Why Sustainability Is the Biggest Issue in the Restaurant Industry

Posted on July 5, 2017 by Michelle Locke

This July, we are going to be talking about sustainability. When it comes to sustainability in restaurants, many are ahead of the curve: lots of restaurants have adopted biodegradable to go packaging and started donating excess food to local organizations that need it. However, many restaurants still don’t know the importance of sustainability or the steps to take to get there.

We want to help restaurants take steps forward in sustainability.

First things first, we need to talk about why sustainability is important.

According to the NRN 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast, food waste reduction and sustainability ranked number nine on the Top 25 menu trends for 2015; since then, it has only gotten higher. According to Forbes, 42% of diners care about sustainability in the restaurants they visit; that is, they are more likely to visit restaurants that advertise their sustainability efforts versus those who don’t.

Basically: diners care about sustainability in restaurants. Especially younger diners in the millennial generation, a key demographic that restaurants are attempting to woo.

According to reports from Harvard, over 40% of food grown in the United States never makes it to a grocery store or restaurant; it’s just wasted. 90% of the food waste thrown out by restaurants could be reused, donated, or composted; that means it doesn’t have to go into landfills. 15% of food that ends up in landfills comes from restaurants alone.

That is a significant amount of food: food that could be feeding the homeless or children during the summer; food that could be composted to be used in growing more food locally; food that could actually be used for whatever reason in a restaurant.

Sustainability improves the restaurant industry: it saves you money by reducing food waste and it gets you more customers who care about sustainability. Sustainability prevents more food from being put into landfills or wasted when it could be used.

This month, we’ll be sharing steps to become more sustainable, more statistics about sustainability and restaurants, and more. Stay tuned!