Five simple ways to make your bar sustainable
If you want to be part of 2018’s biggest trend then you need to turn eco-warrior.
In the consumer world, “Green is the new black," according to Forbes. "Rising concerns about climate change and environmental sustainability will impact affluent consumers, particularly millennials.”
Survey Monkey tells us that one in three consumers now prefer eco-friendly options. And the hospitality industry is no stranger to this demand, with many bars now opting to find more eco-friendly options for running their business.
But how exactly can bars become more sustainable? Here’s our top 5 tips:
1. Repurposing produce
It's time to get smarter when it comes to produce. As well as using seasonal ingredients, bars are creating menus that includes drinks which can utilise the whole food item.
The Void Bar at MONA, in Tasmania grow and forage for ingredients to make cordials, liqueurs, shrubs and bitters. Leftover fruit pulp is then turned into leathers for cocktail garnishes, sorbets and granita.
Others are boosting their produce by sharing with the kitchen and working with chefs to alter the menu, reflecting the availability of produce. “Every bar goes through so many egg whites and the yolks get thrown out – they should go straight into the kitchen,” bars manager, Kurtis Bosley, told Hospitality Magazine.
Some bars have done away with fresh produce altogether and reinvented the structure of cocktails. White Lyan in London’s East End have created citrus acid powders and vinegars to substitute fresh fruit, lessening their wastage.
To make the most out of your produce, equip yourself with a zester, peeler and juicer to ensure you’re using every last pip.
2. Reduce your waste
In terms of produce, lots of bars have started composting. Some even donate compost their local community gardens if they aren’t growing produce on site.
But when it comes to wastage in general, one reduction method we know a lot about is investing in good quality pourers and jiggers. This will give you less overpour, fewer spills and therefore less wasted liquor.
3. Close the loop - or in other words DIY
Using produce in smart ways means less product waste and Sydney bar, Charlie Parker’s make their own soda (amongst a lot of their other innovative produce usage), removing a lot of their glass wastage.
How about making your own bitters (and then using our reusable glass bottles to store it)?
4. Check your suppliers
There are so many more sustainable options when it comes to your supply chain now. If you have to have paper napkins, pick the recycled ones like Tasmanian bar Society Salamanca, who have also started a bottle exchange program with their suppliers.
“Like many bars, we audited our waste and found glass to be the overwhelming majority,” they told Australian Bartender. The program decreases bottle stock for both parties.
It's important too to think more carefully about some of the cheaper tools you supply your bar with too – tools with a sturdier construction or modular replacement parts, like the Überbartools ProFlow speed pourer or ProCrush muddler, with replacement heads.
5. Get those single use plastics gone
One of the most clear cut ways to improve sustainability is follow in fast food giant, McDonald’s. Australian footsteps – ban those plastic straws – check out our blog on 5 million reasons why you want to do this... and then remove plastic picks too. While you could use compostable straws – for high end cocktails we think that stainless steel straws and picks are more elegant.
Think your customers won’t embrace sustainability? Fraser Brown of the Sherwood, Queenstown has some innovative ideas on sustainability behind the bar and he reckons customers will love it. As he said to Australian Bartender:
“sit there and explain to them the nuts and bolts of what you just did, and it will totally change their mind. Then you sell them three more.”
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Usually ROI should be measured by the costs of “doing something” versus the “value” delivered.
When implementing a cost cutting program, it’s so important to conduct a 360 degree examination of impacts and consequences before implementation is considered.