Food waste strategies attracting scrutiny

The way in which restaurants manage their food waste has dramatically jumped up the list of priorities for discerning consumers, it has emerged.

According to new research published by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), savvy diners now want to know more about how restaurants operate, with growing numbers willing to pay more for a meal in a venue that is run sustainably.

And for any catering equipment distributors that have been promoting the benefits of food waste management equipment to their customers, the good news is that any future sales pitches can include the fact that end-users now care too.

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When the SRA last carried out the study four years ago, local sourcing, employee treatment and organic were ranked as the highest priorities, but when asked this time around consumers cited food waste among their top three concerns, along with health and nutrition, and locally-sourced produce.

Since 2009, food waste has become one of the issues to which consumers expect restaurants to “pay much more attention”, according to the report, which said that 85% of consumers agree it is important for restaurants to dispose of food waste in an environmentally-responsible way.

“We can see that food waste has become a particularly important issue in consumers’ eyes, capturing their imagination as it touches on social, environmental and economic concerns,” the report stated.

It added that there were both environmental and economic reasons for this, as well as the fact that as consumers are encouraged to recycle and dispose of food waste responsibly at home, their expectation for restaurants to do the same increases.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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