An integral part of green restaurants planning is taking advantage of the latest in technology and factoring in certain consumer attitudes. Recent findings on sustainability trends and eco surveys suggest that solar energy and the customer pocketbook will have the most impact on your foodservice and restaurant operation being green this year. According to Dan Probst, Chairman of Energy and Sustainability Services, with Jones Lang LaSalle in Environmental Leader: “Four Sustainability Trends to Watch in 2012 include Transparency, Global Consistency, Public/Private Collaboration and Focus on Solar Energy. Interest in solar energy continues to grow as payback periods grow shorter and fossil fuel costs continue to rise.” This will also provide more alternative energy uses for green restaurants in sun rich areas, such as the South and Southwest parts of the United States. At the same time, how to create an energy efficient restaurant for your company should also consider that 20 Years of Eco-Surveys Show Americans Know More, Feel Less Empowered and not overlook this fact: “The Pocketbook Rules: Economics can be powerful driver to impact behavior change when it comes to the environment, at least if it means people may gain or lose money. Nearly half (49 percent) of survey respondents said a financial reward or penalty is a major influence on his or her behavior to help the environment.” The sustainable restaurant advice here is that energy efficiency savings or discounts featured in your pricing and promotions will have the most impact in attracting customers with green values. Have ideas and tips for green restaurants that can benefit others in the industry? We are always looking for innovative services and products to share. Please post your comments here.