10 Ways for Restaurants to Save Money While Going Green

going green while sticking to your budget

We recognize that making the switch to eco-friendly serviceware will cost a little more. We’re here to help you make the transition and to find ways like these to cut costs in other ways. And it’s a great idea to make the change gradually - start wherever is easiest for you and build from there! Every little bit helps.

1. Use reusables whenever possible!
You can incentivize customers to bring their own travel mug or shopping bag. (Yes, this means buying less disposable products, and we’re just fine with that. We always advocate our customers use reusable over disposable when possible. We’re environmentalists. We don’t love disposables, we got into this because we saw a need to use more responsible ones when they’re necessary!)

2. Ask! Don’t just automatically give out a whole handful of cutlery and a stack of napkins with every to-go order. Train your counter staff to ask. Some people may be headed home or to the office and prefer to use their own once they get there.

3. Simplify. Our insulated double walled hot cup is cheaper than a regular hot cup plus a coffee sleeve. And it’s one less box in your storage and one less inventory item to keep track of. That means less work for your staff. There might also be ways to use one item for multiple purposes instead of ordering something different for each task.

4. Portion control.
We all know if you let customers help themselves, they will. Use portion control tricks like napkin dispensers. We switched one institutional customer over to napkin dispensers and their utilization went down by 40%! Same goes for paper towel dispensers. And our Glenn Ave Foaming Hand Soap is made for a foamer, which means a little goes an even longer way.

5. Move your purchases down the food chain. Bagasse is our most affordable option. It’s also made out of agri-waste and is less energy intensive to make than plant-based plastic (PLA). If your customers are expecting clear plastic, you can educate them on why you’re using a greener product (bagasse or paper) and shift their thinking.

6. Compost. If commercial composting is available in your area, you may be able to save money on waste hauling by sending as much to a compost facility as possible.
They tend to have lower tipping fees than landfills.

7. Right size. We can help you to source the right sized container. We were recently able to help a new customer with a 6” bagasse
6" Bagasse Clamshellclamshell for take out desserts and leftovers. Their previous supplier didn’t have this size and they had been sending pieces of cake home with people in a 9” x 6” styrofoam clamshell. In this case, switching from the wrong styrofoam container to the right bagasse container actually saved them money !

8. Make it optional! Not everyone wants or needs a coffee sleeve, a straw, a lid, or one of each cutlery. With a widening environmental consciousness, many people are savvy about trying to reduce their waste. Or they may just prefer it without. Either way, you’ll go through less product.

9. Skip the liner. Bagasse is naturally grease resistant, so you don’t need to line your food containers with waxed paper each time. (It also safely goes right to microwave, freezer or oven up to 350.)

10. Downsize. You can make a simple shift - as from a 10” plate to a 9” plate - without anyone noticing. And when food waste is so much in the news, it’s in line to encourage people to take a little less rather than a little more when they’re helping themselves.