Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Carbon Footprint:

Restaurants having to contend with labor shortages, recessions, lower traffic counts, can now add carbon footprint to their to-do list. The process of bringing a meal to a table requires the expenditure of energy that pollutes the planet. The concept of carbon footprint seeks to identify and then mitigate as much of the footprint as possible.

Produce from Chile is fine however it most likely requires more energy to deliver than local produce. Since the energy in the production is also factored into the equation, it becomes quite a challenge to determine which process actually produces the smallest footprint. What building materials are used in the construction and maintenance of your restaurant? How is the restaurant heated or cooled? How much energy does the restaurant use on a daily basis in preparing and delivering the menu?

I do not have any ready answers, however you will need to start having discussions with your staff, purveyors, suppliers, landlords, architects and customers about the carbon footprint of your restaurant.