Grow Your RestaurantYour profitability determines whether you will swing the doors open for another day of business or turn off the lights for good. Profit margins run the gamut in the restaurant business. Research shows that the average is between 3% – 5%, but can range anywhere from 0% – 15%. To squeeze out as much profit as possible and grow your restaurant’s revenue, you only have two options – decrease expenses or increase your sales volume. What if you could simultaneously do both while enriching your sustainability practices? A win – win – win proposition to be sure!
Take sustainability and profitability to new levelsWhether you’re just starting to adopt eco-friendly measures or have been at it a while, it’s an ongoing process that always leaves room for improvement. Just as you wouldn’t leave hard-earned money on the table. You don’t want to miss any simple to implement green practices that can boost your profitability. Let’s take a look at how sustainability initiatives can grow your restaurant’s revenues.
Cut expenses to the boneThere are a number of eco-friendly ways for you to slash expenses. The easiest and probably the most obvious is to reduce waste. Here is where the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Food Recovery Program Hierarchy comes into play. Are you doing everything within your power to prevent, recover and recycle waste; or are there still some gaps that need to be plugged.
Take waste out of the equation:Is your restaurant still tossing a substantial amount of unusable food? It’s time to take a closer look at your inventory processes. To ensure that every ingredient purchased is being used. Are you already maximizing the use of all ingredients? What about the amount of food diners are leaving on their plates? If uneaten food is being returned to the kitchen. You should reduce portion sizes and watch as plates are returned. Be ready for immediate dishwashing. Let’s say you already have this covered. Food usage and waste are being tracked, and your food costs have decreased by up to 6%. It’s time to explore other sustainability measures that will add even more to your bottom line.
Buy in BulkBuying in bulk minimizes unnecessary packaging, while reducing ingredient costs. To get the most out of bulk purchases, be sure you’re working with vendors that strive to minimize waste. Are your supplies and ingredients being shipped cross-country? If so, you’re paying a premium for long-distance transportation, not to mention the environmentally harmful carbon emissions caused by unnecessary travel. Now’s the time to take a close look at your supply chain. Buy local when you can and visit farms to get the best deals possible. When it comes to produce, vegetarian and vegan dishes have a higher mark-up. What better way to further maximize your profitability than to create a garden of your own and use the fruits and vegetables that you grow.
- Make a swift recovery: The next step in the hierarchy is recovery. This is your chance to help those in need. You will significantly reduce waste and ultimately your disposal and hauling costs. According to Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data (ReFED), there are approximately 1.5 billion meals each year that go uneaten. This astronomical figure equates to just 10% of food service and restaurant food being recovered. Not only will you be helping others, but there is a financial benefit for you. By donating to a 501(c)3 not-for-profit qualified charity, you can receive tax incentives!
- Revisit recycling processes: You’re probably already recycling common items such as cardboard, plastics, glass, metal and aluminum. There are other recyclable items that are frequently overlooked. – light bulbs, printer ink cartridges, batteries, multi-use plastic trays, and multi-use plastic baskets, to name a few. And what about cooking oil? This is a growing industry that needs your old oil to produce various types of biofuels for power generation and heating. By increasing your recycling practices you will not only save money on trash removal, but reduce your carbon footprint.