Going Green Can Save You Money.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had businesses that I am consulting on greener operating  practices hem and haw over the perceived cost of eco-friendly initiatives. It simply isn’t true, what might seem costly up front will certainly benefit your bottom line in the long run. Going green will save you green! 

Here are 6 tried and true cost saving green practices that you can adopt immediately:

1.) Food Waste Reduction

Taking an active approach in reducing your food waste will save you loads. We initiated a simple task where I had employees save and weigh their trimmings and scraps. The information we gleaned from that simple exercise provided valuable data in our ordering practices and production. This helped to identify staff training needs and product cross-utilization opportunities. We greatly reduced our overall food spending and saw improvements in our food cost percentages. 

2.) Energy Efficient Appliances

Older, outdated equipment drains your energy bills each month. Investing in energy efficient appliances, be that equipment using electrical, gas or water, will reduce your monthly overhead spend by as much as 30%!

3.) Buy Local or Grow Your Own

Buying from local sources is another way to support your local economy while improving the environment. Purchasing goods sourced locally often times has a lower freight cost than goods purchased and shipped halfway across the country. Growing your own produce is another value-add for your business as it engages your customers, staff and wallet.

4.) Reduce Shipments

Efficiency in ordering is a top priority in cost saving green initiatives. Reducing shipments to a weekly basis (vs. daily) will reduce shipment and freight costs while simultaneously reducing your facilities carbon footprint.

5.) Reusable vs. Disposable

How many restaurants and food service facilities use disposable containers for food storage? It seems that every restaurant I walk into has those quart and pint deli containers a-plenty! It’s wasteful, not just for the environment but for your budget. These cups clog the waste stream (if not recycled properly) and cost a hefty penny. Switching to reusable food storage containers can result in mega-savings.

6.) Focus on Veggies

A vegetable focused menu provides major savings to the restaurant and the environment. We are all aware of the resources used on raising, slaughtering and transporting livestock. A fraction of that effort goes into vegetable growing and transportation. Besides, vegetables cost a whole lot less than animal proteins and can be adapted in many more creative ways. Reduce your animal proteins and add more veggies to your menu.


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Patterson Watkins

Professional Chef/Recipe Development/Nutrition Expert/Food Photography

Patterson Watkins is a freelance recipe developer and industry consultant. She has dedicated over 15 years to food service management, encompassing restaurants and corporate dining. Patterson’s work has been featured in Taste of Home, Better Homes and Gardens, American Lifestyle and Urban Outfitters. For more information about Patterson and her work please visit pattersonwatkins.com.

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