When you think “fast food,” chances are “environmentally friendly” and “energy efficient” aren’t the first phrases that pop into your head.

Freshii’s changing that. Fast.

The franchise, which operates over 60 stores in Canada, the US and internationally, emphasizes “healthy, tasty fast food,” including salads, wraps and bowls with a variety of fresh, whole-food toppings and flavours.

Along with its focus on healthier food, Freshii also takes several steps to reduce its restaurants’ environmental impact. These include:

  • Adjusting its menu to eliminate the need for ranges, hoods and ovens
  • Preparing meals using a shakable, biodegradable bag, making dishwashers unnecessary—and saving more than $6,000 per store in utility costs annually
  • Using take-out packaging made largely of biodegradable vegetable starches
  • Building stores smaller to reduce energy consumption

According to Freshii spokesperson Claudio Ferreira, “Freshii…[has] taken great lengths…to break the less than environmentally and nutritionally friendly habits of the fast-food industry.”

So what can you learn from Freshii’s example? Even if you can’t eliminate your oven or dishwasher completely, consider these ideas (all of which, Freshii tells us, the franchise does):

  • Make deliveries by walking or biking where possible
  • Use online ordering or smartphone apps to reduce paper use
  • Offer customers a discount for bringing their own reusable utensils, bowls and cups
  • Use eco-friendly cleaning products
  • Invest in sustainable packaging for take-out orders

Do you have any suggestions for helping to green your restaurant? Leave a comment and let us know.

Image credit: Freshii