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Crafting a Greener Tomorrow: Sustainable Practices in the Bar Industry for a Better Future

Reference: Published by Diageo Bar Academy

Learn how to make your bar more eco-friendly by utilizing sustainable foods, purchasing locally, lowering energy consumption, and more.

IMPROVE SUSTAINABILITY

When it comes to sustainability, the bar and restaurant industry is one of the most wasteful in the world. Many pubs have high levels of food waste, and many venues have a high carbon footprint.

Sean Finter, the founder of Barmetrix, discovered that his establishment wasted 14% of its food, which is likely industry-wide. Spurred on by this worrisome trend, Sean has emerged as a major figure in sustainable bartending.

Sustainability can help boost your bar’s reputation. Customers are more environmentally sensitive than ever, and many prefer to drink and dine at sustainable establishments over others. This allows bar owners that take a more sustainable approach the potential to gain a competitive advantage.

SUSTAINABLE BARTENDING TRENDS

Sustainability is a popular concept in the industry, with many bartenders adjusting their practices to meet the demands of environmentally concerned consumers. Among the main changes we’re seeing in the industry are:

  • Punches in bottles and large-format drinks
  • Cocktails that employ the full plant from root to tip to reduce waste
  • Mixologists are employing sugar substitutes to reduce their dependency on fruits.
  • There is a greater emphasis on seasonal cuisine, so chefs and staff waste less food.
  • Water conservation (the reduction of water waste) is becoming increasingly important.
  • Reducing single-use plastic by replacing plastic straws with paper straws and eliminating flimsy plastic cups.

REDUCING FOOD WASTE

Food waste is a big issue to focus on when reducing your bar’s carbon footprint. To do this, Former World Class Winner Nick Tesar explains simple menu tweaks that will have a huge impact.

Consider presenting seasonal menus, which ensure that all of your ingredients are fresh and easy to farm and create locally.

  • Concentrate on each component to extract the most flavor.
  • You may reduce waste by using fewer ingredients.
  • Make use of components that have several functions. To decrease waste, try making syrups that can be used in many drinks.
  • Batching and freezing can help to extend the shelf life of a component.
  • Remove the garnish; it is generally the most wasted food in a bar. To avoid waste, use an aromatic tincture to provide delicate flavour.
  • Plan your stock so that you only need to order delivery once a week, reducing the distance your ingredients travel.

MAKING SUSTAINABLE DRINKS

Focusing on sustainability when creating your drinks is an excellent approach to make your venue more environmentally friendly. Consider what ingredients you already have in abundance at your venue to guarantee you use them.

Sam Orrock, Eve’s renowned mixologist and Bar Manager, is always in communication with the venue’s kitchen to see what his bartenders may use.

Another option is to use locally obtained ingredients to make your cocktails. This makes your drinks more sustainable and fascinating by highlighting the surrounding region. Sam, for example, frequently gathered fig leaves from a nearby tree for infusion and syrup preparation.

When creating your own sustainable cocktail, try to restrict the use of imported ingredients. Many bars include citrus in their cocktail menus, which has a significant environmental impact in places where it is not native. You can make a significant difference by lowering the amount of cocktails you serve with these ingredients and substituting verjus, vinegar, and acids with a healthier alternative.

NON-FOOD WASTE REDUCTION

Food waste isn’t the only problem that pubs and restaurants cause. The sector also consumes a significant amount of packaging, energy, and other resources. After you’ve taken the effort to make your menu and drinks more sustainable, use Tiny Leaf co-founder Alice Gilsenan’s tips to help you build a waste-free venue like she did.

  • Remove straws – When discarded, plastic straws take over 200 years to degrade. By eliminating straws from your cocktails, you can significantly reduce the cost of your bar.
  • Remove bottles – Use reusable glasses rather of single-use plastic bottles, particularly for water. You can purchase a special water tap that filters local water and serves it still, sparkling, or ionized.
  • Educate your crew – Informing your employees on the importance of sustainability for your venue enables them to make better decisions. They’ll be more environmentally conscious, which will benefit your venue.

Making improvements to your energy usage is another worthwhile endeavor. Many bars can become more sustainable by making simple improvements that increase sustainability while decreasing costs.

Consider installing motion sensors to lights so they only turn on when people are nearby, and replace your lightbulbs with low-energy LEDs.

Water waste can be reduced by installing timers on taps, and automated refrigerator doors can help you save energy. All of these minor changes accumulate and have a significant impact on your sustainability.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Sustainable practices can help your company stand out and attract clients.
  • Food waste is a major problem, but you may improve sustainability by carefully planning your menu and using fewer, more seasonal items.
  • Using ingredients you currently have on hand for your cocktails will help you become a more waste-efficient venue.
  • Minor adjustments, such as removing straws and single-use plastic products, can have a significant and positive impact on your organization.