It’s great to start to go green at your home, but you shouldn’t stop there. In fact, you’re more likely to generate waste at the workplace, especially when you work in the food service industry. Whether you’re an employee at the restaurant where you work or you own your own restaurant, you can begin to implement waste reduction practices and try to spread them throughout the workplace. Here are a few of our recommendations:
Start a Waste Journal
If you’re a restaurant owner or manager, it could be a good idea to conduct a waste audit. But even if you don’t have that authority, you can start a waste journal. This journal tracks the amount of waste that the restaurant generates every day. How much food gets thrown away? How many packages are tossed each day? Does your restaurant employ recycling or composting? If you’re only at the restaurant for a limited time each day, pass the journal to someone on the next shift or to a manager to get a more comprehensive idea. This will let you know where most of your waste is coming from at the restaurant — and what you can do about it.
Opt For Reusable Napkins
It’s easy to give guests napkins that will be stained with sauce, crumpled up, and tossed at the end of the day. But it’s more sustainable to give out cloth napkins that can be collected at the end of the day, washed, and reused. The same goes for tablecloths — make sure they’re washable. You can laminate menus to protect them from becoming damaged and needing to be tossed. This step will not only help to reduce the waste at your restaurant, but it will save you money.
Install — Or Suggest — a POS System
A “point of sale” system — or a POS system — allows staff to take orders digitally and allows the entire workflow to be handled in a paperless way. This is not only safer in the days of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will significantly cut down on paper waste when your wait staff don’t have to tear off single tickets and toss them once the order is fulfilled. Some restaurants even have stations at the table that allow guests to pay digitally, rather than fussing with or waiting for a paper check. If you’re not in a position to implement these things, recommend them to someone who is.
The truth is, restaurants often have food turned away by the customers or barely touched. Most of that food goes straight to the trash, but it doesn’t have to. Leftovers can be donated to charity, where those struggling for a meal can eat. Food scraps can also be composted, rather than going to waste.
Of course, as always it’s important to recycle what you can. That’s why Brazos Valley Trash Valet & Recycling offers a complimentary recycling bin in addition to our weekly trash pickup. Want to learn more about how you can cut down on waste at work with the help of trash and recycling pickup? Contact Brazos Valley Trash Valet & Recycling today for more information.