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Here’s how UAE restaurants are driving sustainability

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Sustainability in restaurants in the UAE

Image source: WAM

Consultancy Beluga Hospitality says restaurants in the UAE are implementing a range of sustainable initiatives in their outlets, and those opening new locations are now also making sustainability a major part of their design layouts.

Building a more sustainable operation starts with the layout of the kitchen. beluga hospitality A kitchen layout should not only take into account the actions of the chef, but also allow the equipment to breathe.

“Placing ice machines next to ovens wastes more energy and also causes equipment to fail sooner, forcing restaurant owners to invest in new equipment more frequently,” the consultancy said in a research note.

Although restaurants have a significant impact on the environment, the industry has made significant strides in implementing sustainable practices.

Some sustainability practices should be ongoing and can be adopted in operations. There are a number of steps a company can consider when opening a new establishment. These include using high-efficiency appliances in the kitchen, LED bulbs, induction hobs, and installing smart thermostats – all of which will save energy and money.

From an operational standpoint, the UAE has seen a significant reduction in the use of single-use plastics, and an increasing number of restaurants in the country are using eco-friendly packaging. However, Beluga Hospitality says more needs to be done to reduce the cost of biodegradable packaging globally so more restaurants can adopt the practice.

Biodegradable plastics generally require less energy to manufacture and release fewer harmful substances as they degrade than conventional plastics. More biodegradable plastics would also reduce landfill waste, which is typically burned, producing more chemicals that are released into the environment. The downside, however, is that it’s more expensive to manufacture, and as more restaurants and businesses switch to biodegradable packaging, industry experts expect prices to drop.

Emirati restaurants are also taking advantage of sustainability-focused menus. These menus source produce locally where possible, reduce waste, and often showcase more plant-based menu options. Sourcing local ingredients not only supports local farmers, but also has a significant impact as food is no longer transported by plane, truck or boat, reducing the carbon footprint of these items on the menu.

The UAE is at the forefront of sustainable development and while many restaurants are adopting sustainable practices to reduce their environmental impact, there is more work to be done to protect our planet for future generations.

With the COP28 climate summit taking place in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December, environmental concerns continue to heat up and more and more businesses across industries are increasingly adopting sustainability initiatives to reduce their environmental footprint.

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