Every year after Remembrance Day, the Canadian retail world’s festive elves transform major malls and stores into a holiday heaven where Santa can showcase products from his workshop.

With companies in dire need to book their holiday parties last minute, restaurants also receive a festive rush of seasonal business. Today we have a magical How To filled with great ways to make it through the yuletide season in a sustainable and energy efficient fashion.

Here’s to holiday lighting

To give your restaurant that warm festive feeling, decorate your hostess stand and bar with ENERGY STAR qualified LED light strings that will save you up to 70 per cent in energy. Whether you opt for the multi-colour or plain white strings, LED lights are eco-friendly, safer and brighter than the old traditional strings.

It’s also completely appropriate to dim your lights and put out candles. T’is the season to enjoy electricity savings in your restaurant.

Consider a holiday menu

Opt for seasonal or local products on a special holiday menu. Stews and soups are popular during the holidays — sit down with your head chef and come up with seasonal sustainable menu items that will both please guests, save food costs and reduce waste.

Draw a curtain (and ditch the draft)

Depending on the layout of your restaurant, some doors bring in nasty drafts with the entrance of guests. A thick, festive curtain can help this issue and save your restaurant from any unnecessary additions to your heating bill.

Cut down on the cubes

When it’s cold outside, people are significantly less demanding when it comes to extra ice cubes in their beverages. Folks tend to opt for hot beverages and even red wine (which is served at room temperature — so no cooling costs spent there!) Set your ice machine to make the right amount of ice for your restaurant — this will help with both energy efficiency and water conservation.  Extra tip: get your staff to suggestive sell red wine — this will benefit everyone as it’s more money in your pocket, more money in the server’s pocket and the guest will be pleased as well!

Spread the spirit

During the holiday season, host shift meetings that encourage the staff to go [red and] green. The best way to promote sustainability and energy efficiency in your restaurant is to educate the staff about what you’re doing and having them participate in the efforts. Instead of dropping off a stack of disposable napkins, have them ask guests if they’d like extra napkins. For staff beverages, have them avoid using plastic straws and have reusable glasses designated for their own use. Make sure they understand how recycling works — there wheres and hows of disposing things properly (let’s be honest, common sense is far from common).

But, like everyone else, you will have to hear countless covers of Christmas songs. We can’t help you there.

For businesses that are doing all they can to maximize their energy efficiency, we have rebates and incentives.


Image credit: Hotels Collection