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Sustainable Catering, Where Is The Way?

The trend of sustainable concepts in the global catering industry has begun to emerge, and the future trend can be expected. What are the evaluation criteria for sustainable restaurants?

As a long-term observer of sustainable food systems, the Abovefarm research team has roughly summarized the main dimensions and specific indicator systems of sustainable food and beverage assessments and ratings.

One is the food source. Specifically, it can be summarized as the following index inspection points:

  • Menu for healthy eating structure
  • On-site processing of fresh ingredients, non-food industrial processed products
  • Use of seasonal ingredients
  • Use and proportion of local ingredients
  • Use and proportion of ingredients that meet or exceed organic standards
  • Proportion of vegetarian
  • Concern for animal welfare when choosing animal ingredients, such as not using caged poultry, etc.
  • Keep wild animals or endangered fish out of the menu
  • Does not serve industrial beverages
  • Support for international farmers under fair trade, such as coffee, tea, oils, etc.

As a service organization that satisfies customers’ dietary experience, restaurants play a key role in dietary guidance. In fact, what kind of food and menu is served is an imperceptible education process for customers. As a sustainable restaurant, of course, it should not focus on maximizing the satisfaction of customers’ “desire of speech” and “heart to show off”, but should take “healthy diet” as the basic standard for ingredient procurement and menu preparation. Local, organic, vegetarian and other directions are all considered from the perspective of customer health. On top of health, it is a higher level to stimulate consumers’ sense of mission and responsibility for environmental and social sustainability through the selection and cooking of ingredients, so that consumers can obtain spiritual satisfaction beyond their taste buds in their meals.

The second is management. Specifically, it can be summarized as the following index inspection points:

  • . The use of ingredients is aimed at making the best use of materials, reducing waste, and aiming at zero waste to reduce waste generation
  • . Disposal of leftover meals (e.g. composting) and support for customers to take away meal leftovers
  • . Use of materials that reduce environmental impact, such as plastic products
  • . Sort and recycle waste from restaurants
  • . Try to use ecological cleaning products for restaurant cleaning
  • . Reduce energy consumption, use energy-saving products, and use green energy under conditions
  • . Actively focus on employee benefits and rest

The management of sustainable restaurants is the embodiment of sustainable values within the company. It is generally believed that an organization that can uphold sustainable management in its own management can better serve external customers, which is consistent with its appearance.

The third, which is also a higher standard, is society and the value chain. Specifically, it can be summarized as the following index inspection points:

  • . Proactively spread the concept of sustainable catering to employees and customers and provide relevant training
  • . Assessing value chain suppliers with respect for employees and environmental awareness
  • . Provide job opportunities for the disabled and vulnerable in the community
  • . Donate leftover food

In addition to serving customers and internal management, a higher requirement for sustainable restaurants is to drive the sustainability of the value chain and community. Undoubtedly, true sustainability is not something that can be accomplished by a single individual or group, but a systematic and ecological undertaking. If an influential sustainable restaurant has the spare capacity to invest its influence value in “external” related fields and communities, the sustainable benefits will also be greatly improved.

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