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Serve Up Savings Straight From Your Bar

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Serve Up Savings Straight From Your Bar

Serve Up Savings Straight From Your Bar
December 16
22:32 2014

What follows is a quick overview on how you can run your bar sustainably while reducing food waste, energy consumption, water usage and more.

Food waste

If you’re experiencing significant volumes of food waste through leftover food, consider reducing portion sizes or offering items such as side salads on request. Since 1st January 2014 most businesses which produce over 50kg of food waste per week have had to present food waste for separate collection, in order to comply with the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012. (5kg – 50kg per week are exempt until 1st January 2016).

Furniture reuse

When refitting the restaurant, reduce landfill by donating unwanted furniture to a reuse organisation or charity. This also reduces virgin materials being used in the production of new items.


Ensure TVs are turned off at their plug socket at closing time or when not required. Leaving a TV in standby mode can potentially consume up to 40% of the energy required when fully operational.


Make sure the till is turned off overnight to save energy. Ensure that all equipment is maintained at regular intervals; correctly functioning machinery will waste less energy.

Environmental policy

Displaying your business’s environmental policy promotes a commitment to comply with legislation and to manage the environmental effects of your operations. This helps guide your staff and encourages them to take environmentally responsible actions in their everyday work.

Pumps and pipes

Ensure pumps and pipes are cleaned regularly; partially blocked pipes can result in equipment working poorly. Keep track of your water use by measuring consumption and check for leaks overnight by reading your meter at the end of one day and the beginning of the next.


Replace bulbs with energy efficient, compact fluorescent lamps and slimline tubes. These can typically make immediate savings on your lighting bill of 50% and last ten times longer. Ensure lighting controls are clearly labelled with good signage, especially if grouped together.

Responsible sourcing

Where practicable, consider waste disposal prior to purchasing new stock. Challenge suppliers on packaging and request packaging take-back.

Heating and ventilation

Non-essential heating and ventilation equipment should always be switched off when not required. Use temperature control sensors to control output.


Heating your restaurant is expensive. Ensure the door is kept closed except when in use to help maintain the temperature. Invest in an automatic closing mechanism if one is not already installed. The fitting of draught excluders will also help to prevent heat loss, improve comfort and cut costs.

Glass washers

Washers can use considerable amounts of hot water, detergent and rinse aids, so use them only when fully loaded. Try to find the minimum temperature that provides satisfactory cleaning.

Water minimisation

Retro-fit devices to taps to reduce water usage and save money. Fitting a tap aerator, at a cost of £5/tap, could result in water and sewerage cost savings of £13 per tap per year. Ensure maintenance is carried out regularly; soap deposits or scale build-up can cause tap mechanisms to jam, resulting in taps dripping and subsequent water loss.


When patrons order drinks, give them the opportunity to refill their glasses. This will reduce water and energy usage as a result of fewer glasses being washed. Use glass recycling bins for used bottles and ensure your employees are trained to be in the habit of recycling.


If refrigerators and ice machines aren’t required daily, they should be switched off. Modern ice machines may be switched off overnight without significant change of temperature. Ensure all refrigerated food, drink and display cabinets are adequately insulated. Door seals should be checked and, where necessary, replaced. If any units are over ten years old, consider replacing them with more energy-efficient models.

Visit or call free on 0808 808 2268 for staff training guides, inspirational case studies and practical tools.




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Catering Scotland

Catering Scotland

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