A Millennial Meal: How to Make Your Restaurant Sustainable and Eco-Friendly

Thursday, 23 May, 2019

When it comes to eco-awareness, millennials are increasingly becoming conscientious in their decision making and consumption habits! With their love for plant-based meals, climate change concerns and their passionate interest in keeping our oceans plastic-free, millennials are all about sustainability.

 

Sustainability

For restaurant owners, it has become crucial to stop and pay attention to this demographic. In this article, we’ll highlight key ways for you to make your food service business more sustainable and serve eco-friendly options.

Plastic Is Not so Fantastic

Fact is, plastic pollution has become a major problem. Many restaurants are contributing to this waste.

Let’s take your ordinary take-out meal. Plastic containers and lids are used to pack food. On top of that plastic cutlery is supplied as eating utensils and more often than not, everything is packed in a plastic bag. All of these items are single-use and end up straight in the trash.

Instead of continuing this plastic pollution footprint, opt for eco-friendly swaps. Brown bag your take-out meals, use cutlery made from disposable wood and use compostable packaging. Switch plastic straws out and opt for paper, glass, bamboo, or steel. Another new trend is to use dried pasta as straws

Less Waste, More for the Community

Sustainability all starts with keeping track of your stock. Make sure to do the math and make better estimations as to how many people you will serve. Also, think about better ways to re-use ingredients for more than one dish.

When it comes to excess food, there are so many more ways to get rid of food than just the bin. Open up your leftovers for reduced priced take outs. Contribute what’s left to charitable organisations.

Apps like Winnow and Too Good To Go tackle food wastage by having restaurants offer their leftovers at reduced prices.

Go Local!

Many millennials are also growing conscious of food sourcing and question quality of the produce that is used in restaurants. That’s why there’s such a big need for more wholesome organic foods, and local produce. Don’t be afraid to invest in local harvesters and quality ingredients. Yes, this might up your prices, but it also sets you apart from your competitors. Plus, you’re investing back into the welfare of your community and country.

Use your eco-friendly ingredients as a narrative to strengthen your brand. Add descriptions on your menu explaining what it is your customers put into their mouth. The millennial generation is happy to pay a couple more bucks to eat a handmade pizza with buffalo cheese coming from a local farm.

The growing consumption of plant-based foods cannot be ignored. Many millennials have already switched to being vegetarian or completely vegan fuelled by concerns over health and also animal welfare. For restaurants, the sourcing of quality meat is important. Start catering to your customers vegetarian cravings be being inventive and pushing past the boundaries of a standard salad.

Keep Things Transparent

Millennials are known for their savvy use of the internet. Many restaurants these days survive on word of mouth alone. Google, TripAdvisor, and Yelp reviews are all part of your online reputation.

This means that you can’t fake your sustainable efforts. However, it also means that when you are being genuine about your actions to make this world a better place, your restaurant can become a millennial hotspot.

Millennials are all about self-expression, a sense of community, the welfare of animals and living a healthy life. In the end, they want to know the world is still here when their (future) kids are adults. That’s why it pays off to make your restaurant sustainable and tailored to millennials. Create portion sizes that are just enough, offer discounts when people bring a reusable cup for their morning cup of Joe, and let people tailor their meals so they leave behind completely clean plates.