The fewer menu items, the more energy-efficient you can be with cooking and the less waste you’ll produce. You can buy larger quantities of ingredients (usually, that means less packaging overall), focus on making the recipe just right and use less energy on the oven or other cooking equipment.
For your permanent menu items, many hospitality POS systems can be set up to track ingredients of the food you sell, prompting you to order exactly what you need, in time for when you need it. Such ingredient tracking can prevent you from ordering too much or too little, or too early for when you need it, helping you to fight food waste.
Focusing on quality rather than quantity of foods can actually make you stand out among the competition. You can offer a new kind of sandwich every day so customers are motivated to return daily, a delicious cake using seasonal fruit, or a couple of lunch meals people would be too curious about not to buy.
Buy local, this not only helps your community to thrive it will also mean less airmiles. Buying local vegetables, meat, and dairy might be slightly more expensive, but people will be willing to pay more for the sense of community investment.
Whatever kitchen things you use, choose organic and eco-friendly where possible. Non-organic kitchen cloths, for example, may be made of cotton grown with harmful pesticides exhausting the land and biodiversity where it grew.
Toilet paper is another example. Don’t go for virgin-material rolls responsible for trees being cut down, when you can go for recycled brands that work just as well. Aluminium kitchen foil also has a resource-intensive production process. You can get foil with a much lower impact on the environment than supermarket-bought brands.
With any new products you buy, it’s always a good idea to ask the question: what is the environmental impact of this, from start to end of its lifecycle? This may take time to research, but once you know what suppliers to use for each product, it gets much easier. Plus, you start to be more conscious of the lifecycle of everyday products and where it ends up.