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Five Tips for Restaurants to Improve Eco Sustainability

Sustainability continues to rank high on the list of what consumers expect most from restaurants, according to the National Restaurant Association as a top trend for 2013. From locally-sourced food to recyclable and compostable products, many quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are looking for innovative strategies to build their sustainability story.

To help owners and operators reduce waste, water and energy use this Earth Day, April 22, Cintas Corporation has identified five commonly overlooked areas where restaurants can improve their commitment to sustainability.

“As an industry that’s been criticized for waste and excess, many restaurants want to limit their environmental footprint,” said Ann Nickolas, Senior Director of Foodservice, Cintas. “However, sustainability goes far beyond serving food from a rooftop garden or local farmer – it requires a collective effort between the front and back of the house.”

The top five most overlooked areas for sustainability improvements include:

Restrooms. Let’s face it – restroom maintenance is often an afterthought for many QSRs. However, an ongoing restroom maintenance program that keeps surfaces clean from build-up extends the life of fixtures and dispensing units and can prevent landfill waste. In addition, metered air fresheners, soap and towel dispensers limit the amount of product guests use, which reduces waste.
Floor care. To reduce water and energy use, implement programs to protect and maintain floors. According to the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), mats that extend six to 15 feet inside an entryway will trap 80 percent of soil and moisture before it is tracked into the building. In addition, an effective matting program that protects entryways and transitional areas will limit the transfer of internal contaminants, such as dirt from the kitchen into the dining room areas. This reduces water and energy waste because floors stay in better condition and require less maintenance. It also offsets carpet or floor replacement.


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