Sustainability: Is your restaurant doing it right?Lucy Cullen
Did you know that 75% of guests would rather dine at a green restaurant? Sustainability is becoming a bigger and bigger trend in the hospitality industry. Vegan, waste-free, local… There are many different ways that restaurants are implementing ‘sustainable’ practices.
But how do you make sure it’s being done properly and not instead damaging your brand?
Here’s a story to put it into context.
A young couple goes to a very popular, trendy and highly acclaimed fine dining Italian restaurant for Valentine’s Day.
They’ve really been looking forward to it. This young couple are very knowledgeable about sustainability, as the young woman is a sustainability consultant.
The waiter guides them towards the tasting menu with wine pairings. “It’s a great way to try everything we have to offer. It’s a very sustainable menu. Local and seasonal!”
Local and seasonal… Perfect! That ticks a couple boxes. The young couple orders it.
First course… Proscuitto and figs from Italy, and an Italian wine to go with it.
To be expected at an Italian restaurant, but not at all as advertised by the waiter. Not really sustainable when you’re living in Canada in February. Not local/seasonal. This is called greenwashing and can be damaging to your brand.
Sustainability is defined by three things… People, planet and profit. The triple bottom line. How does EVERY decision at your business speak to these three pillars? This could be considered when designing your menu, your guest experience, community engagement, and even your relationship with your suppliers.
It’s important to educate your staff properly around the definition of sustainability, and to not throw this term around loosely without understanding the true meaning of it. Think of it as one of your staff members giving the completely wrong wine pairing to a sommelier. Not good, and can be damaging to your brand. This is very similar.
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