With global warming escalating every year, finding environmentally-friendly alternatives to wasteful practices has never been more important. To help conserve costs and energy, more and more restaurant owners are considering opening a ghost kitchen startup.
Why Is Sustainability Important?
Unlike a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant, a ghost kitchen (or virtual kitchen) does not have any in-person dining area. This eliminates the need for extensive lighting or washing dishes, consequently saving on electricity and water usage.
Along with helping the planet, running a green-friendly kitchen is a great way to appeal to eco-conscious consumers. This worked well in Canada, where bars and restaurants pledged to create sustainable cocktails during a "Zero Waste Month."
Now that you understand why sustainability is important, it's time to figure out ways to increase your energy-efficiency. Here are some green-friendly practices to introduce to your restaurant.
Enhance Your Electricity
If you run a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant, you need to supply lighting for your customers. While this might seem expensive, there are ways to manipulate the lighting that saves money and energy while enhancing the overall atmosphere. These include:
- Ambient lighting: Comes from windows and wall fixtures
- Accent lighting: Lights certain objects as opposed to an entire room
- Task lighting: Uses small lighting fixtures spread across a room
You can also rely on natural lighting during the day or light candles at night. Always instruct staff to turn off lights when the restaurant is closed.
Limit Your Water Use
From boiling ingredients to cleaning plates, there are plenty of uses for water in a commercial kitchen. Even ghost kitchens may rely on dishwashers to clean pots and pans. The more water you consume, the more damage it does to the environment (and your monthly bill). While eliminating water usage entirely isn't possible, there is sustainable equipment available to help reduce it. Appliances include:
- Eco-friendly dishwashers
- Low-flow spray nozzles
- Closed system steamers
Investing in an eco-friendly dishwasher model can save costs in the long run by limiting your water usage. You should also make sure your dishwasher is full before you run it, and rinse dishes with a low-flow spray nozzle beforehand. Finally, consider getting rid of any appliances that use a boiler (such as combination ovens or steam kettles). Closed system steamers can get the same job done with less water.
Improve Your Packaging
All restaurant owners need to supply takeout containers for customers that order online. However, many restaurants use styrofoam and plastic that winds up in landfills or oceans, where they remain for years. Fortunately, there are alternatives to plastic that can be used to fulfill your takeout requests. Examples of eco-friendly packaging include:
- Reusable plastic
- Cardboard boxes
- Paper bags
- Sugarcane containers
Investing in eco-friendly packaging can pay off in more ways than one -- most diners report that they're willing to spend more money on a restaurant that is green-friendly. Moreover, you can get creative with your packaging to enhance the diner experience. For instance, rather than put a meal in a boring plastic box, consider serving it in a brightly-colored or a uniquely-shaped container.
Reduce Your Food Wastage
While nobody wants to waste food, it can be inevitable in a restaurant setting. Not only is food loss a waste of money, but it's also bad for the environment. Unused food often goes to landfills, where it releases methane that contributes to global warming. To limit the amount of food that winds up in the trash, try these practices:
- Give leftover food to homeless shelters
- Give unused ingredients or cans to local food banks
- Give cooking oils to charities
- Give leftovers to zoos or farms
It's important to remember that you cannot donate uneaten food that customers leave on the plate. However, you can ensure that your unused ingredients or meals don't go to waste. Of course, in an ideal world, you wouldn't have any excess food in the first place. While you cannot 100% guarantee that you won't waste food, you can reduce the risk by investing in high-quality food tech.
How Cuboh Is Changing The Foodtech Game
Whether you run a ghost kitchen or a brick-and-mortar restaurant, you need to balance online orders from different delivery services. Most restaurants are given a tablet from each application, which leaves employees scrambling from one device to the other. A disorganized system often leads to increased mistakes -- cooks may create meals but forget to send them to customers, or forget to accept orders entirely.
The best way to limit your food wastage and keep customers satisfied is to streamline your orders through a restaurant tech platform like Cuboh. Not only does it increase your efficiency by offering a single, easy-to-use device, but it also lets you send orders in real-time to your restaurant SaaS or POS system. Boost productivity and show off your sustainability by enhancing your technology today!