Restaurateurs learned about a potent antidote to â€˜green freezeâ€™ at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show on Saturday.
In an education session on the Association’s new video-rich resource, Greener Restaurants, speakers explained how the online program enables restaurants to plot a simple, feasible course to make their operations greener.
For operators who’ve been daunted by the prospect, the Greener Restaurants site provides easy first steps in a checklist format. Places that have undertaken those preliminary measures will learn other things they can do to continue the greening process, instead of giving up because they don’t know how to progress.
â€˜The way this is divided into nice, neat checklists, you can go down the list,â€™ said Chris Koetke, dean of the School of Culinary Arts at Chicago’s Kendall College, which has made sustainability an integral part of the culinary curriculum. â€˜I guarantee you there’ll be times when you say, Ã¢â‚¬ËœOh, yeah, here’s something else I can do.’ â€™
Advice on how to take each step comes via 60 short, tightly focused videos, explained Chris Moyer, manager of the Association’s Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability initiative. â€˜You can dive into any best practice as deeply as you want to go,â€™ he said.
Vaughan Lazar, co-founder and president of Pizza Fusion, a sustainability-minded pizza chain, praised the Greener Restaurants program. â€˜We didn’t have a resource like this available when we started,â€™ he lamented.
Instructional videos are particularly helpful for operators who work with a lot of young people, he said. â€˜If you sit them down to look at a manual, that’s just not going to work anymore. You need to show them a video, and a short one.â€™