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Tracy Kosbau
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Restaurants & Sustainability
Our industry demonstrates interest in sustainability, water conservation

Interest in Sustainability coverStudy Demonstrates Industry’s Interest in Sustainability
The National Restaurant Association recently unveiled new research that shows a substantial number of operators are implementing sustainability best practices into their businesses. A survey of 1,000 fullservice and quickservice operators found that nearly three quarters of operators recycled used fryer oil, fats and grease. More than six in 10 recycled their cardboard and paper, used compact fluorescent lighting and bought products made of recycled materials. About three in 10 installed faucet aerators to conserve water.

Key findings determined that:

  • 74 percent recycled their used fryer oil, fats and grease
  • 66 percent recycled cardboard and paper
  • 63 percent used compact fluorescent lighting
  • 61 percent purchased products made of recycled materials
  • 48 percent installed low-flush toilets or waterless urinals 41 percent purchased products that can be composted
  • 29 percent installed aerators on faucets
  • 22 percent donated leftover food to food banks or similar organizations
  • 17 percent composted food waste

Read the Restaurant Industry’s Sustainability Study

Water Conservation and Restaurants
If you’re looking to become more sustainable, try looking to your water use.

Every glass of water brought to a diner’s table in a restaurant requires another two glasses of water to wash and rinse the glass. Since nearly 70 milliion meals are served each day in U.S. restaurants, we’d save more than 26 million gallons of water if only one person in four declined the complimentary glassful.

Consider placing table tents at your restaurant explaining that you will happily provide water on request to customers or to have your servers ask before automatically serving water.

Other water saving steps include:

  • Track your water and energy use
    • Consider Energy-Star qualified models the next time you upgrade dishwashers, ice machines and steam cookers
    • Consider WaterSense labeled toilets, bathroom faucets and urinals for future purchases
  • Swap out your old pre-rinse spray valves for low-flow units
  • Fix drips quickly
  • Cut down on your outdoor water use by rethinking your landscaping

Through its Conserve initiative, the National Restaurant Association provides sustainable tips, tools and best practices for the foodservice industry. Learn more at Restaurant.org/Conserve.

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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960