and reduce overhead costs by using resources more responsibly.
Decreasing Food Waste
Awareness of food waste in the United States is widespread and consumers are adjusting their behavior accordingly – as 55% of consumers consider a restaurant’s efforts to reduce food waste an important factor when choosing a restaurant. In turn, many restaurants and other foodservice establishments are taking measures to reduce how much of their costly commodities are sent to the landfill. Purposeful use of foodservice dispensing and holding equipment can help accomplish this:
- Portion-control pumps prevent large, wasteful servings of condiments, toppings and sauces. Each pump is adjustable to an amount that fits your menu items and satisfies your customers without creating waste.
- Thermostatic commercial food warmers maintain the correct temperature as food is depleted, preventing operators from throwing away scorched food.
- Pouched Food Dispensers yield a higher product evacuation, wasting less food versus cans or jars of sauces, condiments and toppings.
Conserving Water & Energy
When choosing a restaurant, 45% of consumers say a restaurant’s efforts to conserve energy and water an important factor. 2 Equipment that uses less of these resources not only can drive traffic but it can also help control overhead costs. While lighting, large appliances and ventilation make a significant difference, smaller pieces of equipment can also help conserve a surprising amount of resources:
- A heated utensil holder can save operators thousands of gallons of water a year. A continuous-flow dipper well can use up to 170 gallons of water per day, where a ConserveWell® heated utensil holder uses only 600 gallons of water per year. Read the study to see the side-by-side comparison or calculate the savings for a specific foodservice operation.
- Foodservice warmers with thermostats conserve energy by cycling on and off to maintain the desired temperature, unlike equipment with rheostatic controls which put out a constant level of heat regardless of actual temperature.
Reducing Plastic Waste
As usage of plastic straws has reduced dramatically over the past few years, consumers are looking for restaurants to continue to decrease plastic waste in other ways. Younger generations are particularly passionate about the issue, with approximately 56% of young consumers reporting a favorable attitude toward fast-food chains banning plastic and using other sustainable practices. In addition to eliminating straws and using eco-friendly to-go packaging, foodservice operations can also make moves to reduce back-of-house plastic usage:
Making a small investment in environmentally friendly restaurant equipment has the potential for significant returns from both increased traffic and savings. To explore more eco-friendly restaurant practices, read Ditch Disposables – Invest in Eco™ Pumps and 3 Ways to Cut Waste Back-of-House.