Assessing Your Environmental Impact as a Business Owner

It’s important for all different types of businesses to ensure they’re helping to reduce their environmental footprints. And depending on the venue you’re in and the type of business you run, there are different ways to make sure you’re doing all that you can to be environmentally friendly. Not only will your business be run in a way that benefits the environment and the local area, but you’ll also be able to find a consumer base that appreciates those types of behaviors.

Here are a few ways that various types of businesses can check their environmental impacts and what they can do to reduce their environmental impact.


A restaurant can be environmentally friendly in many ways. Buying local and seasonally available foods will reduce your footprint from the get-go. You can also properly dispose of food waste, such as cooking oil. For instance, cooking oil can be used as a renewable energy when disposed of properly, and it’ll also lower costs of cleanup. There are also various programs that can help restaurant owners specifically with recycling cooking oil. You can also look into local composting rules to dispose of other food waste to local gardens and communities where they can use your compost to grow food and plants.


There are many things you can do in an office setting to ensure that you’re being as environmentally friendly as possible. When you dispose of paper, you should make sure you’re recycling it and adhering to any local recycling rules (i.e., do you need to use only clear bags, or should all paper waste be tied together?). You’ll also want to watch your paper usage in general, and when possible, you should print double-sided so that you save some paper. Adjust the thermostat and keep it lower when possible, and whenever you leave the office, turn off the lights, computers, printers, and any other appliances so that you aren’t wasting too much power. Not only will these practices reduce your environmental impact, you’ll also save money as well.

Delivery Services

Whether you’re delivering food, groceries, or other miscellaneous items to someone, there are quite a few ways you can keep do it in a green way. To start off with, biking is a great way to keep your services environmentally friendly, rather than using a car. And if you do use a car, you should aim to use something small and efficient rather than a large truck or something that guzzles gas. You can also look into things like drones or electric cars to deliver your items. Past that, you can make sure that the places you purchase from are environmentally-minded and that they use equipment in a green way.


Schools are areas that also use a lot of paper and therefore have many options for reducing their environmental footprints. Similar to office environments, it’s important to make sure there are recycling options and that you print on double-sided paper whenever possible. You’ll also want to power down any computer, projectors, or any other classroom electronics at the end of the day and keep all lights off. You can use environmentally-friendly lightbulbs whenever possible in your classroom, too.

Clothing Store

Malls and other shops can make sure they’re being environmentally friendly by only purchasing clothing from sustainably-sourced places. For instance, places that don’t use leather or fur are greener and better for the environment (and the animals involved, too). It’s also important to avoid fast fashion habits like making items out of cheap, non-environmentally sourced materials and using child labor to create clothing. Additionally, you can also source locally whenever possible and recycle whatever items can be recycled in your area.

Sam Casteris is a small business owner and freelance writer operating out of Phoenix, AZ. You can find more of her work on Contently.

Opening a Restaurant Can Mean Tasty Profits

If the notion of opening up a restaurant has crossed your mind a time or two, will you go for it? For many restaurant owners having done so over the years, the profits have been rather tasty.

That said do not be under the assumption that a restaurant is an instant ticket to a gold mine. As any owner can tell you, there will be many hours of work and sacrifices when it comes to doing things right.

With that in mind, will opening a restaurant be your next move?

Know All That Will Go into Such a Move

If you decide opening a restaurant is your calling, be ready for the responsibilities.

Among them:

  1. Mission – What is your restaurant’s mission going to be? Before you even open your doors, you need to know what it is you want to do. To do so, you want to know for one what your competition is going to look like. For example, if opening a steakhouse in town, are there many ones there now? If there are, how can you get a foothold in the market? While you may well be the one to make profits, you could be wedged out because there is too much competition. By knowing the demographics and what you hope to do, you better position your brand for success.
  2. Employees – Running a restaurant of course means you will have to employ many people. As such, you want to do your best to hire the right people the first time around. If you do not, it can mean time and money working against you. Some of your employees will be the first lines of contact customers have with you. As an example, the hostess or host at the front door. You also of course have the waiter or waitress to serve customers once they sit down. Make sure you do your best to get quality people in such positions. And never forget the importance of a good chef and support staff in the kitchen. As you can see, you have to hire the right people for the right jobs if you want to make a go of it.
  3. Inventory – It is also key that you have the right inventory for your restaurant. For instance, items from ordering the best steak knives to good dishware can’t be overlooked. If you are of the notion that ordering second-rate supplies will save you money, it can come back to haunt you. Diners want to be able to enjoy their meals and part of that is making sure the food and how it is eaten are both exemplary.
  4. Marketing – Last, be sure that you are good at marketing your restaurant. From social media to customer testimonials, make sure the world knows about you. When it comes to customers, let them help market your brand for you. Their testimonials and remarks on social media and your site can go a long way in sending you business. When a customer has good food and stellar customer service, they are more likely to speak about it.

