Embracing and celebrating our local roots and foundations is key to our core value system.


Local farms & friends:  

Along with supporting our local farms, we believe in being an environmentally responsible business too. The following list shows how we have "greened" our organization.


  • at least 75% of our regularly stocked products are made with recycled content
  • we maintain a 'green' supply chain, requesting that our suppliers package products in reusable and/or returnable containers and boxes or use packaging that contains recycled material
  • we incorporate several local and/or organic ingredients on our menus year-round
  • we give preference to vendors who offer products that meet our high environmental standards
  • we utilize biodegradable or compostable "to-go" food and beverage containers
  • eliminated endangered seafood and fish farmed in ways that harm the environment from our menus


  • we utilize an environmentally friendly, paperless marketing strategy that eliminates any 'junk' mailers or outdated paper marketing waste
  • we also neutralize the pH of our brewery wastewater and also side-stream many solids out of our wastewater such as yeast, fruit and hops, which reduces our BOD and TSS.
  • we send all spent grains to local farms for livestock feed
  • we utilize online schedules for our staff and use an online reservation systems for our guests that eliminates the wasting paper
  • we don't subscribe to any paper magazine subscriptions or newspapers
  • almost 100% of our non-alcoholic, carbonated beverages come from a beverage fountain or dispenser rather than by individual bottle or can
  • installed grease traps and make sure all grease producing fixtures flow through the grease traps
  • we recycle our grease from our grease traps 
  • we donate or exchange unused furniture, supplies, electronics, scrap materials, linens or uniforms to schools, churches, nonprofit organizations or teacher resource organizations
  • we utilize reusable menus and eliminated printed 'to-go' menus
  • our linen company participates in an environmental stewardship program and prepares our clean linens and uniforms in an earth-friendly way
  • we utilize dry-erase boards, and laminated sheets for regularly used documents our service staff uses scrap office paper for order taking
  • when possible, we recycle paper, metal cans, plastic, cardboard and glass


  • we installed low flow, faucets aerators or flow restrictors where possible
  • we use our dishwashers only when a full rack is ready
  • we utilize an "as needed" or "periodic" window cleaning schedule
  • find ways to repurpose unused water, e.g., using water from steam tables to water plants
  • installed water efficient pre-rinse spray nozzle in our kitchens for dishes
  • our dish washer water flow stops when there are no dishes in the washer


  • irrigation systems are tested every season to ensure proper operation and watering schedule
  • adjust sprinklers for proper coverage to optimize spacing and avoid runoff onto paved surfaces
  • we've planted Illinois native vegetation in our landscaping and flower beds/containers
  • developed a watering schedule reflecting the watering needs by type of plant, season and time of day
  • our wood chips or plant-based mulch is refreshed annually to increase moisture retention, reduce weeds and prevent soil erosion
  • use local mulch for ground cover and around plants
  • leave grass clippings on mowed turf rather than bagging and removing them
  • we apply water, earth friendly fertilizers/pesticides to landscape only when needed rather than on automatic schedules
  • we utilize automatic rain sensors for our irrigation systems


  • we store all chemicals in their original containers with tight-fitting lids
  • we stock non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner for daily use
  • use biodegradable soaps and cleaners where possible
  • provide outdoor receptacles for cigarette butt disposal
  • regularly clean grease from roof top equipment and surfaces
  • installed side panels on exhaust hoods that capture and contain exhaust
  • ensure that all appliances are all the way under the exhaust hoods, pushed back as far as possible with the heavy-duty appliances in the center of the hood
  • utilize environmentally friendly landscape contractors
  • provide a secure location for employees and guests to store bicycles, and have bike racks near our buildings


  • maintain HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) service records
  • perform regular maintenance on our HVAC system, changing filters and checking for coolant and air leaks, clogs or obstructions of air intake
  • perform preventative maintenance on refrigerators and coolers to increase efficiency by cleaning coils, replacing seals, aligning doors and maintaining proper refrigeration levels, refrigerant chare and ensure refrigerant is not leaking
  • installed lighting controls, such as: occupancy sensors in spaces of variable occupancy (restrooms, offices, storage rooms): bypass/delay timers, and/or photocells for exterior lighting and areas with significant natural daylight
  • all lighting fixtures are energy efficient or utilize low voltage track lighting, or high intensity discharge (HID) lighting
  • installed dimmable lighting in our dining rooms
  • all our water heaters, storage tanks and hot water pipes are insulated to keep the heat or cold in
  • utilize energy efficient cooler and freezer defrost controls
  • installed refrigerator evaporator fan controllers, high efficiency evaporator fan motors, or electronically commutated fan motors
  • installed a programmable thermostat and set an energy efficient program
  • utilize double pane, low-E energy efficient windows in our buildings
  • located ice machines in a cool area away from our internal heat gains or windows