A few years ago, people only cared about what they ate and how it was made. Nowadays, the state of our planet has people more conscious than ever before of where they eat rather than just what they eat. The concerning spotlight has shifted beyond the kitchen and upon the business itself. An increase in environmental awareness created an increase in responsibility for restaurants to be more selective in their sourcing and more responsible in how they operate their businesses. Many restaurants in Gainesville have already taken big steps toward sustainability, but we’ve explored other ways to prioritize the environment that have yet to catch on in the local community.
1. Go digital
BYPPO ordering system on iPad at Cilantro Tacos
Who needs paper when we live in the digital age? In these modern times, reducing paper has never been easier. Enter customer orders on a tablet instead of writing them on a notepad and email receipts instead of printing them on paper — no one wants a wallet filled with crumpled receipts. You can cut down on excess paper waste and save money for years to come. Nowadays, customers value convenience and use their phones for almost anything. By allowing customers to chomp the line with Byppo and order take-out ahead of time, you can reduce the waste of paper resources used to prepare your customer’s next meal.
2. Invest in renewable energy
Solar panels from Better Earth
What is renewable energy? It’s energy from natural resources — such as solar, wind and water — that replenishes over time. While investing in on-site solar panels will involve a high upfront cost, it’s important to remember that you’re not just conserving energy but also saving money in the long run. The lower energy consumption will recoup this investment and offset any initial costs over the long term.
Better Earth is one of the leading solutions in renewable energy and working to create a better Earth with solar power. This company offers solar energy solutions and can help you exceed your business' sustainability goals. This is a smart choice for your business and your planet!
3. Ditch the deluxe decor
Reclaimed wood table and seating at Satchel's Pizza
You might think that your cloth tablecloths look classy and are good for the environment because they can be washed and reused. Unfortunately, you would be wrong about the latter. You are technically increasing your water consumption to wash those bulky fabrics, so just stick to reusable cotton napkins. A dining experience surrounded by tables made from reclaimed wood and vintage decorations or furniture from resale will impress your customers with a trendy rustic look.
4. Embrace zero waste and spread the word
EARTH MATTERS slogan on the interior wall of Vale (Ft. Lauderdale)
Going green helps you connect with a growing market of environmentally conscious customers and improves your brand perception, so let them know! In a booming college town like Gainesville, once customers notice your sustainable efforts, they will likely recommend you to others through social media or word-of-mouth — both of which are free. According to an Ohio State University study, 8 out of 10 consumers are willing to pay more for a “green” dining experience, so start spreading the word now.
The community effort is the first part of environmental change, so whether its by word of mouth or splashed across a big sign, encourage your customers to take action by keeping them informed. Some environmentally conscious students are new in town and don’t even know where to start. Customers might even take the initiative to match your restaurant’s sustainable efforts by bringing their own reusable cutlery and cups or dining in rather than ordering packaged takeout.
Byppo wants to help you find creative ways to demonstrate your restaurant’s commitment to sustainability, so the local community follows suit and thus spreads awareness on the importance of planet-friendly practices and waste reduction. With our Earth Month’s Byppo Chomps Change campaign, we want to help business owners and members of the community think beyond food and understand the roles we each play in protecting our planet when we eat.