Category Archives: Going Green

Are you still drinking bottled water? Try boxed.

 

Bottled water… it’s the trendy thing to do. At least the bottled water industry has taken advantage of it, becoming a $14.4 billion market. Read full article on boxed water.

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Restaurant gardnens are literally growing in popularity

How has green found its way into restaurants? Just a few weeks ago, we wrote a post highlighting Forage in Los Angeles, a unique new concept based entirely on cooking and serving foods grown from local farmers and amateur green thumbs…Read the rest on growing local here.

 

Recycling made easy for the Restaurant Owner

recycleThis is an ongoing series to help our clients reap the benefits of going green. Yes, when done correctly, setting a balanced environmental mentality can actually save you money. Yes, one can go overboard on such things and it becomes counterproductive. However, the right mix of ecology can profit a restaurant business handsomely.

We hear about recycling all the time. In many cases the prospects are outweighed by the costs and efforts. However, there are little ways to make recycling not only worthwhile, but profitable and promotable…your restaurant  business could be praised by the community for its efforts.  Good will is good business.

Recycling does not have to be a complicated process. Some communities offer curbside pickup programs for common recyclables and you recycle using drop-off centers, buy-back programs or deposit systems.

Typical materials to recycle include:
• Newspapers
• Paper bags, paper carry out drink trays
• Office paper
• Old corrugated cardboard
• Metal food containers
• Aluminum cans and foil wrap
• Milk cartons/jugs
• Juice cartons
• Glass bottles and jars
• Plastic bottles, cutlery, straws, butter containers
• Film plastics — plastic wrap, plastic shopping bags
• All beverage containers
• Bottle caps
• Styrofoam

Not-so-typical goods that are also recyclable include:
• Fluorescent light bulbs
• Cooking oil, grease
• Cell phones
• Acid and NiCd batteries
• Uniforms
• Used furniture and appliances
• Computer equipment, ink cartridges

One of the first things to offer your customers are signs or other postings to inform them what you are doing and how it helps the community.

Generating good will always proves to be good business.

To Your Restaurant Success…

Dean Small and Danny Bendas Synergy Restaurant Consultants
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How Energy Efficent is your Restaurant?

Energy Efficiency

 

Synergy Green

This is an ongoing series to help our clients reap the benefits of going green. Yes, when done correctly, setting a balanced environmental mentality can actually save you money. Yes, one can go overboard on such things and it becomes counterproductive. However, the right mix of ecology can profit a restaurant business handsomely.


Your EEQ — Energy Efficiency Quotient

Keep your restaurant business EEQ (energy efficiency quotient) in mind as you remodel or build. Use green-smart materials and green strategies that save energy inside and out.

  • Recyclables — Use recycled hardwood flooring, bricks, stones and paving materials.
  • Non-wood and wood products — Use wood composites made of agricultural waste and non-wood materials.
  • Insulation — Insulate exterior walls, floors, and ceilings to maximize heating and cooling. Put insulation batting and caulk around windows and doors.
  • Natural light — Install skylights and windows where possible to save on lighting and heating costs. To control window lighting, use blinds.
  • Roofing — A reflective roof can lower roof temperatures by up to 100 degrees and in some cases qualify you for tax credits. Or if you go with a traditional roof, use light colored roofing materials.
  • Efficient lighting — Use high-efficiency lighting inside and out. Control light use with dimmable switches, timers and motion detectors.
  • Heating & cooling — Make sure the heating/cooling system is properly sized. Too big a system is wasteful and expensive to operate. Systems too small struggle to maintain temperatures.
  • Alternative energy — Consider using solar panels as an energy source. Look for products with photovoltaics and fuel cells. Most alternative energy-operations come with tax rebates and incentives.
  • Smart windows — Place windows in areas that offer natural ventilation to take advantage of winds and thermal convention. Install double-paned windows to insulate against heat and cold.

Landscaping — Add greenery around your restaurant business to absorb heat and lower temperatures around your building. Plant drought resistant native or adapted trees and plants so you water less. Use recycled mulch to retain water around plants. Create a green roof of plants to insulate against cold and hot temperatures, absorb energy and reduce water flow.

There are many things you can do and still have a great looking facility.

To Your Success…

Dean Small and Danny Bendas

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Green Tip: Composting at your Restaurant

Why Compost?

