The restaurant industry consumes one-third of all U.S. energy used by the retail sector and is five times more energy intensive than other retail, office and lodging industries. With the growing global trend toward green business practices, it comes as no surprise that environmental sustainability tops the list of food trends to watch in 2015.
The greening of the restaurant industry is far reaching. In Massachusetts, for example, even a 40 percent recycling rate among businesses and households left room for improvement. Last year, the state implemented new composting rules or restaurants to help keep food waste out of landfills.
With three out of four consumers likely to make a restaurant choice based on its environmental sustainability efforts, going green can be good for business. Some vendors, like Durango Joes in Southwestern Colorado, are meeting consumer demand for less paper waste by replacing paper gift certificates and frequent buyer punch cards with reusable gift cards. Forty percent of Durango Joes’ customers use their “Cash Card” (aka gift card).
According to the Green Restaurant Association, implementing even minor environmentally-friendly practices, can save small- to mid- size restaurants up to $2,000 annually. Many restaurants are using new point of sale (POS) technology to help reduce their costs as well as their carbon footprint. Energy saving touch screen POS systems, handheld wireless devices that replace written orders and receipts, mobile apps for quick access to menus and ordering, and email marketing are just some of the technologies available.
Culinart Group which provides restaurant-style, customized onsite dining, implemented a mobile payments solution that makes it easy for customers to pay using a smartphone. Their clients were very receptive to the green factor of mobile payments.
“Electronic receipts save paper,” said Said Moustakim, Senior Director, Information Technology and Services for CulinArt. “We’re working with technology-oriented businesses and most of the time they are in certified ‘green’ buildings and don’t want excess printing and paper.”
Likewise, customers of Crosstown Pub & Grill in Naperville, Illinois appreciate the format of the restaurant’s tablet POS. Customers get their checks and swipe their cards at the table, with no paper receipts. “It makes life easier,” notes one loyal patron.
Contact us to learn more about the POS and payment technology that can help support your restaurant’s environmental sustainability efforts.