July 23, 2023
Devn Ratz

Sustainability in Restaurants: An Owner's Guide to Making Green from Restaurant Waste

In the food service and hospitality industry, restaurant owners face a pressing issue: inefficiency. This villain creates food waste, labor costs, and hidden operating expenses by taxing your resources, staff, and time. It cuts into revenues with massive costs every year: $25 billion for restaurants, to be exact.

Determined to find solutions, sustainable restaurants have quickly discovered the potential of online ordering. Implementing these systems, they smooth out operations, cut expenditures, and raise profit margins. With accurate inventory management, forecasting, and automations—the results are astounding. 

As restaurants boost sustainability efforts, wasted food and energy shrink. Profits soar. And, embracing technology at your restaurant can lead to a greener future for increased restaurant sales as well.

Here, you’ll learn what restaurant sustainability actually means in practice. We’ll show how online ordering can power your business’ resource optimization. As a result, you’ll see deliveries and dining take on higher check averages and engaged loyalty programs.

Key Takeaway: Embracing online ordering is a promising solution for sustainability in restaurants by adding integration, automation, and insight to enterprise workflows.
Discover sustainability in restaurants through an enterprise eBook for increasing efficiency, reducing emissions, and protecting profits.

Restaurant Sustainability: What Is It?

Many are actively taking measures to increase their sustainability. Restaurants improve sustainability by enhancing efficiency and lessening environmental impact. One approach involves eco-friendly packaging and delivery to cut waste.

The goal is to ensure that every step of the restaurant process, from sourcing ingredients to serving meals, is carried out in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

Proven Effects of Restaurant Sustainability

Many big restaurants now incorporate sustainability into their online food ordering. This shift is due to customers wanting ethical and eco-friendly options. Studies prove that enterprise restaurants increase sustainable efforts and savings through online ordering.

  • Maximized Profits. Importantly, broad adoption of sustainable methods is possible and desirable. Brands boost their image by highlighting their efforts, driving customer loyalty and increasing profits.
  • Cost Reductions. By 2025, eco-friendly packaging and plant-based meals are projected to grow significantly. Economically, sustainable actions can result in cost savings and good return on investment.
  • Tech Enhancement. Excitingly, predictive analytics enhance restaurant sustainability. Technology can streamline operations, cut costs, reduce waste, and increase eco-friendliness–at once.

With 40% of US food wasted, sustainability tech is proving essential. Considering the 83% of inventory that becomes food waste, even customers are concerned about wastage. Restaurant owners should really know these figures to see the cost to their business.

Unsustainable methods cost restaurants around $25 billion every year. Every dollar spent on reducing resource use and improving 'ecology' can prevent hidden costs that drain revenue. Keeping this in mind can be as important as focusing on customer retention or acquisition.

Sustainability in restaurants can increase sales by 20%. Download our complete guide to learn more.

Integrating Sustainable Technology

Sustainable restaurant technology manages restaurant waste, ensuring efficiency. Revolution Ordering syncs with your POS systems, CRM and loyalty programs to enhance operations and profits. 

Improved efficiency means you already produce less waste in time, food, energy, and expenses. We take those benefits further with optimizations.

  • Reduce Waste. Animal feed agriculture fuels climate change. Using less wasteful inventory reduces emissions without simplifying menus. Replace with greener ingredients, attracting health-conscious customers. This can lower inventory costs and make a positive environmental impact.
  • Boost Efficiency. Environmental friendliness extends beyond equipment. Software that integrates POS and restaurant CRM can enhance efficiency, reducing restaurant food waste, loss, and fuel costs. Our restaurant online ordering platform offers app integrations, custom automations, and insightful metrics.
  • Cut Emissions. Online ordering cloud technology optimizes for minimal mileage. Our online ordering software automates order assigning, order tracking, delivering, and prep scheduling for multi-location restaurants, making operations eco-friendly and efficient.

Together, these efforts represent a comprehensive strategy for restaurants to become more sustainable. Eco-friendly standards also mean sales are ready for off-premise orders.

Key Takeaway: Restaurant technology reduces waste, boosts efficiency standards, and cuts unnecessary emissions through sustainable enablement.
Find your next step for brand growth through sustainability in restaurants, and demo Revolution Ordering to discover how.

Reducing Food Waste

By applying online ordering-enabled methods, you can boost operational efficiency and sustainability. Explore how you can supercharge restaurant savings and productivity through better purchasing, delivery, storage, menu, and other approaches below.

Smart Purchasing and Delivery 

Proper planning is key to effective inventory management. Use software like Revolution Ordering to monitor stock accurately through integrations. This understanding lets you adjust orders and use your software better. 

Update your digital menu with healthy options to avoid waste (and get more orders). Online order forecasting using past data helps you buy wisely, targeting long-lasting and popular ingredients.

Delivery Waste Reduction 

Streamlining delivery and planning helps manage inventory when integrated to restaurant inventory management software. This avoids overstock, saves costs, improves inventory control, and cuts waste. Here's what you should do:

  • Use food inventory management systems.
  • Leverage Revolution Ordering for order tracking.
  • Prevent over-buying with restaurant automations.
  • Include overstock in digital menu updates.
  • Try forecasting for efficient purchasing.

Improved Storage Success

Proper storage conditions extend food life and freshness. Automated temperature controls, vacuum-sealed containers, or gas absorbers can help. Ensure your staff labels food and uses a FIFO (First In, First Out) system. This reduces waste and enhances food safety.

Crafting Sustainable Menus 

Optimize ingredients by creatively repurposing them in diverse dishes. Exploring sustainable menus reduces waste and increases variety. Adjusting portion sizes based on customer needs can also cut waste. Use pick-up and off-premise order data to find dishes often left unfinished, then reduce their size.

