Small changes such as improving equipment, tailoring menu options and optimising kitchen layouts could save the UK catering industry over a quarter of a billion pounds in energy costs every year.1 So bringing up a restaurant sustainability checklist of goals and achievements in weekly meetings is a good way to put these issues front of mind for the catering team.
The landscape has changed dramatically, with guests more conscious than ever before of where their food comes from. Restaurants should operate in a way that protects, preserves or restores the natural environment, but how to make your restaurant more sustainable isn’t just about maintaining food waste, but about being more aware of the production and distribution of the food.
A restaurant sustainability checklist starts with the staff, making them aware of the opportunities to be more sustainable plays a large part in sustainability growth. When sharing ideas about the week ahead, be sure to provide the team with specific targets or sustainability checklist objectives, bringing up all the areas where the team can make an impact.
What are sustainability checklist?
Sustainability checklists are lists made by an individual business to track ways in which they can work towards a better and emission free future, become more sustainable and have less of a negative impact on the planet. The following sustainability checklist provides key questions for discussion and review in your weekly team meetings.
- What was the waste and recycling rate the week before?
- What are the waste and recycling targets, and what steps can the whole team take to achieve them?
- Is there a sustainability story to tell about menu items, ingredients, packaging or other core customer touch points?
- Are any bad habits creeping into procedures and how can these be prevented e.g., fridge doors left open, taps running, over-portioning or overproduction?
- Are there any local opportunities for volunteering, charity work or giving back in other ways?
- Is there a sustainability hero on the team that deserves to be applauded for their efforts? How can their success be supported and shared further?
Remember: Customers expect it, so set ambitious targets, measure and share how well you’re doing, and act to address hot spots. There shouldn’t be any hesitation to advertise new restaurant sustainability practices, customers want to know that the environment is at the heart of what you do, and are interested to know how you are caring for and about reducing your carbon footprint.
DID YOU KNOW: A running tap left for two hours costs the same as an extra member of staff for busy shifts.2
- The Caterer (2020) New report makes recommendations for addressing gender equality in hospitality
- Footprint Intelligence (2018) Equipped for the future