Despite long hours and responsibility, running a restaurant can be a great decision.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.

Entice More Customers To Your Restaurant With These Delicious Marketing Hacks

Are there always a few empty tables in your restaurant each night? That certainly won’t be good for business! All successful restaurants are busy every night, and you should aim to be turning people away at the door. Not sure why you aren’t experiencing all this buzz about your business? Maybe you aren’t getting the marketing right. Here are some delicious restaurant marketing hacks that you can use to entice more customers.


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Get Involved With Food Bloggers

When you are planning your restaurant marketing strategy, consider getting some local food bloggers involved. In fact, many restaurants host special menu tasting nights whenever they launch a new menu. Invite lots of food bloggers to come and try your food. If they love it, they will rave about it in their blog! But make sure you invite bloggers who have a large following. This is a great way to get some free advertising and content placed on blogs that are read by a lot of people!

Run Competitions

Is there really no such thing as a free lunch? Well, there can be if you offer one to your customers! That doesn’t mean you need to give away lots of food for free, of course. But you should hold regular competitions. You can run them on social media. For instance, post a tweet saying that someone who retweets it will win a free meal. Loads of people will be hitting that retweet button to try and get their hands on the prize! And they will post your tweet to all their friends. This is a quick way to get a load of new followers and customers in hardly any time at all!

Join Takeaway Websites

There is currently a big trend for people to order their takeaway meals on websites such as Delivery Hero. These websites show someone who is looking for a takeaway, all the restaurants that deliver in their area. Listing your menu on these sites is a great way to increase sales. Not only that, though, but it is also an excellent method of getting your name out to a wider audience. Someone may order from you who has never heard of you before. They could then dine in your restaurant next time they are in town.

Blogs And Social Media

No business can get away with not having a blog or social media accounts these days. They are important for a number of reasons. Firstly, your blog can increase your website’s SEO. An SEO-driven website will reach the top of Google’s search results, and more people will notice you. Secondly, social media is also good for spreading your business’s name. Make sure all engagement with followers is friendly and professional so that you don’t give yourself a bad reputation.

Meal Deals And Happy Hour

Restaurants may have been using them for years, but you should still offer meal deals and a happy hour. Customers love to eat out when they think they are saving money. So start advertising yours now to fill up all your tables!

Six Food Startups to Look out For This Year

The artisan food industry is a growing field. Within the last few years, independent food startups have been gaining popularity within the food industry, as there has been a growing interest from consumers in supporting organic, artisan food businesses.

With health concerns on the rise, more and more people have a vested interest in what they are putting into their body, making a more conscious effort to eat local, farm-to-table, organic foods. With more and more research springing up about the ill-effects of harmful pesticides and foods laden with chemicals and other unnatural ingredients, the market has never been more ripe for independent food startups.

Six Food Startups to Look out For This Year

Here are the six startups to look out for this year:

  1. Hampton Creek Foods

As one of the world’s fastest growing food startups, Hampton Creek is a company that specializes in a few products, including their widely popular Just Mayo, Just Cookie Dough, and Just Cookies, which use plant-based products in place of eggs. These products are made with wholesome ingredients that are both nutritious yet also incredibly satisfying. Hampton Creek’s mission is worth noting, as they aim to offer consumers healthy yet affordable products. In today’s culture where organic, healthy foods are often twice the price of other ingredients, Hampton is paving a way for all consumers to have a chance at eating something convenient and nutritious without spending an excessive amount of money.

  1. Modern Meadows

This unique company founded by CEO Andras Forgacs, is known for the way in which they process their foods. Modern Meadows is interesting an interesting company, because they are a biotech startup that is making both beef and leather products without harming animals. While there are skeptics behind the idea, as it seems almost too good to be true, Modern Meadows has received funding in order to keep researching this process, as for many, it would be amazing to be able to eat animal products without actually harming them.

  1. Beyond Meat

This startup company, founded by Ethan Brown and Brent Taylor, uses plant-based proteins to make healthy alternatives to traditional meat. Beyond Meat is trying to reduce the world’s dependency upon animal products by offering people viable alternatives, including their chicken-free strips and beef-free crumbles, which are the company’s two most popular products. Nutrition is at the core of their mission, and creating meat alternatives that are still filled with protein shows their dedication to giving consumers feasible options for healthy and protein-filled meals.

  1. Six Foods

This company, founded by Harvard grads, uses insects in their foods, as they have found that insect-based foods are a healthier alternative to other snacks. Their most popular products are their Chirp Chips, which are made with a cricket flour. This alternative to traditional chips is far more sustainable and healthier, as these Chirp Chips have nearly twice as much protein and almost half the amount of fat. Their unusual method has generated quite a bit of interest from critics and proponents alike. The publicity they have received, though, have given them the opportunity to provide consumers with a healthy, albeit unusual, alternative to snacking.

