Restaurant Sustainability Made Simple!
Restaurant sustainability as a green foodservice initiative has been continually innovated since the trend entered the cultural zeitgeist and the launch of the Sustainable Restaurant Association in 2009. As the industry continues to shift toward efficient eco-friendly standards, it will be up to restaurants and food production companies to make committed efforts in upholding these practices.
There are many steps you can take today to be at the forefront of sustainable change in the foodservice industry. We have provided a few essentials tips you can use to strive toward green goals for the future of your business!
Reduce Food Waste
Whether it is through prevention or redistribution, using every bit of ingredients and limiting ‘good’ food waste is a great start to a sustainable campaign for your company. Not only is it environmentally responsible to consider your options before disposing leftovers, but it is economically beneficial to use as much as you paid for!
There are several ways you can reduce waste, the first is being able to budget and manage inventory. Planning with NatureSeal can encourage storage by inhibiting browning on select fresh-cut fruits and vegetables for longer! You can also pay close attention to use-by dates before making purchases to make timely decisions on the freshness of your food and use your freezer when appropriate.
The waste issue in the industry does not just stop with food. According to Independent Institute, Americans discard nearly 33.54 million tons of plastic annually. On average, 2.3 million tons of Styrofoam ends up in landfills every year in the United States. The consequences of this are not easily reversed.
Coupled with recycling, making a change to the types of packaging for take-home and carry-out services allows for customers to take part in your eco-friendly process. Being aware of the types of recyclable and reusable materials you can use, as well issuing reminders to your customers to properly dispose of waste can make a dramatic difference. Consider the switch to paper, biodegradable materials, and reusable utensils for your dining services.
Local and Organic Vendors
Buying local has gained momentum the last few years as communities look for alternatives to big box stores. For restaurants, buying local can be synonymous with buying fresher, organic produce.
As with most avid organic shoppers, they understand limiting pesticide exposure in the fruits and veggies is a crucial factor to buying these products. Avocados, for example, are one of the cleanest produces you can purchase in terms of low pesticide residue, and that is something heath-motivated customers value!
Keep a list of all the best organic produce with you when buying from suppliers and make executive decisions on how much of a difference the organic and inorganic make when considering preservatives in individual produce.
Alluding to what customer’s value, it is also key to meet their needs and not shy away from feedback. A groundswell of ideas can be discovered just from gathering a profile from your average customer who frequents your business!
Through email marketing, surveys, and social listening tools, you can create a direct line of feedback, and gain more sustainable choices through other people’s experiences. This adds a whole new level of efficiency for your business without having to make mistakes.
Encouraging and engaging with your customers as they share their perspective on what they would like from a developing foodservice industry is essential for your business model going forward. Be ready to have answers for convenience, affordability, and sustainability!
Market your own efforts
Letting your customers and future customers know about your mission statement and campaign will set you apart from the rest! Spreading a message of sustainability can make for a healthy brand and attract people who have the same intentions as your company.
As previously mentioned, using marketing tools to build a social media platform for your business will be the best way to reach a wide range of potential audiences. Having a marketing campaign ready with quantifiable objectives to get the word out will determine the success of your efforts!
These provide fundamental actions you can take to make your business a leader in greener dining. Restaurant sustainability is an ever-evolving model, and with new innovations for efficiency every year, it will be vital to make sure your business keeps pace with the change.
What advice do you have when it comes to a developing a sustainable model for the foodservice industry? Please comment below.