Customers in the 21st century give considerable importance to the sustainability efforts of brands and restaurants are no exception. As we are experiencing environmental damage at an unprecedented rate, the need for adopting technology for improving restaurant sustainability has grown manifolds. This is why, regardless of the restaurant’s size, a plethora of brands continue to invest in restaurant technology for sustainability.
Before moving on to other examples of technologies required for boosting sustainability practices, let’s go through some of the statistics to back our claim:
Why is Restaurant Sustainability Even Required?
As per Nielsen’s Global Corporate Sustainability Report, 73% of millennials and 66% of customers prefer sustainable brands. Not just that, they are happy to pay a premium price for it! These statistics solidify the need for prioritizing your sustainable restaurant operations in order to win the hearts of your diners.
According to an estimate by savethefood.com, 83% of non-utilized food in American restaurants is wasted. Another sad reality is that it costs approximately US$ 25 billion for restaurant businesses in America due to food wastage. According to the same report by savethefood.com, restaurants can save almost US$ 8 for every dollar they invest in sustainable operations, particularly food-waste reduction.
What to Include in Your Restaurant Sustainability Plan?
Some of the factors considered in the restaurant sustainability plan include, but are not limited to, reducing waste, environmental contamination, and environmental footprint. For instance, many companies such as ‘Restaurant Technologies’ offer oil disposal systems designed for reducing oil waste. Similarly, they repurpose animal feedstock and biodiesel through their oil recycling system. This is just one example of how technology can be leveraged for sustainability plans.
Take a look at other examples that are transforming the landscape of restaurant technology for sustainability goals:
1. Use Payroll Software
One of the best examples of how technology is employed for sustainability is that of payroll and scheduling software. With the help of this technology, it has become a lot easier to conduct payrolls, schedule and hire. By doing so, restaurants save enormous amounts of paperwork. Such end-to-end management systems have become indispensable in today’s restaurant business.
Declining areas of forest cover is the primary cause of global warming. Therefore, less paper utilization and wastage can be achieved by investing in an appropriate payroll & scheduling software. If you are a restaurant owner, choose a software which is mobile-friendly and cloud-based. There is no requirement for paper tax forms, paper checks, and paper pay stubs!
2. Role of Inventory Tracking System
“Food production is responsible for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions”, says a study done by the University of Oxford. Due to population explosion and thereby more mouths to feed, this problem seems to get worse with time. A staggering proportion of food waste is generated by restaurants and poor inventory management is the leading cause of it.
In order to scale-up your sustainability measures, investing in an inventory tracking software, such as inresto’s Supply Chain Management Tool, is a great decision. This restaurant technology for sustainability will allow you to make suitable purchasing decisions. For instance, if an ingredient is not that popular, you can decrease the amount of purchase. On the other hand, you can purchase the most sought-after ingredients in bulk. Such a strategy will minimize the food wastage generated by your restaurant.
inresto’s SCM dashboard allows you to manage invoices, sales estimation, production, menu management, and inventory management.
3. Upgrade Your Equipment
Have you been using the same kitchen equipment in your restaurant for many years? Then it’s time to upgrade. Investing your pecuniary resources into high-efficiency modern kitchen equipment will result in considerable energy-savings for you. Moreover, energy-efficient equipment will offer great performance and thus support your restaurant sustainability plan. Examples include smart refrigerators, high-speed and multi-function ovens.
4. Kiosk at Your Service
Another great way to get rid of paper is to install kiosks in your restaurant. Interactive kiosks with features such as click-and-display descriptions, booking systems, and interactive maps will be incredible for your restaurant’s sustainability program. Digital displays eliminate the need for reprinting everything. Besides, they are great for engaging your diners!
For this reason, ultra-thin bezel video displays have started to show up on the storefront windows of some leading restaurants. Through inresto’s digital and contactless restaurant menu, your diners can place orders without having to download any app!
5. Implement a Digital Feedback Solution
Restaurants have long been using paper comment cards for gathering the feedback of their valuable guests. However, most of the time they are ignored causing sheer wastage of paper. Instead, you can leverage restaurant technology for sustainability by using digital feedback solutions. TripAdvisor and Yelp are some of the famous online review sites which can help you with the feedback.
In addition, emails and social media are great channels for fetching customer’s feedback as digital marketing is swiftly gaining prominence. You can opt for inresto’s Feedback Management solution to utilize smart engagement tools, get immediate alerts, communicate with diners, and customize feedback forms!
Leverage inresto’s smart customer feedback management tool which will help you enhance customer engagement and retention. You can access detailed reports about your restaurant’s performance using this tool.
6. Minimize Water Wastage
Restaurants need to emphasize minimizing water wastage which would result in numerous economic benefits. You can free-up significant financial resources by saving up on electricity bills (motor pumps), water bills, and the energy incurred on reheating water. APANA offers an intelligent water management solution which would allow your restaurant to optimize water usage.
It leverages the Internet of Things (IOT) technology to eliminate waste by sending automated alerts. With inresto’s SCM, you can easily keep track of resources and how much of them are being wasted in order to make further decisions to save them.
7. Invest in Renewable Energy
Different elements of the restaurant business such as natural gas, propane, and electricity cause greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, supply chain activities and employee commuting contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. This is why it’s extremely important to calculate the carbon footprint of your restaurant. You can also outsource this task to another company.
In addition, you should install on-site renewable energy sources such as solar cells which will pay off in the long run. Make substantial investments in the recycling system to cut down wastage. Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), aggregate energy providers, and direct access energy providers will allow you to curtail greenhouse emissions.
Those are 6 reasons why you should invest in restaurant technology for sustainability. Consumers love the idea of contributing in some way towards a better future for the planet. These are just baby steps for tackling waste and eliminating paper. With technological advancements, this list will keep getting updated in future.