  1. Kite Hill

These artisanal cheese products are non-dairy, giving vegans the opportunity to experience cheese alternatives that are as rich and creamy as the real thing while also offering a nutritious product. Made with either macadamia milk, cashew milk, or almond milk, these vegan cheeses leave the processed products behind by only using all-natural ingredients. This dairy-free alternative allows people the opportunity to have something as tasty as the real thing while also keeping it as natural and nutritious as possible.

  1. UNREAL Candy

This company is creating healthier, more sustainable candy options. Typically, traditional candy bars are filled with corn syrup, other GMO products, and more often than not, gluten. UNREAL Candy, on the other hand, uses ingredients like palm oil and other healthier alternatives to offer consumers a more natural treat.

All of these startup companies are transforming the food industry by offering consumers products that are filled with natural, more nutritious ingredients that to only are healthier alternatives, but also, more often than not, allergy-friendly.

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About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about business and marketing topics on the web.

Make Patrons Feel at Home in Your Restaurant

In order to successfully operate an eatery, you need a number of factors to fall into place.

recipes_smYes, serving up interesting and worthwhile food is certainly right up at the top of the list, but that’s not all it takes to make a go of it.

When you run a restaurant, making your customers feel at home the minute they walk in the door is crucial. If they don’t like the vibe (despite how good the food may be), there’s a 50-50 chance they won’t return.

So, how does your restaurant go about making patrons feel at home?

Market the Little Things

While there is little doubt you must market all the wonderful foods your restaurant offers, it is also important that you show current and potential patrons why they need to keep coming back again and again.

Aside from winning food, make sure you tout:

  • Appearance – From outside your restaurant to the inside, the appearance certainly does matter. Even if your food (and it should be) is nothing short of irresistible, the ambiance of your place must shine too. You should be telling the world about that ambiance, not just waiting for customers to experience it when they walk through the doors. Use your marketing team to promote the inside and outside of your eatery. One way to do this is via Instagram. The site has risen dramatically in popularity over the last couple of years, so your restaurant should definitely have a presence on it. Whether you want to tout your comfy seating conditions inside, lots of room for patrons to maneuver around outside, nice commercial patio furniture, a bar that is second-to-none, the list can go on and on. With the right images, you can tell quite a story using Instagram;
  • ServiceYour restaurant won’t make it too far without stellar customer service. Once again, this should be one of the cornerstones of your marketing brochures and online pursuits. Most patrons will not tolerate bad customer service, so don’t expect it to fly at your eatery. Depending on the circumstances in play, you may have a day or two where the customer service is lagging; might be due to less help available and/or an overwhelming number of eaters coming to your place. Either way, your customer service efforts should always be the best possible. Remember, it just takes a few bad reviews (professionally or by customers themselves) to give your restaurant a bad rap. When your customer service efforts are and even exceed 100 percent, you typically will be able to avoid getting pegged with a bad reputation;
  • PersonalityPart of the dining out experience not only involves good food, it also means a good time. When many patrons are out dining, they like to make it a social experience. In order to accommodate them, it is important that your staff (waiters, waitresses, hosts etc.) exude a positive personality. This is another item that you should demonstrate when marketing your restaurant. Along with Instagram, you can use sites like Facebook, Twitter, even YouTube. With the latter, short 30-60 second videos work well. Take consumers on a whirlwind tour of your restaurant through a well-made video. If they’re regular customers viewing the video, they may not be as swayed by watching, though there’s a good chance they may recommend your eatery to their friends and family. Meantime, potential customers could see your video and decide to give your place a try. While you do not have to spend megabucks shooting the video, don’t go the cheap route either.

Given all the sweat and tears that most restaurant owners put into their establishments, you don’t want to be a flash in the pan.

In order to keep your business humming for years to come, making patrons feel at home is as important as it gets.

Even though it ultimately is the food (good or bad) that will likely determine the outcome of how long you remain open, appearance, service, and having staff members exuding positive personalities go a long way in determining your fate too.

Will patrons feel at home when they come through your front doors? 

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.


Market Your Restaurant as a Holiday Venue

eatoutThe holidays are a busy time of year, which is why more and more families are beginning to dine out when Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around.

If you’re a restaurant owner, this gives you a unique opportunity to offer up a holiday menu via your different marketing methods.

Here are just a few ways you can market your restaurant as a delicious holiday destination….

Spread the Word Ahead of Time

Although dining out on Thanksgiving and Christmas is beginning to catch on, not all families immediately think to do so. That’s why it’s important to start marketing your restaurant as a holiday destination before the holidays actually roll around.

