How To Create a More Environmentally Friendly and Sustainable Restaurant

Feb 1, 2024

Implementing more environmentally-friendly systems is an achievable goal for any food service business, including yours — and it begins as soon as you’re ready. Our team is excited to detail several ways to create more sustainable practices for your restaurant, and hope you’ll share our enthusiasm.

It really starts with a commitment to ‘green thinking’ and a mindset to be accountable for everyone’s actions within your establishment. It’s not always about what you do in your restaurant, but how you do it. To make lasting and impactful changes to the environment, a sense of accountability needs to be ingrained in the value system of your business.

Creating Business Values

Strategically, where do you want your business to be in the future? When you answer, think beyond the financial success of your business. Would you be proud to know that your economic success also positively contributed to protecting the environment? That is a win for everyone!

Your staff will buy into the overall success of your establishment if they know their actions at work create a positive impact on the environment. Ask yourself and your staff these important questions to identify your values and environmental mission:

Are we doing the right things for our environment?
Are we doing the right things for our local community and economy?
Are we doing the right things for us? 

Take note of your answers and the answers from your staff. Now, from an environmental perspective, where would we like your establishment to be in five years?

By posing these questions, you can reverse engineer how to get to your end goal of ‘green thinking’ and how to incorporate these environmental values into the success of your business. 

Winning Organizations

There are so many organizations that do an excellent job with respect to environmental sustainability, but one client of Morton Food Service in particular we would like to highlight is the Neighbourhood Group of Restaurants. Their motto is “There is no planet B” and they operate their restaurants in a sustainable fashion with the goal to reduce their carbon footprint annually. These values created by the Neighbourhood Group of Restaurants are instilled in their establishments, staff and community. 

As consumers, many of us have made a conscious decision to support restaurants that appeal not only to our palates, but to our values. These restaurants often have a sustainable component and/or a socially responsible component. 

Environmental Steps You Can Take

You don’t need to make major changes to create an impact. Here is a list of simple actions you can take to make your restaurant more environmentally friendly: 

  • Locally Sourced Products: Use products ingenious to Ontario. Locally sourced products will have a reduced carbon footprint.
  • Ocean Wise Seafood: Purchase products with certifications like ‘Ocean Wise to ensure fish is being harvested in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way
  • Avoid Single Use: Advocate for fewer (or zero!) single-use products from your suppliers. Making a simple change to paper straws can keep hundreds of pounds of plastic out of local landfills.
  • Recyclable / Decomposabile Containers: With the pandemic came the era of take-out. Make sure your take-out containers are recyclable, compostable or can biodegrade over time.
  • Restaurant Composter: Not all establishments have the space, but compost is a great way to get rid of food waste while helping the environment. You can give your compost soil to your customers or a local farm (or, use it in your restaurant’s own vegetable garden, if you have one).
  • Motion Control Lights and Low Flow Fixtures: There is a lot of environmental waste happening in washrooms. Utilize fixtures and features that mitigate waste. 

Every journey starts with a single step. Your environmental journey can start today with something small and end up influencing your staff, your community and help to change the world around you. By creating environmentally friendly and sustainable practices for your restaurant, you can help protect the planet while creating a successful business you’re proud of.