Don’t you think the world looks good in green? The restaurant industry definitely thinks so, and the last decade has witnessed some efforts by restaurants to go green. The movement has gathered steam, and ‘Go Green’ is fast becoming the new mantra. Some restaurants have even adopted eco-friendly themes as their principal USP.
The Indian Food Service industry will be worth Rs 6 lakh crore by 2022-23, with a CAGR of 9%. While the industry does much to sustain the growth impetus for the economy, in terms of its impact on the environment, it leaves much to be desired.
Here are a few guidelines for restaurateurs who sense the winds of change, but remain unsure about how to get the ball rolling:
1. Ethical sourcing
One of the best secrets to keep an eco-friendly environment lies in your own backyard. Grow your own or source organic foods and follow a strict farm to fork policy.
You must ensure that suppliers follow ethical crop production and animal welfare norms.
2. Ditch Paper, Log in with Technology
Cut down on paper usage. Living in the digital age and time, this can’t get any simpler
We know that the billing systems are all on your computers. Gone are the days when you had to sit at the counter writing bills on paper.
Adopt digital Menus. This upcoming concept has been adopted by many restaurants- Lord of the drinks (First fiddle restaurants), Slay coffee and Pind Balluchi being a few examples. And guess what, you don’t even have to invest in a computer system or tablet. The diners can open the menu on their phones by just scanning a QR code and you can also cross-sell / up-sell, through these, easily.
3. Water conservation and efficiency
Recycle used water for cleaning and watering plants.
Fix leaky fixtures and install low-flow faucets in toilets and kitchens.
And the most simple way in which you can do your bit for water conservation is by joining NRAI’s initiative called #GlassHalfFull, which instructs the waiters to fill glasses half-full unless otherwise requested by customers.
4. Waste reduction and management
Invest in a tailored and analytics-based inventory management software that is smart enough to inform the management about the excess stock in inventory to maintain efficient inventories, particularly with perishables.
The advanced data analytics solutions in these software help the management to study consumption patterns and arrive at optimal serving solutions and portion sizes.
Follow government guidelines in segregating and managing waste efficiently to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and reduce your carbon footprint.
And don’t forget to donate the leftover food to local shelters.
5. Ditch plastics. Go eco-friendly.
Explore alternatives to plastic for packaging, straws, stirrers, bottles, tumblers, and cutlery. The alternatives could be bagasse packaging and cutlery made of wood – just like JustBe café in Bangalore.
Use eco-friendly paper towels in bathrooms and kitchens.
Consider going back to our roots with banana leaf plates, clay tumblers, and papaya leaf straws.
6. Sustainable interior décor
Use furniture made of biodegradable wood, such as bamboo.
Buy organic cotton only from local sellers.
Use all-cloth linen, such as tablecloths and napkins.
Remember, going eco-friendly is not just the right thing to do. It’s responsible, noble, and selfless. It can also pay-off tangibly. It helps you connect with your millennial customers over a shared cause, to earn their appreciation and repeat patronage.
According to a recent green dining survey, a total of 65% of customers said that they are willing to pay 10% more to dine at an eco-friendly restaurant.
Who thought being eco-friendly can result in hiked revenues too? You cannot not go green after reading this.