A sustainable future needs digital menu ordering for high customer satisfaction. Tailoring portion sizes and exploring sustainable menus is a great starting point once you have the customer data. Apply these strategies to improve restaurant operations for a greener, more efficient business.

Food loss and food waste create costs and chaos. Download our sustainability eBook and learn to reduce both.

Using Sustainable Packaging Solutions

Ready for eco-friendly deliveries that save money? Check out these sustainable packaging ideas for enterprise restaurants. These solutions minimize waste and boost profit, keeping customers happy.

  • Choose Green Vendors. Work with vendors that use eco-friendly production methods. Look for biodegradable boxes and straws. Choosing green sources tells customers you care about sustainability.
  • Don't Over-Pack. Small packages cut waste and emissions. Compact designs increase efficiency, reduce costs, and limit environmental harm.
  • Recycle and Reuse. Customers appreciate recycled materials. Show your sustainability commitment with recycled and responsibly sourced materials.
  • Go Plant-Based. Replace plastic cutlery with plant-based options. Small details can boost customer loyalty.
  • Find Plastic Alternatives. Consider materials like seaweed, bamboo, or mushrooms. Innovative materials intrigue customers and protect the planet.
  • Use Edible Paper. Edible wrappers and plant-able receipts increase engagement and excitement. Combine restaurant marketing strategies with sustainability for impactful results.
  • Reward Recycling. Offer rewards for customers returning reusable packaging. It encourages repeat business and reduces waste.
  • Promote Sustainability. Highlight your sustainability efforts in marketing. Show customers your commitment to a greener future.

Unlock these opportunities, in part, through ordering technology. Restaurant tech boosts sustainability. Online ordering accelerates digital transformation, giving you an edge.

Key Takeaway: Sustainable packaging solutions make deliveries more profitable and sustainable, minimizing waste while enhancing customer satisfaction.

Making Sustainable Menus

Menu management is one of the key features of Revolution Ordering and an essential task to improve restaurant operations. It’s critical to learn how to boost appeal and improve operations while supporting the planet. 

Use these tips to make your menu more sustainable through simple choices. Then, update your menu anytime through Revolution Ordering to implement sustainability in a snap. 

  • Support Local Produce. Local artisans and producers supply tasty foods that customers trust. Sourcing locally supports your economy and enhances your restaurant's reputation. It also boosts the authenticity of your dishes, fostering strong customer relationships.
  • Serve Seasonal Fare. Local farms offer fresh, tasty produce. Seasonal ingredients ensure your customers get the freshest dishes. They also reduce transport and storage costs and lower your carbon footprint. Plus, seasonal menus keep things exciting and attract orders.
  • Exploit Surplus Foods. Using over-stocked ingredients can cut costs and inspire creativity. It also reduces food waste and shows your commitment to sustainability. You may even create unique dishes that customers love.
  • Choose Certified Organics. Organic farming lowers pollution, water use, and energy consumption. Adding organic produce to your menu demonstrates the importance of sustainability. This commitment appeals to eco-conscious customers, giving you a competitive edge for customer retention and customer acquisition.
  • Offer Low-Carbon Dishes. Transform traditional dishes into low-carbon alternatives with fruits, beans, and nuts. This strategy reduces your carbon footprint and caters to the growing demand for healthy, low-emission items.
  • Add Low-Water Veggies. Beans, nuts, and other low-water veggies save water compared to meat. Including these ingredients in your dishes reduces your environmental impact and appeals to conservation-minded customers.
  • Incorporate Sustainable Proteins. Fish and plant-based proteins provide healthy, eco-friendly options. With rising interest in sustainable diets, these proteins meet demand and diversify your menu.
Customers prefer brands with clear values like sustainability in restaurants through menus and experiences.

Reducing Carbon Footprints

Every restaurant process, from menu creation to customer service, creates a carbon footprint. This is a critical restaurant KPI to understand prime cost while seeing opportunities for advancement in the market.

See how you can minimize this impact by making food delivery more sustainable. Such initiatives can appeal to new and existing customers, boost spending, and cut costs.

Streamline Orders 

Online ordering systems can efficiently assign deliveries, routing orders based on location or demand. This minimizes mileage and costs, and ensures timely order fulfillment.

Maintain Vehicles

Train your staff to conserve energy while driving by maintaining a steady speed along automated routes. Regularly maintain your vehicles, regardless of whether they are electric, to ensure they run efficiently. Less efficient vehicles produce more emissions and are costlier to operate.

Monitor Energy

Review your restaurant's electricity use and appliance efficiency to identify cost-saving opportunities. Go for Energy Star-rated restaurant equipment. Efficient appliances protect both your profits and the environment.

Manage Stock

Order-taking systems provide reporting and analytics that help inventory control. Online ordering integration makes it easy to prevent stock-outs and adhere to sustainability standards. Reducing food waste lifts customer retention and cuts carbon footprints.

Materialize Values

Recycled packaging conveys your commitment to sustainability, enhancing your brand. Reused materials for order packaging can be cost-effective compared to new paper and plastics.

Leverage Incentives

Investing in sustainability can lead to tax deductions, rebates, and benefits at the fiscal year's end. Consulting a tax expert could reveal how investing in eco-friendly technology can yield financial gains.

Key Takeaway: Reduce carbon footprints with Revolution Ordering technology to streamline orders, reduce waste, cut costs, and eliminate inefficiencies.
Download an enterprise guide to sustainability in restaurants, and turn your restaurant into a healthier business in sales and savings.