 

Synergy Green

This is an ongoing series to help our clients reap the benefits of going green. ( Read part 1 ) Yes, when done correctly, setting a balanced environmental mentality can actually save you money. Yes, one can go overboard on such things and it becomes counterproductive. However, the right mix of ecology can profit a restaurant business handsomely.

Don’t dump — Compost

Non-edible food scraps — plate scrapings, fruit and vegetable peelings, stale baked goods or spoiled foods — do not need to be dumped or washed down garbage disposals.

Instead, your restaurant business can compost, turning food throwaways and biodegradable products into organically decomposed material used for growing plants and conditioning lawns and gardens.

Composting or biological decomposition is a natural form of recycling that occurs when organic material decomposes (or composts) to form organic fertilizer. Compost is created by taking organic wastes — food leftovers, yard trimmings, biodegradable products — in proper ratios into piles, rows or vessels and adding bulking agents to accelerate the breakdown of organic materials.

Composting is also a process that can transform wasted food into an environmentally-useful commodity. For example, in San Francisco, kitchen trimmings, plate scrapings and compostable material from over 2,000 restaurants businesses are composted each day. Instead of 300 tons of restaurant food waste going into landfills, a composting operation turns the restaurant garbage into premium, high-priced compost sold to California vineyards.

 

Why Compost?

If you choose to compost, you will help improve our environment by providing organic materials that enhance the soil, help reduce pollution caused by the incineration of waste, and improve water-holding capacity. But most importantly, by composting, you help remove tons of waste from waste stream and water treatment plants and divert reusable organic matter from landfills.

Learn more about recycling, reducing and reusing in our continuing series.

To Your Success…

Dean Small & Danny Bendas


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A Green Checklist for your Restaurant

Synergy Green

This is an ongoing series to help our clients reap the benefits of going green. Yes, when done correctly, setting a balanced environmental mentality can actually save you money. Yes, one can go overboard on such things and it becomes counterproductive. However, the right mix of ecology can profit a restaurant business handsomely.

No, we don’t expect any restaurant business to make radical changes overnight. But if you post just a few items and build a new habit with your employees, savings start showing.

Turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Don’t forget about:

  • Coffee pot warmers
  • Conveyor toasters
  • Heat lamps
  • Steam tables
  • Plate and food warmers
  • Exhaust hoods
  • Dish machines
  • Televisions
  • Point-of-sale systems
  • Fountains and other water-using devices
  • Use less water.
  • Serve water only on request.
  • Run dishwashers and washing machines only when full.
  • When cleaning, remove debris with a broom from sidewalks, outdoor seating areas, loading docks and waste areas.
  • Water outdoor plants at dawn or dusk to minimize evaporation.
  • Develop a maintenance schedule.
  • Clean refrigerator condenser coils.
  • Make sure doors close all the way. Seal the refrigerated space.
  • Repair/replace damaged door gaskets on refrigerators and cooking and holding appliances. Replace missing knobs.
  • Look for and repair broken duct work.
  • Engage employees in conservation efforts.
  • Conduct an “energy tour” to show employees where your restaurant uses energy and water and how they can help control it.
  • Label light switches and equipment with reminders.
  • Recognize and reward employees with incentives to reinforce your efforts.

To Your Success…
Dean Small and Danny Bendas

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Is Green Certification Worth It?

At the NRA show in Chicago last week the convention floor was eco friendly and as green as can be. The buzz from vendors was consumers reward credible green practices with their business. According to the National Restaurant Association research, 44% of consumers say they are likely to make a restaurant choice based on a restaurants efforts to conserve energy and water, and 60% say they are more likely to visit a restaurant offering food that is environmentally responsible.

It might be easier to be green than to talk about it. Many restaurant managers are afraid of being accused of “greenwashing” or otherwise bragging and being insincere in their efforts to have a more eco-friendly business model. As a result, few chains are marketing their legitimate green and sustainable efforts to their consumers. Instead of touting their various conservation steps in their ads, or even on Facebook, many individual restaurants and chains are keeping their green playing cards close to their organic fiber fabric vests, opting to let customers discover the sustainability on their own…or through the enthusiasm of employees.

If you seek subtle ways to promote and market your restaurants eco friendly strategy and become ‘green seal’ certified give us a call, our Restaurant Marketing team has their finger on the pulse of this movement.