Spreading Sustainability As A Restaurant Owner


As a restaurateur who has embraced sustainability as a core value in your restaurant, you should let guests know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it!

Not everything you do at your restaurant is solely about making money (right?). One of the great benefits of running your own restaurant is that you can make decisions that reflect the values that are important to you. And you can rest easy knowing that the work you’re doing has real life results with concrete benefits. If sustainability is one of those values, and an initiative you hold near and dear, you may want to share that.

So, how do you share the work you’re doing to make your restaurant more sustainable with your community?

Tell everyone.

You don’t have to subtle about it. Tell your guests directly by using the channels you already use to communicate with them.

  • Write blog posts about the changes you’ve made to become more sustainable.
  • Link to articles in the newsletters you send out.
  • Create content for social media that shows your followers what you’re doing.

Where appropriate, you can also put the information right on the menu. Add a footnote that you’re converting used oil into biodiesel or the salads greens and herbs are from your rooftop garden. Of course, don’t forget to train your servers to know the information you want shared so that they have answers ready if they get any questions from curious customers.

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Show your results.

Making the choice to be more sustainable is the first step, and implementing certain programs is another, but people also like to know if these changes have real results. (Am I the only person wondering if reusing a towel in a hotel is it really helping that snowy owl, or is it just cheaper for the hotel to operate by doing less laundry?)

When you put changes into place, track those changes and the results they deliver. As you get concrete data, share that with your audience. Let them know your new solar panels are now lighting up your dining room, or that food waste you once scraped into trash cans is now going to a local farm for compost.

Partner with other organizations.

Partnering with other organizations in your community helps by getting others to spread your good news in their networks. The perfect partner will be an organization you fully believe in, and whose mission aligns with your values. You can help support the work they’re doing by telling your audience about their work, and they can let their networks know that your business aligns with their core values. Both partners should feel this is mutually beneficial.

While the changes you make to be more sustainable may not have been motivated by your bottom line, it will likely be positively impacted. Letting your guests know the concrete steps you’ve been making helps them feel good knowing that the money they spend at your restaurant reflects their values too.

This article was written by Kristin Crane, Upserve