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Sustainability

3 easy ways to make foodservice facilities more environmentally friendly

Photograph: Shutterstock

With many cities and municipalities across the United States making moves to ban straws and limit the number of napkins given out, it’s safe to say that there’s been a notable shift in the way the foodservice industry approaches sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. There are a handful of ways that foodservice facilities can be made more environmentally friendly. Check out these three easy ways to get the ball rolling.

  1. Use environmentally friendly to-go packaging

According to Technomic’s recent Foodservice Disposable Packaging Multi-Client Study, more than 70% of consumers agree that it’s important for restaurants and other foodservice establishments to offer environmentally friendly packaging. New iterations of to-go packaging, made with recycled materials, as well as being recyclable, help reduce the amount of packaging waste produced by a given facility. Be sure to put up signs indicating a switch to new packaging, too—for some consumers, knowing that a foodservice facility is partaking in environmentally friendly practices can spur additional, repeat business.

  1. Eliminate trays to help reduce food waste

On college campuses and at other buffet-style eateries, the tendency to fill up a tray with more food than one person might eat is all too common—and that leads to a lot of food waste. Some schools, however, have eliminated the use of trays in their cafeterias as a means to help with that. By getting rid of trays, students and other diners are encouraged to take only what they will eat. Students can go back for second helpings, but by limiting the amount they’re able to carry initially, foodservice facilities can cut back on the amount of food that’s taken but left untouched.

  1. Install water dispensers to limit plastic bottle waste

Whether it’s their drink of choice or one they’re choosing in lieu of drinking soda, many consumers opt for water when dining—both at home and away from home. At home, they can simply pour a glass of water, but when dining out, the most likely options might be to use a small, disposable plastic cup or purchase a bottle of water. This, of course, generates a lot of plastic waste—something many facilities are working hard to cut down on. Luckily, with water dispensers like MODwater from Hoshizaki, foodservice facilities can help eliminate the use of these cups and bottles. With a small footprint, MODwater machines offer a variety of water choices—chilled, hot, sparkling and alkaline—to satisfy an array of customer needs.

According to research from Hoshizaki, only about 23% of plastic water bottles are recycled—not to mention the cost difference between purchasing case after case of bottled water versus simply hooking up a machine to existing water lines. Between those two factors alone, the benefits of installing water dispensers are easy to see. And with demand for sparkling water growing nearly 400% over the past eight years, offering sparkling water on tap is also a great way to keep customers satisfied with the product offerings at a specific facility.

As consumers become more and more focused on the environment and recognize how foodservice facilities in hospitals, business and industry settings, recreation and other locations are doing their part, offering dispensed water instead of bottled can be a great way to show that a facility is on the same page—and is doing something about it. To learn more about MODwater, visit http://hoshizakiamerica.com/.

This post is sponsored by Hoshizaki

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