Times are changing, and restaurants are also experiencing changes of their own. A few decades ago, most menus were written according to what most people liked and what chefs liked to make. Some restaurants even had seasonal meals depending on the availability of certain ingredients at different times of the year. With time this landscape changed significantly, and the restaurant industry began including many items in their menus and making a lot of food to meet demand.
Today, people are beginning to pay attention to what is on their plate and how it got there. Restaurateurs are also starting to look for ways of incorporating sustainability when making their meals. For instance, in the past, restaurants would discard oil right after using it. In this new era, sustainability-conscious restaurants are now coming up with ways of making this used cooking oil clean and suitable enough for making other meals.
More than ever before, consumers are using their purchasing power to show their sustainability values. If unsure about where to begin, here are some ways to incorporate sustainability into your restaurant.
1.Partner with producers who share your values
The first effective way to incorporate sustainability is to develop a sustainable supply chain for your restaurant. With this, it will be possible to connect with responsible and ethical operators and suppliers. You can even interview current and potential suppliers to understand the nature of their farming and production practices. After settling on the right ones, you can regularly visit their production site to see how they are trying to make their process more ethical and sustainable.
Sustainable operators and suppliers also care about the local community and positively impacting their lives. Therefore, consider going with suppliers who are employing the local community, paying fair wages, and minimizing their carbon footprint.
2.Cook using produce that is in season
A simple yet significant way to make your restaurant more sustainable and ethical is to have a seasonal menu. This means rotating your menus based on the four seasons. You can also rotate some dishes every few weeks to accommodate ingredients such as asparagus with short growing seasons.
Apart from seasonally changing your menu, you can also opt to switch up your menu monthly. It will allow you to serve the freshest produce. For instance, you can switch certain sea-food dishes when they are scarce in the market. It will be effective as long as you remain creative and maintain high quality with all the meals on your menu.
3.Manage all your waste
General waste is undoubtedly the most expensive waste for restaurants; therefore, you need to find effective ways of reducing this. You can weigh, measure and compost your food waste so that you can be sure that it is valuable elsewhere. If your restaurant has its garden, this waste can go into it. You can also recycle your cardboard and glass and return product packaging to your suppliers to be reused.
If you can, agree with your suppliers for them to send your produce in reusable packaging. When delivering takeout to your clients, use compostable materials to reduce negative environmental impact.
4.Source locally in bulk
If your restaurant focuses on local cuisine, sourcing as many ingredients as possible locally will tick both the ethical and sustainable boxes. It will also please the customers because they know where their food source is. You can again buy produce in their peak season when they are fresh and inexpensive and devise creative ways of using them. For instance, you can dry them or preserve them for future use.
You will get source your stock from trusted suppliers and also impact your community positively by creating employment.
Sustainability has become huge in the restaurant industry, which is positive as it indicates people care for their environment. That will not change anytime soon, and embracing the tips mentioned above will help you turn around your restaurant for the better.
Article Submitted By Community Writer