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What your restaurant can do for the environment

Provided by Business Partners Ltd, South Africa's leading investor in SMEs


Startup.jpgPreserving the environment is a hot topic these days and as the owner of a restaurant, coffee shop or fast food outlet, you can be environmentally responsible about the way you do business.

There are many ways to run an eco-friendly business and boost your profits at the same time. By changing the way you think and taking the most obvious steps first, your business can set a positive example for others in your industry and community to follow.

If you think about how just by fitting energy-saving light bulbs and limiting water wastage can save on your lights and water account, you can already start to see how being more environmentally conscious kills two birds with one stone.

A step by step approach

The first place to start is with your employees. Explain to them what you are trying to do and how they can do their part to make your plan of action work. Get their input on a new strategy for doing certain things and make sure they agree to comply and remind each other to do so.

Here are a few relatively easy ways to protect your natural surroundings:

  • Most major shopping centres and business parks have started their own eco-friendly projects, making your life a lot easier. Find out how your restaurant can get involved
  • Speak to your neighbours or other businesses in the community to establish a recycling drop-off point in the community. Then do regular drops of your glass bottles, recyclable paper, etc into these bins
  • Ask employees to think about how much water they use when washing dishes, if they're wasting electricity when using certain appliances and get them to be more aware of saving on these valuable commodities
  • Ask your local suppliers if they can use less packaging for your stock, saving them money and giving you less to recycle
  • Source your products from suppliers in your area. You are now cutting down on the distance it has to be delivered and boosting the business in your immediate community
  • What kind of containers are you using for your take-aways or "doggy bags"? Are they eco-friendly and recyclable. Use paper bags instead of plastic
  • Gardening businesses or pet shops in your area may be interested in your waste food products to make compost or to serve as rabbit food, for example. That's less waste for you to dispose of and a free service to them

Once you have a good eco-friendly programme in place, speak to other small business owners about what you have done and how it has saved you money. Getting them to do the same will make your initiative even more worthwhile and set in motion a very positive chain of events.

As you can see, these are fairly simple ways of making sure our children and their children have clean air to breathe and a natural environment they can reap the benefits of.

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