Career as a Restaurant Sustainability Consultant
Restaurant Consultants assist restaurant owners or managers on running the business more efficiently and profitably. Consultants are typically hired as contractors by the owners and are non-full time employees of a restaurant.
Now let’s add the sustainability component to your consulting job description – when preparing for a career as a Sustainability consultant you would add another role to your job – how to incorporate green sustainable practices in the restaurant operations and developing customized best practices policies suited to the restaurants needs. Sustainability consultants have an important and socially responsible role to promote sustainable practices in businesses and show them that they can considerably improve their bottom line with energy efficiency and resource conservation.
Overall a very satisfying career – your contribution in conserving resources and reducing the environmental impact is a positive contribution toward reducing greenhouse emissions, overall improved environment and of course – promoting healthy food choices.
Required or expected Education
- A bachelors degree in environmental sciences
- Having a management degree in hospitality industry could be to your advantage.
- MBA related to sustainability
- Or relevant experience and expertise in the industry
Salary Range - $65,000 to $90,000 and more is a possibility.
Role and Responsibilities
Sustainability consultants support clients (restaurant owners)
Can cover but not limited to:
- In general: Supporting compliance, operational efficiency and sustainability initiatives.
- Providing clients with energy usage analysis, greenhouse gas emissions information, sustainable material buying, local food buying best practices and sustainability action plans.
- Assisting your clients in conserving resources, reducing waste and material and overall reducing the environmental impact of the restaurants’ operation.
- LEED restaurant development
- Support or complete the process of green restaurant certification
- Informing clients on making sustainable food choices for a healthier or organic menu
- Developing zero-waste programs
- Helping restaurants achieve or maintain their Conditionally Exempt Small-Quantity Generator (CESQG) status
- Offer sustainability tips and latest industry news to their clients which can be helpful in furthering the best practices
- Guidance or training to employees on sustainable practices
Greening of the restaurant industry is a trend that’s here to stay and restaurant sustainability consultants would see an increase in demand in the coming years.
- Work independently as a consultant for restaurants.
- Join Green Restaurant Association in their consulting team.
- Join some independent consulting firm engaged in sustainable consulting offering to clients. This gives you a wider experience since you can also use your consulting services in non-foodservices area.
Where to Look for Jobs for Restaurant Sustainability Consultants?
It is not very common to find many such jobs floating around – as always what matters is how you present your personal brand, even with little experience what is required is how you can help create a job for yourself. Even though working as a sustainability consults for a restaurant maybe your dream job, keep other options open to work in sustainability area for other companies and use your experience of a couple of years to enter the restaurant industry.
- LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter could also be good starting point essentials for those who are well into social network. Look up the profiles of those who have “been there done that” in this field. They could be an important information resource to know how to get your foot in this industry or ask for referrals – don’t be shy to ask them to be your mentor. People love to help if they have time and also when asked appropriately.
- Join Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) which is a premier association promoting professionalism in foodservice and hospitality consulting.
Also, instead of finding out who’s hiring your first step probably should to find out WHY these restaurants interested in integrating sustainable practices? Is it for cost reduction, greening their operations, conserving resources, increasing profitability – the answer could well be all of the above. Work toward presenting a case or portfolio where you can help these restaurants with a study, analysis, example or just your passion in achieving these goals. Even with no previous experience there are quite a few tools available online which you can easily master or present to your clients with examples on instant ROI calculations and increased savings calculations as a result of sustainable initiatives. Some tools, web apps can also help you here – more information below.
Websites and Applications helping Sustainability Consultants
- Dinegreen.com – Green Restaurant Association website which helps restaurants in Environmental Assessment, Environmental Consulting, Green Certification and Green Public Relations and Marketing.
- 500gallons.com is a new start-up in the growing field of restaurant sustainability. Encouraging sustainable actions and behavior change, this website can be of immense value to a restaurant sustainability consultant with an easy to use web application: “Use the site for research, customizing the results and informing your customers about the “green steps” that can help reduce their carbon footprints or add to overall operational savings. You also have access to the latest eco-friendly and energy efficient products and equipment in the marketplace which can help achieve sustainability goals for your restaurant clients.”
Using such tools to research and confirm the restaurants sustainable actions you can help market restaurants better – bringing sustainability, profitability and attracting customer loyalty at the same time!