The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Retail launches this summer. An overview of what the changes mean for foodservice shows that in some respects, restaurant franchises are already “LEEDing” the way.

Amelia Levin, writes in Chain Leader that the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Retail launches this summer. Chain Leader sister publication Foodservice Equipment & Supplies presented an overview of what the changes mean for foodservice.

Yum Brands: KFC-Taco Bell

Yum Brands opened an environmentally friendly KFC-Taco Bell restaurant in Northampton, Mass., and is pursuing LEED certification for this facility.

This location’s highlights include reducing energy use by 30 percent through energy-saving equipment and lighting; recycled building materials; and water conservation through faucet fixtures, harvested rainwater for irrigation, and a rain garden with filters for improving storm water quality.

In addition, the store uses solar energy to reduce the use of natural gas, and it also converts frying oil into biofuel.


McDonald’s first green restaurant opened in Umea, Sweden, in 2000, and in 2005, the chain earned gold status for its first LEED-Core and Shell-certified restaurant in Savannah, Ga. The chain plans to open another restaurant targeted for LEED certification in Chicago (pictured).

The restaurant reduces energy and water use through more efficient cooking equipment, rooftop mechanical equipment, and boilers, and it also incorporates environmentally friendly decor options in the restaurant designed to enhance indoor air quality and promote natural lighting.

Also notable is the building’s green roof with storm water management, high-efficiency LED lighting for exterior signage, and green power purchased through renewable energy credits. McDonald’s is a member of the LEED for Retail pilot program.


Two of the four LEED-certification projects Chipotle has undertaken are nearing certification, one in Minnetonka, Minn., and the other for a newly constructed, stand-alone building in Gurnee, Ill. (pictured). Both were 2009 LEED for Retail pilot projects.

Built from recycled construction materials, the Gurnee store features a variety of energy- and water-saving equipment inside the restaurant, including LED lighting, efficient faucets, toilets and cooking equipment.

Outside, a six-kilowatt wind turbine on the building’s already solar reflective roof, which reduces cooling needs, generates about 10 percent of the restaurant’s electricity, and a cistern collects rainwater for irrigating the store’s landscaping, made up of naturally occurring vegetation for that region.

Chain Leader