Water saving changes for hotels, restaurants

February 22, 2008 11:05:47 AM PST
In Wake County, hotels and restaurants are working on water-saving changes to try and do their part. But some restaurant owners say there's a delicate balance between cutting back and the bottom line.

With the threat of Falls Lake going dry this summer local restaurants are doing their part to try and change their behavior in a big way. Greg Aardal with the Angus Barn explains, "It's the 11th hour. We all must come together to improve the situation."

Friday, representatives from the 1100 restaurants and 125 hotels in Wake County hashed out a list of "best practices" the industries should work toward in an effort to conserve.

Among the ideas considered during the meetings:

  • Letting frozen food thaw overnight or in the fridge rather than using water to do right out of the freezer.
  • Using water-free microbial cleaning solution for floors.
  • And switching to vinyl or paper tablecloths to cut back on laundry.

Dennis Edwards, head of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau admits some of the bigger conservation efforts may fall short. A major overhaul like installing all new toilets or showerheads in a hotel with hundreds of rooms isn't cheap.

"Changing a handle on a toilet may be relatively easy, I think low-flow may be something that they do during a renovation per se," Edwards said.

Restaurants are facing switching to paper plates. It sounds as though the industry will do that if it's mandated, but don't expect too many places to go that route voluntarily. Edwards explains, "We have to be really be careful from a customer service standpoint of how far can we push it."

Aardal adds, "We're not necessarily wanting to serve a very nice meal on a paper plate, but if it comes to that, we're there."


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