Tips for Restaurant Sustainability Improvements

As emphasized by The National Restaurant Association’s top trend for 2013 , sustainability should remain a  primary concern for restaurants, as it occupies a top position in consumer’s expectations.

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In this highly competitive food serving market, owners have no choice but deliver up to these high standards. Unfortunately, the  primary approach of going green in the restaurant business revolves around utilizing locally-sourced foods from nearby farms, and it often overlooks the operational side of the spectrum.

Here are a few tips on enhancing restaurant sustainability through facilities management efforts.

1. Think ‘Floor Care’ 

a)    Implement an effective matting program that will protect entryways and transitional areas will limit the transfer of internal contaminants, such as dirt from the kitchen into the dining room areas. Keeping floors in better condition limits the maintence needs and hence,  reduces water and energy waste.

b)    Choose reusable cleaning products/tools Restaurants with washing machines or laundry service access should consider dusting wands or mops that can be laundered and used over and over. The same goes for brooms and brushes.

 2. Think ‘Reusable Ware’  – When making decisions about disposable flatware and dishware, be sure to consider products made from renewable materials, post-consumer content and products that are compostable.

3. Think ‘ Sustainable Disposables’ – Use environmentally preferable napkins and other disposable products. Avoid Polystyrene products and waxed cardboard.

4. Think ‘Cleaning Chemicals’. Many foodservice operators purchase cleaning chemicals in ready-to-use form, which creates unnecessary packaging, transportation and waste. Using a package-free chemical top-off service ensures chemicals are always available, and reduces waste associated with storing chemicals or improperly diluting chemical concentrates

5. Think ‘Water Efficiency’ – the following practices should be performed at the facility:

• Undertaking a periodic leak inspection program

• Operating dishwashers only when full

• Hand scraping food scraps

• Using water-efficient sink aerators;

• Using water-efficient dishwashers

 6. Think (HVAC) Systems’  – To reduce energy consumption and the volume of makeup air for kitchen ventilation, the following strategies are recommended:

• Use demand control ventilation for kitchen exhaust hoods and makeup air units.

• Use variable speed drives (VFDs) to control fan speed for ventilation hoods and kitchen makeup air units, instead of two speed on-off fan control.

• When installing kitchen exhaust hoods, select a custom-designed hood that meets the specific exhaust airflow requirements needed by the facility. Selecting a properly sized

To read more about these and other improvements , check the Sustainability “How-to Guide” Series – Aramark

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