On a recent social media poll we ran, 88% of people said that their restaurant was “working towards becoming more sustainable”, yet no one said that they felt their restaurant was “very sustainable.” From conversations we have with restaurateurs, recent news, and polls like these, it’s obvious that sustainability is something that many venues are moving towards, albeit slowly. And rightly so. There are many benefits to it, both in terms of your business and the wider world.
We spoke to Chelsea Koehler, one of our Hospitality Consultants and the previous General Manager of Glasgow’s Alchemilla about how important sustainability is to the industry and how it can benefit your business.
At Alchemilla, we were very environmentally conscious. Our entire wine list was natural and we tried as much as possible to work with sustainable suppliers. We firmly believed that the industry needs to take responsibility for the impact that it has on the environment, and worked hard to ensure that we did.
While many people think it could be difficult to become more eco-friendly, it’s actually surprisingly easy. Sustainable purveyors and tasty natural wines are becoming increasingly popular and available. The UK as a whole is incredibly rich with resources. I’ve worked with many chefs who would forage on their days off. And there are programs in place to spread awareness of those specific resources.
Overall, I’d say being sustainable brought the business more traffic. Glasgow is an increasingly eco-friendly city and Alchemilla’s efforts towards this was part of the reason many people visited. In regards to programs out there, we took part in the Glasgow’s Veg Cities Chef’s Challenge. A selection of Glasgow’s chefs received a box of locally-grown fresh vegetables and were challenged to create a new plant-based dish at a cook off. It opened a lot of people’s eyes to see what can be grown in the city, sustainably.
Now, in my current role at ResDiary, I’m talking to more and more venues that are interested in using the system to increase their sustainability.
From taking payments to stop no-shows, and processing pre-orders to cut waste, there are many different ways that clever managers and owners are trying to be more eco-friendly. Outside of that, local and national initiatives are really helping many businesses of all types decrease their carbon footprint and think about how they affect the environment.
And it’s not just the places you expect, the small, local venues. It’s large chains and places that are cooking exotic dishes from around the world, using mostly local ingredients.
While it might seem a large mountain to climb if sustainability hasn’t really been a focus in your restaurant, there are many many small ways that you can get started.
Through working in the industry for many combined years and talking to restaurateurs day in, day out, we’ve picked up some great tips on decreasing our footprint on the planet. While we don’t have all the answers, we have put together this e-book to give you tips and tricks on everything from suppliers to getting your staff onboard . Do check it out.”
Download the ebook!