As concern for the environment grows among professional chefs and consumers alike, the market is ripe for green restaurants. Food packaging represents a significant challenge in this area, since individual wrapping and plastic bottles alone can fill a restaurant’s dumpster in no time. With this issue in mind, more and more chefs are turning to green packaging. From dishwasher safe reusable food containers to compostable packing material and specialty chocolate boxes, chefs and restaurant owners have an astounding array of sustainable options available to them.
Green Restaurants and Food Packaging
If you want to utilize green packaging in your business, you first need a basic idea of what comprises sustainable food packaging. The simplest realization of the concept of green packaging appears in the form of minimal material. Beyond minimalism, many sustainable packages are either made out of recycled material or are themselves recyclable. Some may even be compostable. Package reusability counts in this respect as well. Invest in such items as reusable food containers, some of which can even go in the dishwasher. Some companies manufacture packaging substances made from plant-derived fibers and
Adopting popular restaurant menu trends helps your restaurant keep up with what customers have come to expect from their favorite eateries. When these trends include personalization – offering original dishes, for example, or using stylish menu holders customized to the atmosphere of your particular restaurant – you can relax in the knowledge that you are setting your business apart rather than simply following the crowd. Furthermore, when ecological awareness and nutritionally sound fare are in vogue, everyone benefits. Customize these four hot trends to your establishment and watch your business expand.
1. Local Sources
One promising trend appearing in restaurants of every persuasion is that of using local ingredients. Local produce is especially popular, but everything, from meat to alcohol to seafood, is coming more and more from local sources. As restaurant owners and consumers alike become more environmentally conscious, clients will prefer your restaurant to others based on your smaller ecological footprint.
Going green is the current rage because of the impact it can have on the environment and your finances. As a chef or food service business owner there are many ways to go green in your kitchen. You will find that you save a significant amount of money through this process and you will feel good because you are doing something beneficial in the process.
Buy Energy Star Equipment When Possible
If you already have your equipment, then replacing it might not be in the budget. However, there will come a time when you do have to purchase new equipment items. At these times you will find that purchasing equipment that is rated energy star efficient will be beneficial to you. Each of these pieces of equipment are not only helpful to the environment, they consume much less energy and allow you to save money on your utility bills. Anytime it is possible you should purchase items that have an energy star rating.
While recycling seems quite simple, the fact is that it can be monumental in any business’ efforts to go green.
I love a stainless steel kitchen. The look is clean and professional. Even if there weren’t so many practical reasons for choosing stainless steel in the kitchen, I would design a kitchen with it anyway—just for the aesthetic value. When I walk into a well-organized, gleaming stainless steel kitchen, I am energized and ready to work. From stainless steel refrigerators to stainless steel stockpots, the well-fitted commercial kitchen is sleek, stylish, and simply looks clean. There is no doubt that the preferred material for a commercial kitchen is stainless steel, and this is based on a number of factors.
Stainless Steel Kitchens Are Cleaner and More Durable
That clean look is backed up by fact: stainless steel resists bacteria. You can clean your stainless steel refrigerator with a disinfectant and be sure that it is really clean because stainless steel isn’t porous like wood and plastic, which are far more likely to breed bacteria. A study published in Poultry Science demonstrated that electro-polished stainless steel showed significantly fewer bacterial cells than other treated surfaces. Their conclusion was that “food safety could be improved if bacterial populations could be reduced…by increasing the use of materials resistant to bacterial contamination.” Another recent study conducted by the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management (HITM) concluded that stainless steel countertops, when compared with other countertop materials, are the least likely to harbor dangerous bacteria, such as E. coli.
With more and more people opting for the healthy, eco-friendly alternatives, bamboo is becoming increasingly more popular by the minute. You can buy just about anything bamboo these days, from bamboo furnishing to bamboo clothing, and even bamboo dinnerware. What’s all the bamboo hype about, and is it really as eco-friendly as it is made out to be?
First some quick bamboo facts:
- Bamboo plants grow up to 4 feet per day, making them one of the fastest growing plants on the planet.
- It takes between 3 and 5 years for a bamboo pole to regenerate, whilst it takes other trees a minimum of 30 years to regenerate.
- It produces more oxygen than the equal number of trees.
- Bamboo doesn’t need any pesticides to help it grow.
- It is 100% biodegradable.
Now, as for the eco-friendly hype, it all boils down to what products you are talking about. As for clothing, the process that the bamboo has to go through to be made into fabric is quite ‘ungreen’ to say the least.
The fact is, we live on planet Earth. There is nowhere to run and hide. Why not make the world a cleaner and safer place to live? Saving the Earth is easier than you can imagine. There are a couple of insignificant steps you can all implement in our very own kitchen.
- Buy plain white paper towels and tissues. Dyed paper pollutes. Even better, skip paper towel altogether and use dishtowels.
- As an alternative to using ammonia-based cleaners, use vinegar, baking soda and water.
- Re-use your grocery bags, or buy a string bag you can carry all your groceries in.
- Buy eggs and milk in cardboard cartons instead of plastic. Recycle your plastic milk jugs.
- Avoid keeping your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Government recommended temperature for keeping food fresh is 38°F. For freezers, it’s 5°F. Avoid setting the temperature on your appliances on lower settings than those recommended by the FDA.
We live in a disposable world. Simple things that can have many uses (such as orange peels) are tossed without a second thought. In trying to be eco-friendly, we came up with a couple of uses for orange peels:
Orange Peel Candles This is a really cute idea for a casual party – plus, the orange peels give off a great scent!
1. Prepare the amount of oranges you want to use. Slice off the top of the orange and scoop out the orange (the same way you would eat a grapefruit).
2. Fill the entire orange with wax. If you don’t want it to burn for that long, you can fill it halfway with water and then wax. You can purchase wax HERE. Simply follow the directions that come with the wax to melt it down. Alternatively, you stick a candle in the orange but it won’t have the same look.
3. Stick a wick in the wax and light the candle – Voila! You’re all set! The orange peel will give off a sweet orange scent and the best thing is, you can reuse the candle holders. Just fill it up with wax again!
Every business encounters the dreaded "overstuffed" filing cabinets and the need to set aside time to re-organize invoices, receipts and statements. You can save paper, money and space in a few easy steps.
Waste is a huge issue in the restaurant industry. In fact, waste is a major contributing factor in the financial demise of any food establishment. By not controlling how much food is used, it’s nearly impossible to determine a true daily budget. Few restaurants order just the right amount of food for daily operations.