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Seeking to strengthen their bottom lines, increase the value of their business and minimize their impact on the environment, more restaurateurs are seeking out and incorporating sustainable practices into their food service operations.

From state and local energy and agricultural policies, to food waste and packaging restrictions, it is important for restaurant operators to understand the issues that impact the profitability of their business.

RAMW works with a number of businesses which can help you better understand these issues, help you build sustainability into your existing operations and provide food waste management solutions.

Boost Profits With Energy Efficiency

February 26, 2014
Restaurants consume five to seven times more energy than other businesses. From long operating hours to energy-intensive food preparation, it’s easy to see why restaurants use such a high amount of energy. Unfortunately, this means that restaurants also waste more energy than a typical business. In fact, according to Pacific Gas and Electric, the food service industry wastes around $8 billion in energy every year. In the District, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) offers rebates on everything from energy-efficient stoves and fryers to refrigeration and HVAC upgrades that can...

Maryland Buyer-Grower Expo To Be Held On January 22, 2014

December 27, 2013
The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will host a wholesale local food trade show on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. The purpose of this Expo is to provide an opportunity for Maryland growers, producers, and processors to connect with buyers from grocery retailers, restaurants, schools, institutions, and other venues. The Registration deadline to be included in the 2014 Directory is January 7, 2014 In 2013, there were more than 300 registrants, including produce farmers, artisan cheese and ice cream producers, beef and bison farmers, grocery store representatives, chefs, school nutrition...Read more

DC Green Financial Incentives

October 20, 2013
The Sustainable DC Plan is the District’s first sustainability plan that lays out a path forward to make the District the healthiest, greenest, most livable city in the nation over the next 20 years. In the summer of 2011, Mayor Gray announced a new initiative to make DC a leader in sustainability, while improving quality of life and creating new economic growth for all residents. Nearly 18 months later, with the collaboration and hard work of residents, workers, business leaders and professional experts, the District has a strategy to address our core urban challenges with innovative,...

Washington Gas Rebates Give Virginia Restaurants a Break

October 17, 2013
Every restaurant could use a break. Cook one up for your restaurant in the form of a Washington Gas rebate. The Washington Gas Energy Efficiency Program is offering restaurants in Virginia substantial rebates on select natural gas products. Products include ovens, steam cookers, water heaters, programmable thermostats, infrared heaters and more. These rebates are only available for a limited time. Product installations must be performed by a licensed contractor before April 30, 2014. A full list of eligible products, corresponding rebates and more details are available at WashingtonGasRebates...

DC Proposes Ban on Styrofoam Food Containers

October 10, 2013
Michael Neibauer , Washington Business Journal Mayor Vincent Gray has proposed banning foam food containers in the District, citing their harmful effect on the Anacostia River. The measure is part of a package of bills Gray recently submitted to the D.C. Council as part of his effort to “make the District of Columbia the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States,” the mayor wrote in a letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. The legislation bans “expanded polystyrene” in food containers, plates, clamshells, hot and cold beverage cups, meat...

Application Period Now Open for 2014 Mayor's Sustainability Award

October 9, 2013 to March 14, 2014
The Mayor's 2014 Sustainability Awards will recognize outstanding individuals, businesses, schools, institutions, and organizations for their environmental leadership and contributions to the Mayor's vision that the District become the greenest, healthiest, and most livable city in the nation. To apply, please read, complete, and return the application instructions and cover sheet below. Application deadline is Friday, March 14, 2014 . Application Instructions

How Do Electricity Costs Impact Your Budget?

October 1, 2013
Business owners can reduce operating costs by evaluating energy expenses. A new report, Best Practices: Electricity Procurement , discusses the major impact that electricity costs have on middle-market operating budgets. View the report for information and best practices regarding how to select the right electricity supplier, what to consider before signing a contract, and which hidden items impact your final electricity bill. You can also benchmark your energy usage and costs, and become better equipped to make smart energy-related decisions. View the report .

Exemptions Proposed to Montgomery County's Bag Tax

June 30, 2013
Michelle Basch, WTOP Nearly a year and a half after Montgomery County's 5-cent bag tax took effect, a public hearing was held Tuesday night to consider possible tweaks. A bill being considered by the Montgomery County Council would scale back the tax so it only applies to food stores. A food store would be defined as any retail store where food makes up more than 2 percent of gross sales by dollar value. The bill would make takeout food bags exempt from the tax. Read more:

Follow the Rules: What does "Recycled" Mean to You? New Guide Requires Precision

February 28, 2013
Scott Attman, Acme Paper & Supply Co. for Franchise Times Now that the Federal Trade Commission’s new Green Guides are in effect, restaurant industry and other franchisors can expect big changes in several elements of their business. For starters, marketers who pitch products as environmentally friendly have to back up their claims or face fines. If the FTC finds product marketing misleading, it will begin filing suits against the companies in question, just as it does for health claims made by food manufacturers. Precise verbiage in product descriptions will be important, but there...

Bag Tax FAQs

January 1, 2010
BAG TAX FAQs Q. When do I have to start charging $.05 for bags? A. You should be charging for bags NOW…and starting January 1, 2010. Q. Do I have to charge for all carry out bags? A. If you have a restaurant business license (e.g. not a deli or grocery license) and you provide seating you are exempt from charging for paper bags ONLY. You must charge for any other type of disposable carry out bag, other than a Wine Doggie Bag. Q. With all the talk about paper and plastic, what about biodegradable and compostable bags that are neither paper nor plastic? A. Under the definitions of the...Read more