Survey: Restaurants ignore sustainability 'at their peril'

More than 90% of consumers say they would be more likely to go to a restaurant that publicised its environmental impact and the provenance of its food.

95% said they expect sustainability issues to exert an even greater influence on their dining decisions in five years' time

95% said they expect sustainability issues to exert an even greater influence on their dining decisions in five years' time

That’s according to a new survey carried out on behalf of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) – a non-profit that aims to help eateries become more sustainable.

Another 83.7% of respondents said that ethical and sustainable criteria had been a deciding factor in their choice of dining destination, while 95% said they expect sustainability issues to exert an even greater influence on their dining decisions in five years’ time.

The survey findings have prompted the SRA to launch a new consumer platform, Food Made Good. The website, launching on 18 September, will offer a guide to the most sustainable eateries in Britain as well as “campaigning on key issues and encouraging a conversation between diners and the industry about the issues that matter to them.”

SRA managing director Mark Linehan said: “Food Made Good celebrates everything that goes into making eating out a genuinely good experience. Foodservice businesses that ignore their customers’ interest in sustainability or fail to communicate about the good things they do, do so at their peril.

“Instead they should be celebrating their suppliers, and highlighting their positive impact on the community and the environment – helping their customers enjoy their meals that little bit more. Food has a story and diners want to hear it – so our advice is that if you want to be running a successful hospitality business – tell that story.”

Hashtag sustainability

One early campaign from the platform will centre around the hashtag #MakeFoodGood. Diners are being urged to make sustainable decisions – such as ordering tap water instead of bottled – and write their pledge on a napkin, take a photo and post it on social media.

Current estimates from WRAP suggest that food waste costs £5bn a year, with the total amount of waste - including food, packaging and other 'non-food' waste - produced at hospitality and foodservice outlets reaching almost four million tonnes. Less than half of this is recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion (AD) or composted.

The technology to help the industry cut its footprint could already be in play, as edie found out last year when it investigated Britain’s first zero-waste restaurant.

Brad Allen


Tags

Food waste | packaging | technology | WRAP | zero waste

Topics

Waste & resource management | CSR & ethics
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