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From Trash to Treasure: How to Repurpose Old Restaurant Supplies

Recycled Spoon Coat RackGetting Organized

  • Any type of cup with a handle can be mounted to the wall and with an S-hook attachment can become a unique utensil holder or flatware organizer.
  • ƒƒ There are multiple uses for Cambro food storage containers, most of which keep you and your staff organized. Check out our recent blog post to learn how: 100 Ways to Use a Cambro Storage Container!
  • ƒƒ Need hooks to hang pots and pans in the kitchen, a coat rack in the dining room or for personal belongings under the bar? Try serving spoons & flatware! Just bend the utensil into the desired shape.
  • ƒƒ Having trouble finding the correct o-ring for your stick mixer? Muffin tins are perfect for keeping track of replacement parts! By labeling each tin & educating your staff, quick & easy repairs can be made in a flash!

Chalkboard Wine BottleUpcycled Decorations

  • Repurpose old wine bottles by turning them into table tents. All you need is chalkboard spray paint! This creative flair is sure to get people talking!
  • Cups and glasses are perfect centerpieces on tables for floating candles or displaying fresh cut flowers!
  • ƒƒFunnels, sieves and other containers were also found to make beautiful plant holders – think about growing fresh herbs too.
  • ƒƒPots worn out? Clean and then spray paint them for a cost effective way to make buffet risers, wine buckets & beverage tubs!

Wall Made Out of Pallet WoodBold Walls, Ceilings & Bars

  • Saved up all of those wine corks, but have no idea what to do with them? Frankly Wines in Tribeca, New York decorated an entire wall out of them.
  • Use wooden crates? That wood makes amazing wall art, but more importantly, can be used to cover entire ceilings, walls and even floors! That’s right- create a small stage out of wooden crates and start hosting occasional live music!
  • Glass is probably the most popularly reused item for walls, ceilings and bars. The bonus? They help with acoustic sound!
  • Plastic? You bet! One of our favorite walls was made out of water bottles. That got us thinking about all of the other plastic wall possibilities – hmmm.

Pallet Wood ShelvingSpeaking of Pallets

  • Pallets can be cut down and stained to make a beautiful wine rack. Bonus, the shelving is low enough to still show off those enticing wine labels.
  • Take out some of the slats and hang the pallet on the wall for shelving. This is a great way to showcase the history of your restaurant starting with the first framed dollar spent in your establishment.
  • Stained different colors, and cut into different sizes, we found beautiful wall art that would look great in any restaurant.
  • Indoor gardening goes well with pallets, and helps restaurants bring in the outdoors, while adding to the décor.

Whisk LightsUnique Lighting

  • Make light fixtures out of old glassware, including chandeliers, track lighting and pendant lights.
  • Think about using old wine bottles and beer bottles for setting the mood at your tables. Flower vases are also an effective way to repurpose the colorful glass!
  • ƒƒHow about an old sieve, funnel or whisk, we found some very interesting light fixtures repurposing these kitchen items.
  • Did someone say wire guard? Not only does this protect your globes from breakage, we’ve also seen restaurants use them as modern light fixtures throughout the dining room and in bathrooms where maximum light is desired.

PinterestWant to see how others have pulled these ideas together, plus many more like these?  Visit our Repurposing Restaurant Supplies board on Pinterest!

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How To Save On Toilet Paper & Other Paper Products

Americans use nearly 8 million tons of toilet paper a year! It’s no wonder toilet-paper manufacturers are plying consumers with more sheets, more layers, and even the added sanitation of wet wipes. As a restaurant owner or food service manager have you ever wondered if switching to green paper products is one area where you can save money?

Paper Product Waste

The claims that forests are being destroyed to make toilet paper, facial tissue, paper towels, and other disposable paper products. Seems a bit extreme, right? Whether you agree or disagree with this statement we can all agree that rethinking the way your restaurant buys and uses paper products helps your restaurant save money, as well as the environment. Using less paper helps trim your bottom line through cost-cutting and efficiency, while a restaurant recycling program can generate positive publicity for your business, giving your customers one more reason to dine at your restaurant.

Decrease Your Carbon Footprint With These Buying Tips

  1. Buy paper products with recycled content: Look for products with high recycled content, including post-consumer content. Post-consumer fibers are recovered from paper that was previously used by consumers and would otherwise be dumped into a landfill.
  2. Purchase paper products made from clean manufacturing processes: Traditional paper products are bleached to make them whiter and brighter, but the chlorine that is used in this process contribute to the formation of harmful chemicals that wind up in the air and water, and are highly toxic to people and fish. Key terms to look for when shopping for these items:
    1. TCF: Totally Chlorine-Free
    2. PCF: Processed Chlorine-Free.

The STATS Are In

  • If every box of virgin facial tissues was replaced with a 100% recycled box, 163,000 trees would be saved.
  • If just one roll of virgin toilet paper was replaced with a 100% recycled roll, 423,900 trees would be saved.
  • If just one roll of virgin paper towels was replaced with a 100% recycled roll, 544,000 trees would be saved.
  • If just one package of virgin napkins was replaced with 100% recycled ones, 1,000,000 trees would be saved.

*According to the

Save Your Restaurant Money – Starting Today

  • Invest in one-at-a-time napkin dispensers – helps customers take only what they need.
  • Install hand dryers in restrooms – this eliminates the need for paper towels.
  • Stock bathrooms with only enough toilet paper for one day – you don’t want your back stock disappearing!
  • Consider going digital with receipts.
  • Implement a recycling program to cut-down on unneeded waste.
  • Buy paper products in bulk.

Making small changes, like buying 100% PCF [processed chlorine free] paper products, is not only affordable, but takes up to 45% less energy to produce than traditional paper products.

Going green around your restaurant can go beyond just paper products. Investing in CFL or LED lights may cost a little more up front, but will last much longer than traditional light bulbs. Do you have outdated equipment in your kitchen? Manufactures offer energy star rated equipment pieces that will run much more efficiently.

We understand running a restaurant is expensive, but making a few changes can add dollars to your bottom line.

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