The Small Business Trends website has listed the move towards more eco-friendly restaurant franchises as one of the top ten franchise trends for 2009. The article by Joel Libava discusses the ever-increasing trend towards restaurants aiming towards LEED certification but also discusses an unusual green implementation at a Florida Dunkin Donuts.
“This store also has an on-site Solar Powered Earthworm Casting facility that houses 80 pounds of red earthworms that are “employed” to eat some of the store’s waste products like coffee grounds and some of the paper products.” Source: Small Business Trends
Eighty pounds – that is a lot of earthworms. I wonder if the Solar Powered Earthworm Casting facility earned the building a point in the LEED Innovation in Design category.
Dunkin Donuts is not the only LEED certified franchise location in the United States. McDonald’s is part of the LEED Retail Pilot Program and its Savannah, Georgia location was awarded LEED Gold certification in 2005.
Sustainable franchises are not limited to the big name, international restaurants. Fort Lauderdale-based Pizza Fusion is a franchise that was created with the environment in mind.
“From delivering our food in company owned hybrid vehicles and offsetting 100% of our power consumption with the purchase of renewable wind energy certificates to building LEED certified restaurants, we are committed to being a leader in not only the pizza industry, but in a better quality of life. Through our spirited philosophy and principled leadership, Pizza Fusion will redefine the fast casual restaurant industry. “Source: Pizza Fusion
As attention to the environment goes from being a trend to being commonplace, innovations like the recycling earthworms used at Dunkin Donuts and the sustainable pizza franchise will become universal.