5 Ways to Attract More Customers With Eco-Friendly Practices
Being an environmentally friendly business is perceived as an inconvenient and costly endeavor. But don’t be fooled by what the industry is telling you. Now more than ever, being eco-friendly is a great way to cut costs and preserve the environment. Not only that, but consumers are noticing which businesses are making the effort.
Recent Studies also show that this new “green” generation is also more likely to make personal sacrifices to address environmental issues. In fact, global consumers are 13% more likely to choose a more expensive but environmentally-friendly product or service over standard industry goods and services. Of that group, 81 percent feel there is not much availability for eco-friendly options.
Consumer trends are skewing more and more towards being environmentally conscious. As they do, businesses in food service have a great opportunity to capitalize on that demand. There is an expectation for socially responsible products, services, and business practices.
Here’s five ways that you can become an eco-friendly business and appeal to your more environmentally conscious consumers:
1. Offer Organic Catering
This is a great way for restaurants to provide a more eco-friendly option while still providing patrons the best your business has to offer. By sourcing locally grown, free-range and environmentally friendly produce and foods, your business will appeal more to the more socially conscious consumer. Not only is this a great way to offer many options to your patrons, but it is also a great way to brand your establishment as supporter of local businesses. This tactic also has the added bonus of appealing to more health-conscious consumers.
2. Offer More Vegetarian and Vegan Options
Offering more vegetarian and vegan dining options can help reduce waste and save resources. According to a study, beef is ten times more damaging to the environment than other categories of food. Beef requires about 28 times more land and 11 times more water to produce, and generates 5 times more greenhouse gasses than production of green foods such as fruits and vegetables. Not only will offering more vegetarian and vegan options give your customers more variety, it will also reduce your environmental impact and carbon footprint. And, with the increasing popularity of veganism and paleo-diets, your health-conscious patrons will surely appreciate the addition.
3. Use Eco-Friendly take-out containers
Take-out containers are a necessity for every restaurant, and Styrofoam containers can wreak havoc on the environment. Why not provide your customers with a 100 percent bio-degradable and compostable container? Try naturally made products like Verterra’s Palm Leaf bowls and plates. Bio-degradable containers are not only great for the environment, but also look great and will keep your environmentally responsible patrons satisfied.
4. Use Compostable and Durable Napkins
A pile of used up paper napkins can seem insignificant in environmental preservation; however, paper products such as napkins account for over 28 percent of landfill waste. Studies show that the average U.S. consumer uses three napkins a day. That would be 164 billion napkins a year for the U.S. alone, and it would also cost you about an extra $50 per meal. Try using compostable and durable napkins like Hoffmaster’s FlashnPoint Ultra Ply napkins, which are designed to be durable and long lasting, as well as compostable.
5. Upgrade Old Kitchen Equipment
As time goes on, the constant wear and tear of using once new kitchen equipment can take its toll. Old equipment can use up more energy than newer models of energy efficient ovens, dishwashers, and refrigerators. When you buy, make sure you look for the Energy Star rating, which ensures that the equipment you’re buying will be the most energy efficient, saving you on your utility costs. Upgrading your old kitchen equipment can be a cost-effective investment when it comes to saving on energy, water, and electricity, as well as being great for the environment.
Becoming more eco-friendly doesn’t always have to break the bank. In fact, being eco-friendly can sometimes even be profitable and cost effective. If you’re interested in going green or need help implementing eco-friendly practices into your business, or if you’d like to become a green certified business, visit The Green Restaurant Association for more information.
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