National chains such as Cracker Barrel, Boston Market, and Ruby Tuesdays typically all serve on Thanksgiving.

In order to get hungry customers on their radar, these restaurants start marketing their Thanksgiving hours in early to mid-October.

If your restaurant wants to grab the attention of holiday patrons, then you need to unleash your marketing campaigns well ahead of time.

Don’t wait until there’s only a week or so before the actual holiday – most families will already have their holiday meal plans in place by then.


Offer up Holiday Recipes

It may sound counterintuitive, but your restaurant can also offer up holiday recipes in its marketing campaigns.

As the following article looks at, everyone is looking for ways to make the holidays better with delicious worry-free meals.

By offering up some of your own, you’ll draw attention to your restaurant.

Just make sure you include a call to action with your recipes that mentions the fact your restaurant serves dinner on Thanksgiving and Christmas day.

When customers see this, they’ll immediately reconsider their meal plans and set their sights on your restaurant. It’s a recipe for success!

Put Your Menu in the Spotlight

No matter which marketing route you take, make sure you put your holiday menu in the spotlight.

Whether you’re serving traditional holiday foods like turkey and stuffing or you’re offering a less-traditional menu, putting your menu front and center is beneficial for a number of reasons.

Not only will showcasing your menu in your marketing campaigns make your customers’ mouths water, it will also help them make their dining decision.

Just make sure your menu includes a few dishes that your audience normally wouldn’t find in a homemade meal.

Offer Family Discounts

The holidays are a time for family and offering a family discount at your restaurant will help get customers in the door. This is especially the case for families who are on the fence about dining out on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Whether you offer free buffet meals for kids or an overall discount for families of certain sizes, the right incentive will increase patronage at your restaurant over the holidays.

Using social media to share your discounts and promotions is a wise move, especially considering Facebook and Instagram usage skyrockets over the holidays.


Mention the Benefits of Dining Out

Last but not least, make sure you mention all the benefits of dining out in your marketing campaigns.

Mentioning that no one has to clean any dishes or do any grocery shopping is a huge advantage when entertaining holiday guests. Likewise, hint at the fact that dining out gives home cooks more time to spend with their families.

If you’re going to market your restaurant as a holiday venue, don’t forget the marketing pointers mentioned above.


About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including restaurant marketing and meal preparation.

Serve Up More Profit

foodtruckIf you’re looking to expand your restaurant business, then forget about franchising and start thinking about food trucking.

That’s right, adding a food truck to the menu can help increase profits for your restaurant while also spreading the word about your delicious dishes.

Here are just a few ways a food truck can transform your restaurant:

Food Truck Trend

Established restaurants and startup eateries alike are taking to the streets in droves, which has sky-rocketed the food truck trend.

In fact, according to a market research report by IBIS World, there are more than 4,000 food trucks operating in the United States and that number is expected to increase by 9% in the next five years.

In addition, food trucks in the U.S. employ close to 15,000 employees and service every major city in the country. That results in substantial revenue of more than $800 million a year.

The food truck trend isn’t slowing anytime soon with projected revenues expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2017.

The types of restaurants taking the food truck plunge are both hot and cold sandwich shops, Mexican eateries, and dessert shops.

As the following article looks at, if you’re wondering how a food truck can transform your restaurant business, here are a few benefits of going the food truck route.

They include:

Food On-the-Go

One fact that cannot be ignored about owning a food truck is the ability to take your food anywhere hunger strikes. Whether it’s a festival, a lunch hour hotspot, or a local event, a food truck allows your restaurant to bring its delicious menu items to the masses.

A growing trend among many food truckers is finding and securing a dedicated food truck spot.

For example, a number of food truck owners are making friends with local bar and club owners and posting their eateries right outside the front door in order to cater to the late night crowd.

With a food truck, the location options are endless.

Everywhere Advertising

Food trucks are big and noticeable, which makes them great advertising tools.

You can post the name of your restaurant in big flashy letters on the side of your truck along with your contact information and your brick and mortar locations.

Most food trucks are on the road 5 to 7 days a week, which translates to daily advertising just by getting behind the wheel.

You can also promote any event catering or specialty services you offer right there on the side of your food truck.

Lower Operating Costs

Food trucks have much lower operating costs than a standalone restaurant, which can really make a difference with your profit margin. Initial investments aside, there are no lease or property taxes that go along with a food truck.

Likewise, you don’t have to worry about the utilities costs that go along with running a full-scale restaurant – fuel and propane are usually the only direct operating costs involved.

Additionally, food trucks offer smaller menus, which reduce overhead as well as food waste.

If you’re ready to eat up more profits with your restaurant, then consider getting behind the wheel of a food truck.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including the restaurant industry and food trends.