Restaurateur Brendan Corkery recently discussed five easy ways to run an environmentally-friendly restaurant.
Akron, Ohio / Restaurant trends are changing, and they’re making a major shift towards sustainability. The millennial generation is credited for increasing trends in more sustainable living, and that includes eating at sustainable restaurants. Brendan Corkery is an Akron, Ohio, restaurateur with a passion for sourcing food locally and operating restaurants as environmentally friendly as possible. He recently discussed five easy ways every restaurant can become more sustainable.
“One of the most beneficial ways to aid the environment and your local community is through cooking local, seasonal items,” Brendan Corkery said. “Customize your menus to match the seasons and source those items from local farmers and producers.”
Brendan Corkery explained that items that are not purchased locally typically travel long distances by truck and use excessive amounts of package. Shopping at the local farmer’s market can eliminate both of these harmful tactics. Even more, you’re helping a local family rather than a giant corporation.
Brendan Corkery added that running a sustainable business means using sustainable equipment as well. Start in the kitchen and evaluate whether or not your appliances are energy-efficient. Upgrade to energy star refrigeration systems and appliances to run a more eco-friendly kitchen. Smaller and more affordable changes may involve switching to more energy-efficient lighting and low-flush toilets. Be sure all electronics are turned off when closing the business at the end of the day.
“Single-use plates and cutlery may be an easier option, but every sustainable restaurant must use washable serving equipment and more,” Brendan Corkery said. “Restaurants already produce a lot of waste, so you don’t need to be filling your trash cans with paper plates and paper napkins.”
Brendan Corkery added that take-out has become increasingly popular amidst the coronavirus pandemic. He stated that the type of takeaway supplies you use is increasingly important. Opt for biodegradable items as well as those that can easily be recycled. Using disposable products made from recycled items is better than using traditional paper, Styrofoam, and plastic to-go items as well.
“Becoming more environmentally-friendly involves so much more than simply the food you serve,” Brendan Corkery said. “It comes all the way down to the cleaning supplies you use throughout the day.”
Brendan Corkery explained that cleaning products are being used constantly amidst the pandemic, so it’s more important than ever to look for items that are eco-friendly. Sustainable products will include the Environmental Choice Program label, Greenguard label, Chlorine Free Products Association label, or the Green Seal label.
Brendan Corkery finished by emphasizing the importance of implementing compost and recycling programs. Composting will break down food waste into soil that can be used to grow more fruits and veggies. Recycling encourages decreasing energy use, saving money, increasing efficiency, and more. Make recycling an easy-to-locate option for your guests as well.
“Don’t forget to let your customers know that you’re an environmentally-friendly restaurant,” Brendan Corkery said. “They’ll feel better about dining with you, and other restaurants will hop on board with the trend.”