Sustainability will be a defining quality of successful restaurants in 2022. As restaurants strive to differentiate themselves with exciting food offerings, engaging atmospheres and competitive pricing, many diners are looking for something different.
One industry survey found that more than 50% of diners seek to support sustainable businesses, indicating a particular interest in restaurants with eco-conscious operating models.
Collectively, food sustainability was more important than ever to consumers, a reality underscored by the rise of zero-waste restaurants, sustainability-focused marketing campaigns, and other industry trends. In response, many restaurants have developed and implemented environmental and sustainability goals to guide their operational priorities in the years to come.
The right technologies can support these priorities, enabling restaurants to integrate sustainability into their business models in the future. Here’s how some of the leading restaurants are harnessing technology to bring sustainability to the table in 2022.
Reduce food waste by monitoring on-site food storage
Food waste is endemic in the food industry, where 1.6 billion tons of food are discarded each year. In total, food waste accounts for a third of the global supply chain, a huge waste of resources in a world where more than 800 million people in the face of hunger and food insecurity.
Food waste also has a negative impact on the environment. the Boston Consulting Group estimates that food waste is responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is why, as Atlantic note: “Tackling food waste would be a low-hanging fruit: the country could save money, emit less carbon into the atmosphere, ease the burden of landfills, reduce the number of animals subject to life on a factory farm and solve his hunger crisis just by eating all the food he makes.
Although restaurants have a limited ability to influence the global supply chain, they can have an immediate impact on operations behind the scenes by implementing IoT technologies that continuously monitor refrigeration units and storage items. hot or cold storage.
For example, restaurants represent a important part food waste worldwide, and inadequate temperature controls are one of the leading causes of food waste when items are stored under harsh conditions. above 40°F for more than two hours, putting it in the danger zone for foodborne illness.
IoT solutions help restaurants avoid this. For the average restaurant location, IoT solutions can reduce annual food waste by 3,960 pounds.
Collectively, these findings may have profound implications for global food waste. An estimate found that IoT technologies could reduce global food waste by 50% by 2030, a significant reduction that can benefit restaurants, food producers and consumers.
Increase energy conservation with sensor technology
Restaurants consume an incredible amount of energy, easily outpacing other commercial buildings as cooking, water heating, refrigeration, air conditioning and other energy-intensive processes drive up energy bills.
Most restaurants consume far more energy than the average commercial building, and refrigeration is often responsible for the greatest energy consumption. Since refrigerators become less and less efficient with age, the problem worsens over time.
Energy conservation efforts are good for the environment and great for the bottom line. According to an industry reporta 20% reduction in energy consumption improves a restaurant’s bottom line by 1%, a significant figure in an increasingly competitive environment.
Additionally, with many diners looking to patronize restaurants that reflect their eco-responsible values, effective energy conservation can be a differentiator that further drives profitability.
Fortunately, restaurants don’t have to rely on heavy switch patrols to save energy. Instead, restaurants can increase energy conservation by investing in energy management systems (EMS) or IoT sensors that automatically monitor or adjust equipment settings and energy production. .
When paired with dashboard technology that allows managers to assess and manipulate energy consumption from a single platform
Conserve water without compromise
Water is at the heart of the restaurant’s activities. The average restaurant consumes up to 7,000 gallons of water every dayusing this limited resource for cooking, cleaning, refreshments and various other tasks.
According to the World Bank, 70 percent of the world’s fresh water is used for agriculture, a staggering figure that may not be enough to support rapid population growth in years to come. In fact, it is estimated that agricultural production will need to increase by 50% and water withdrawals by 15% by 2050 to keep pace with growing food demand.
Upgrading outdated or inefficient systems can reduce water consumption. However, new units are often prohibitively expensive and the investment takes time to pay for itself. Conversely, retrofitting existing units with high-efficiency nozzles and usage moderations can improve efficiency without incurring high costs.
Meanwhile, IoT technologies can equip restaurant managers to monitor water usage, humidity levels and other appropriate metrics, identify instances of water waste and minimize damage through a early intervention. Additionally, IoT monitoring can provide frozen or burst pipe monitoring, water heater leak detection, sink and toilet leak detection, and water intrusion monitoring.
Make sustainability a top priority
In the coming year, diners are looking to support restaurants that prioritize sustainability. In other words, diners have a moral imperative to optimize sustainability in a rapidly changing world, but they also have an economic mandate to adopt best practices.
IoT technologies can support these efforts, bringing sustainability to the table by helping to reduce food waste, increase energy conservation and conserve water. With the right solutions, restaurants are positioned to meet changing consumer demands and burgeoning green realities while improving profitability. It’s a rare win-win that restaurants don’t want to miss out on in 2022.
Manik Suri is the founder and CEO of a technology company Thermo°. Therma° IoT-powered temperature monitoring and analysis prevents wasted food, produce and energy, key drivers of climate change. Therma° has partnered with national foodservice brands to supply food and health chain leaders to increase profits while protecting our planet. Prior to founding Therma°, Manik co-founded the Governance Lab (GovLab), an innovation center at NYU that developed technology solutions to improve governance. He is a former affiliate of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and has held positions with global investment firm DE Shaw & Company and the White House National Economic Council.
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