The Top Five Ways to Make Your Takeaway Business More Eco-Friendly
Over the last decade, the hospitality and catering industry has undergone mammoth changes, both in the UK and worldwide. Specifically, restaurant and food services have been shaped by a dramatic increase in customer demand for eco-conscious eating, with most customers more likely to dine at a restaurant with environmental awareness and eco-conscious ethos.
An increasing number of restaurants and food delivery service providers are actively working to achieve the eco-shift, from introducing innovative eco-friendly packaging to their commitment towards using electric cars for meal delivery. In an impressive innovative trial, the popular food delivery service Just Eat has teamed up with a sustainable packaging provider to pilot a scheme of reusable, returnable packaging to cut down on single-use plastic waste.
Many other businesses are following suit, adapting to the demands of eco-conscious consumers both within the hospitality sector and beyond. Handily, we’ve curated a list of steps you can take to make your takeaway business more eco-friendly too.
Reducing the Amount of Plastic and Packaging Waste Produced
The prevalence of non-recyclable plastic packaging in the foodservice industry is a major source of waste and has a devastating impact on the planet. By eliminating single-use plastics and unnecessary packaging, restaurants all around the world have been able to dramatically reduce their waste output. Reusable alternatives have reduced the use of single-use plastic cups and utensils while environmentally friendly solutions such as eco-packaging helps to avoid plastics altogether.
We have seen a reduction in the use of single-use plastic carrier bags and pre-packaged items in supermarkets; with more awareness and government legislation limiting the use of items such as plastic cutlery and straws, shoppers are adopting the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ mantra, using long-life shopping bags and purchasing drinking receptacles such as durable bottles and coffee cups that can be used again and again. Interestingly, ‘Zero Waste’ shops – that is, shops which use no packaging whatsoever – are becoming more popular once again. Ultimately, consumers are becoming more conscious about their shopping and dining choices, signalling strong support in favour of businesses with a green ethos and environmental awareness. You can learn more about our fully compostable range of packaging products here.
Recycling and Proper Waste Management
Rather than going to a landfill, used cooking oil can be collected from your restaurant or foodservice establishment. Some collection agencies recycle and repurpose the oil into renewable fuel – ‘biodiesel’. Biofuel is a valuable fuel source made from recycling and refining used cooking oils, providing an efficient, clean and renewable fuel for powering vehicles. By current law, diesel includes 4.75% biofuel to help reduce greenhouse gases. Since 2008, flights have taken place using blended biofuels and Boeing says it will make planes able to fly on 100% biofuel by 2030.
Despite the widespread public awareness of plastic pollution, many of us have not substantially changed our behaviour as a result. Studies reveal that customers require assistance in moving from intention to action when trying to alter their behaviour on a large scale. Nudge Theory is based on the idea that you may influence people’s decisions by making small modifications to the environment, or ‘nudges’ without taking away their freedom of choice. Customers of Just Eat, for example, can opt-out of receiving unnecessary plastic cutlery, straws and sauce sachets by ticking a box on the app or website at the point of ordering.
Switching to Online Menu and Payment Options
Restaurants, like many other industries, have seen a dramatic rise in digital innovation. Many restaurants have seen a boost in consumer involvement during Covid-19 because they have strong digital presences, such as easy online and mobile ordering or a solid digital loyalty programme. After the pandemic, most indications show that customers will continue to be digitally engaged. Since more people are ordering food on their smartphones and tablets, restaurants will continue to progress toward digital ordering and payment. In-house payment systems such as iZettle by PayPay include emailed receipts rather than paper copies, helping to further reduce unnecessary waste.
Switch to Eco-Friendly Cleaning products
Household and commercial cleaners such as detergents and bleach are pushed back into our waterways after they’ve done their work, contaminating our ecosystem with chemicals. By using environmentally friendly detergents whilst complying with Environmental Health standards, you may lessen the environmental impact of your wastewater. Eco-friendly cleaners often come in concentrated formulas, making them just as cost-effective as conventional cleaners. With their natural components, you can opt for products that are gentler on the environment and your customers.
Whatever your angle, taking steps to make your business eco-friendly will offer your customers peace of mind in choosing your services, ultimately leading to better sales, greater customer retention and a positive business ethos overall.