The National Restaurant Association unveiled new research that shows a substantial number of operators are implementing sustainability best practices into their businesses.

The survey of 1,000 fullservice and quickservice operators found that nearly three quarters of operators recycled used fryer oil, fats and grease. More than six in 10 recycled their cardboard and paper, used compact fluorescent lighting and bought products made of recycled materials. About three in 10 installed faucet aerators to conserve water.

“More operators are looking at ways to increase efficiency – environmentally and fiscally,” said Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs, National Restaurant Association. “Restaurateurs today know a lot more about how sustainability can reduce utility costs and, in some cases, increase profitability.”

Key findings determined that:

  •          74 percent recycled their used fryer oil, fats and grease
  •          66 percent recycled cardboard and paper
  •          63 percent used compact fluorescent lighting
  •          61 percent purchased products made of recycled materials
  •          48 percent installed low-flush toilets or waterless urinals 41 percent purchased products that can be composted
  •          29 percent installed aerators on faucets
  •          22 percent donated leftover food to food banks or similar organizations
  •          17 percent composted food waste

Through its Conserve initiative, the National Restaurant Association provides sustainable tips, tools and best practices for the foodservice industry. Learn more at