Five Commonly Overlooked Areas Where Restaurants Can Improve Sustainability

  Five Commonly Overlooked Areas Where Restaurants Can Improve Sustainability

  Strategies for reducing waste and improving product lifecycles from Cintas

Business Wire

CINCINNATI -- April 19, 2013

Identified by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) as a top trend for
2013, sustainability continues to rank high on the list of what consumers
expect most from restaurants. From locally sourced food to recyclable and
compostable products, many quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are looking for
innovative strategies to build their sustainability story. To help owners and
operators reduce waste, water and energy use this Earth Day, April 22, Cintas
Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) today identified five commonly overlooked areas
where restaurants can improve their commitment to sustainability.

“As an industry that’s been criticized for waste and excess, many restaurants
want to limit their environmental footprint,” said Ann Nickolas, Senior
Director of Foodservice, Cintas. “However, sustainability goes far beyond
serving food from a rooftop garden or local farmer – it requires a collective
effort between the front and back of the house.”

The top five most overlooked areas for sustainability improvements include:

1.Restrooms. Let’s face it – restroom maintenance is often an afterthought
    for many QSRs. However, an ongoing restroom maintenance program that keeps
    surfaces clean from build-up extends the life of fixtures and dispensing
    units and can prevent landfill waste. In addition, metered air fresheners,
    soap and towel dispensers limit the amount of product guests use, which
    reduces waste.
2.Floor care. To reduce water and energy use, implement programs to protect
    and maintain floors. According to the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), mats
    that extend six to 15 feet inside an entryway will trap 80 percent of soil
    and moisture before it is tracked into the building. In addition, an
    effective matting program that protects entryways and transitional areas
    will limit the transfer of internal contaminants, such as dirt from the
    kitchen into the dining room areas. This reduces water and energy waste
    because floors stay in better condition and require less maintenance. It
    also offsets carpet or floor replacement.
3.Strategic sourcing. By streamlining vendors, restaurants can limit
    transportation, shipping, energy and paper waste. By communicating
    sustainability goals with the vendor, you can find further ways to reduce
    your environmental impact. In addition, strategic sourcing is an effective
    strategy for reducing cost, since it optimizes spend by better integrating
    suppliers into the purchasing process.
4.Towels and wipes. While sanitizing wipes may be a quick way to keep hard
    surfaces clean throughout a restaurant, they aren’t the most sustainable
    option and can contribute to excess landfill waste. Consider alternatives
    to disposables such as microfiber wipes, which can be laundered and
    re-used many times, extending the product lifecycle and diverting products
    from the waste stream Microfiber wipes also reduce up to 98 percent of
    bacteria from the surface, thereby improving food safety efforts.
5.Cleaning chemicals. Many foodservice operators purchase cleaning chemicals
    in ready-to-use form, which creates unnecessary packaging, transportation
    and waste. Using a package-free chemical top-off service ensures chemicals
    are always available, and reduces waste associated with storing chemicals
    or improperly diluting chemical concentrates. Using Green Seal or Design
    for the Environment (DfE) certified chemicals also limit the amount of
    caustic materials released into the environment.

“Too often, restaurants look at food sourcing when considering sustainable
options and neglect to review the full operational picture,” added Nickolas.
“From restrooms to stock areas, there are several additional strategies
restaurants can implement to improve their environmental profile.”

For more information on Cintas’ sustainable solutions for foodservice, please
visit www.cintas.com/foodservice.

About Cintas:

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized
services to businesses of all types primarily throughout North America. Cintas
designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and
provides entrance mats, restroom cleaning and supplies, tile and carpet
cleaning, promotional products, first aid, safety, fire protection products
and services and document management services for more than 1 million
businesses. Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq Global
Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of the Standard &
Poor’s 500 Index.

Contact:

Mulberry Marketing Communications
Andi Vance, (513) 762-5549
avance@mulberrymc.com