When you’re a restaurant owner you have a lot on your plate. You have to keep track of labor expenses, manage food costs, and ensure customer satisfaction. Not to mention, you’re always concerned with your restaurant’s success.

Being eco-friendly is an important movement affecting commercial food service operations today. Going green can be a smart operational decision because it not only reduces consumption and draws eco-conscious customers, but it can actually save you money in the long run. So, we’re going to give you tips that will help your restaurant become more eco-friendly and hopefully keep some green in your wallet.

Reduce Paper Waste

There are many ways to reduce paper. One way is to use cloth napkins. They can be washed and used again and again. In the bathroom, replace paper towels with hand dryers. Paper towels can be very wasteful. Besides, most new models dry hands almost as fast as paper.

Conserve Water

Change your daily operations by controlling your water usage. You can conserve water by installing aerators in sinks and installing low flow toilets. If your restaurant supplies water bottles, consider offering reusable glasses of water or set up a self-serve water station with reusable glasses.

Get Rid of the Styrofoam

We all know Styrofoam is bad for the environment. So, why not switch to biodegradable or recyclable takeout containers?


So this tip is pretty obvious, but I have to throw it in here. Are you really paying attention to everything you’re throwing out? There’s a chance you are throwing away items that are recyclable. Have a printer in your office? You can recycle cartridges or get them refilled yourself. You can even donate them to a school recycling program in your neighborhood.

If you’re an avid recycler, double check to see if you’re doing it wrong by reading this blog post.


Don’t keep your green efforts hidden. Promote your green policies on your website or on flyers inside your restaurant so customers know you’re eco-friendly.

Grow a Garden

Depending on the location of your restaurant, you could consider growing your own garden. It creates a smaller carbon footprint for your restaurant and it can help you learn about organic gardening techniques, thus reducing the amount of pesticides in the food.

Make Straws Optional

You don’t necessarily need to get rid of straws completely, but it is a good idea not to automatically provide them to customers. This way, you’re not giving out unnecessary straws that will be thrown into the trash.

Eco-friendly Lighting

An easy way to incorporate green practices is to replace traditional light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent lights. These lights are more eco-friendly because they produce less heat, helping to reduce air conditioning costs, and they also use less energy. They also last significantly longer than incandescent lights.

Upgrade Equipment

This tip is a little more expensive, but will eventually pay off. Upgrading to more energy efficient appliances will help the environment and your electricity bill. There’s actually tax credits and deductions for business owners who use green equipment and certain renewable energy sources to power their buildings.