Sustainability initiatives can not only help save natural resources, but they can also help operators save money, says National Restaurant Association director of sustainability policy and government affairs Laura Abshire.

There are innovations geared towards making food service establishments (including bakeries) greener, and thus more cost-effective.

“Sustainability can be a great way to save costs in your restaurant,” Abshire said at the N.R.A. Show in Chicago. “One of the things we are seeing a lot is the tracking of inventory.”

In the N.R.A.’s 2016 survey of top menu trends, environmental sustainability ranked highly, as did “locally sourced meats and seafood” and “locally grown produce”.

Technology is also helping owners get a handle on energy and water costs by using both more efficiently.

“If you can get your energy bills down and your water bills down — there are a lot of technologies out there to help you do that — you can really save on your bottom line,” Abshire said.