As national awareness of environmental responsibility grows, so has that of the business sector — notably the restaurant industry. In fact, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) estimates that 82% of the country’s restaurants now participate in recycling and sustainability efforts, with an eye on continuously implementing new practices that will help them operate more efficiently in ways that also benefit the environment.

In response, the NRA has created Conserve, a program that helps restaurant owners, operators, chefs, employees, and even their guests, explore and learn how to put sustainable practices into action. Conserve provides information and resources to guide restaurants in creating their own sustainability plans as well as strategies to conserve energy, reduce waste and recycle, save on water usage, operate fryers efficiently and more.

“A program like Conserve is an invaluable educational and strategic resource,” says Michael Mintz, CEO of Waste Cost Solutions. “Restaurants can achieve a number of measurable benefits for themselves and for others by creating and following a plan to implement responsible recycling and sustainability practices.”

As an example, Mintz cites the NRA’s 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast, which states that approximately seven out of 10 restaurateurs chose to track food waste as a way of developing strategies to deal with rising food costs. He says that efforts toward reducing food and packaging waste are simple changes that can improve both the bottom line and the environment.

“Food and packaging waste reduction help to lower operating costs for a restaurant. But these efforts also contribute to making the surrounding community cleaner and cut down on the quantity of materials that end up in local landfills,” he explains. “It’s crucial that restaurants and foodservice companies create and implement a plan to combat the rising costs of food, fuel and other necessary services. At the same time, this plan can do good things for the community.”

Would you like to learn exactly what steps your restaurant or foodservice company can take to reduce, recycle and become more sustainable? Waste Cost Solutions will work with you to design a customized sustainability plan or improve your existing program: call 1.800.509.5399 or email