Who would ever think that the diversion of waste from your restaurant would equal a profit? I love the saying “there is money in garbage!” My dad used to say this all the time. I am the daughter of a butcher. We had a shop and the local landfill was on Gold Mind Road. Still there today! Only now WM owns it. My dad, bebop, and my grandmother never threw anything away. What was not sold was eaten or given to the farmers who were abundant back then. Budd Lake NJ was an amazing place to grow up. What I learned at a young age was sustainability! You, as a restaurant owner, can also take a few lessons from my dad. Recycling and composting do you good as well as the environment. Your patrons look for what you are doing to be sustainable.
My dad said there is a fine line between money in the bank and going broke. Our butcher shop was in a resort area of Budd Lake and we made our money during the summer when the NYC people came to the lake. Because of them, we feasted like kings. Then the winter would hit and the belts were tight. So goes any business. You have your peaks and your valleys. So how do you capitalize with garbage?
Let’s start with purchasing! My son is graduating from college in Dec with two degrees: Hotel restaurant management and Culinary. Purchasing was one of his favorite classes. I asked him why? He said, “Mom, I control what happens!” Wow, and he was only 20! Well, that is it in a nut shell. Purchasing controls the outcome of what your guests eat and see! Does your purchaser look for new products that meet your needs AND packaged in a way that reduces waste? Does the purchaser ask the purveyor to take back the shipping boxed for recycling to cut out your disposal needs? I really like the word purveyor! My kid taught me that one!
If you are currently serving carbonated beverages from a bottle or can, stop and switch to the gun or a dispenser!! Yes, there are still restaurateurs out there who do this. You can save sooooo much money! If you have glass bottles for wine or beer, are you recycling them? That weight is removed from your waste stream and reduces your total trash bill. If you are using a postmix power ask your purchaser for reusable tanks vs. the bag in the box set ups. The bar, oh the bar! Use the concentrate form and portion them out into reusable, washable serving containers. It may sound like a lot of work, but all restaurants have down time and prep time. Coffee, buy in whole grain and grind it yourself. Wow!! These small changes can and will make a huge difference on your bottom line.
Know that you can make a difference. Next month I will pick up with grocery items!