September 19, 2008
The National Restaurant Association today announced that it will host three free webinars on the benefits to business of environmental efforts through its Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability initiative. Launched in May 2008, the initiative is anchored by the Conserve.Restaurant.org Web site, which offers tips, resources and best practices on how restaurants can become more sustainable without hurting their bottom lines. The webinars will focus on how environmental practices can save money and grow business, how to select the right energy-efficient lighting, and how "going green" can be a successful business concept.
"Incorporating sustainable practices into restaurant operations is not only the right thing to do to preserve our planet, it can also be a successful business move," said National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney. "Conserving energy and water can reduce utility bills, and being 'green' is increasingly important to consumers when choosing a restaurant. The Conserve initiative is unique in that it is tailored to foodservice operations and provides solutions that are both good for business and good for the environment. I highly encourage the restaurant community to take part in our webinar series to lean more about how to identify the sustainability practices that fit their individual businesses."
The three webinars scheduled for the fall of 2008 are:
"Go Green to Save Green" - October 1, 2008, 2 p.m. Eastern - presented by Nestle Waters North America
Improving your business sustainability not only affects your environmental impact, but also the impact on your wallet. Vaughan Lazar and Eric Haley of Pizza Fusion in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will share their journey toward sustainability and the savings they have realized through the process. Matthew McLaughlin of Rockfish in Annapolis, Md., will present how to drive sales by educating patrons on sustainability, and explain how creating a local business recycling program - Rockfish Recycles - helped make changes in his community while increasing the restaurant's customer traffic. National Restaurant Association Conserve Project Manager Chris Moyer will also offer no-cost and low-cost best practices that are not only easy, but will start saving energy, water and money today.
"Focus on Lighting - from CFLs to LEDs and beyond" - November 13, 2 p.m. Eastern - presented by Eco-Story
Richard Young of the Food Service Technology Center is back following Conserveâ€™s first webinar and education session at NRA Show 2008, "5 Things an Operator Must Know About Energy Efficiency," to present the benefits of selecting the right energy-efficient lighting for your restaurant. Innovations in lighting technology are continually introduced and it can be hard to keep up, but Mark Shoemaker of Eco-Story will explain the finer points of new lighting technologies and will give us peek into the future of lighting for the restaurant industry. In addition, Scott Shippey will anchor this webinar by sharing results from Chipotle's new lighting initiative.
"Making 2009 a 'Greener' Year for Your Restaurant" - December 2, 2 p.m. Eastern
Deborah Cogan of Spoon's Coffee Cafe in Baltimore, Md.; Laura Wood Habr of Croc's 19th Street Bistro in Virginia Beach, Va.; and Chris Dahlander of Snappy Salads in Dallas will share their own personal success stories on running successful restaurants with a "green" twist. Webinar participants will learn how three different types of restaurants, in three different locations, shared one common result - success. Draw inspiration and advice from these inspirational stories and enter the New Year with a fresh outlook on sustainability and how to incorporate it into your business.
Association research shows that nearly one-third of restaurants say they are allocating a larger percentage of their budget toward "green" initiatives this year, and the second hottest trend in kitchen equipment is environmental friendliness. More than half of restaurants have also updated heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems over the past two years in order to conserve water and energy.
Since not all restaurants can commit financial resources to environmentally friendly upgrades, the Conserve initiative focuses on simple steps to "go green" at little or no cost. Regardless of the size and number of locations, all restaurants can implement some no-cost or low-cost practices that will reduce their environmental impact, conserve natural resources, and potentially decrease energy and water consumption expenses.
The money you save on operating costs (through energy efficiency) adds to what you get to keep, so saving 20% on energy operating costs can increase your profit as much as 33%.
Find out green trends and more in the 2011 Restaurant Industry Forecast. Learn more