Sustainability has become important for businesses across all industries in today’s earth conscious environment. Going green is an approach to business that creates long-term added value by factoring in how any given organization operates in the economic, social and ecological environment. The foundation of sustainability is based on the assumption that businesses who develop sustainable strategies will benefit from business longevity.
When it comes to business longevity, we are addressing the rise of women-owned restaurant businesses and the need to get in on the green business model right away. According to the US Census Bureau, the number of restaurant businesses opened up by women increased a whopping 40 percent between 200 and 2012! Since the number of women-owned coffee and restaurant businesses have jumped so much in recent years, it makes sense that women business owners may just become the forerunners of sustainability as customers beef up the demand for green everything.
Consumers Want More for Their Money
As customers expect more from corporations—their transparency becomes more prominent as well as the growing demand to become more responsible with sustainability. Good intentions and professional appearances are just not enough anymore. This effect has rolled all the way down from big corporations to the independent coffee café owner and restaurateur.
For example, the Nestlé Corporation has committed to promote sustainable efforts in areas of water efficiency, climate, product life cycle, and waste. As customers concerns continue to grow regarding environmental sustainability; more and more owners in the food, coffee, and restaurant businesses are looking for new ways to go green.
Going Green Won’t Cost You Green
If you are looking for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your food or coffee business, then don’t worry because it is easier and cheaper than you think. Initiating sustainable efforts in your business will not just save you money and isn’t just the right thing to do—it makes for exceptionally good business. Besides saving money, you can finally put out the green image your customers are looking to support. Don’t stop with green products. Do what you can to minimize waste too, even if it is just small changes. Tell your customers what you are doing!
Coffee and Restaurant Tables, Chairs & Paper
Pretty much anything you want to use in your coffee shop or restaurant can be produced by using recyclable materials and when you incorporate creativity, the possibilities are endless. This includes chairs, tables, disposable utensils, food boxes and wrapping for takeout. Items such as eco-coffee cups, pine boat trays, Kraft napkins, brown palm leaf plates and eco paper straws are affordable alternatives to the traditional earth destroying plastics and Styrofoam products patrons are given for carrying their food and drinks out of an establishment. You can purchase these products through a number of sustainable packaging vendors.
Weighing the Coffee & Water
The most effective way to minimize waste in a coffee shop and restaurant is to pre-weigh the coffee for filter use, instead of using the standard method of guessing. In addition, you speed up service for manual brew orders while dramatically increasing the consistency and accuracy of guest orders. Ensure your filter coffee is made on a scale that has a volumetric water dispenser because if you aren’t weighing your water, it will be disastrous in more ways than one.
When you switch to non-toxic cleansers and biodegradable soaps, your food and drink patrons plus the employees will notice and realize you care about them—like, for real. Eco-friendly and green cleaning supplies, such as premium bio-detergents and green chemical aluminium safe dishwashing liquids are safer for your employees and yourself than harsh chemical cleaning supplies and they are a definite selling point for your business. Is there any better way to get the support of your employees and customers than by proving to them that their overall health and well-being matters to you?
The challenge for restaurateurs and baristas is in aligning their bottom line with social responsibility. Sustainable practices can save your business more money than you may realize, while catering to a customer base who’s demanding more from the companies they give their money to. If you are willing to take the time and the honest perspective to look at where you can go green and minimize waste in your establishment, then you will find new ways to attract customers, practice sustainability and cut costs. Sustainability is more than just a trend among consumers, it’s an investment in the future of yourself and your business.