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5 best practices to save water and money

July 23, 2015

Reducing the amount of water you use at your restaurant is good for business and good for the environment — and it’s becoming especially important as more states face potential or significant water shortages. As business community leaders, restaurateurs can take some easy steps to conserve. By undertaking five low-cost efforts — for usually less than $100 and a little time — you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in water costs. These best practices explain how.


  1. Turn hand sinks into a fountain of savings. Don’t miss an opportunity to save thousands of gallons of hot water every year. Install low-flow aerators on your hand sinks. It’s a great place to start saving.


  1. A twist on water service: Ask before pouring. Have your servers ask guests one simple question: "Would you like a glass of water?" This easy step will save water, ice and dishwashing costs.


  1. Swap out old pre-rinse spray valves to save $$. Spray valves can account for nearly one-third of the water used in a typical commercial kitchen. Low-flow units are designed with a high velocity feature that ensures they work the same job as higher-pressure units.


  1. Don’t be a drip: Fix leaks fast. Even a small leak can add up to hundreds of dollars of profit flushed down the drain. Remember, every drop of hot water costs you in three different ways: water in, sewer out, and water heating.


  1. Cut outdoor water use. Consider the importance of your landscaping plan as you seek to update your restaurant's curb appeal and/or save water.


Make your business water-efficient. You’ll harvest the rewards and stay competitive, too.


Jeff Clark is director of the National Restaurant Association’s Conserve sustainability program.


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