The journey towards a more sustainable food sector is well on its way and as a leading hospitality PR agency, we are delighted to be joining our wonderful clients, operators, dealers and trade associations in helping to achieve the ultimate goal - to reach net zero emissions by 2040.
Sustainability in foodservice
As a sector, foodservice has come on leaps and bounds when it comes to its commitment to sustainability. From contract caterers, restaurant chains to independent cafes and bars and cost sector operations, everybody is doing their bit to reduce their impact.
Sustainability is here to stay and continues to shape our industry. Terms including plant-based, organic, natural, sustainably sourced and traceable are all now becoming the claims of the future. With this in mind, it has never been more important for operators, caterers and organisations to prioritise sustainable and ethical practices.
As an industry, we are making real progress. We are now seeing more businesses seeking new ways to cut back on carbon emissions, water use and waste. If it’s not investing in cleaner energy resources, then they are rethinking efficiency and finding innovative ways to conserve what they already have. Catering suppliers are a prime example of this, with many already making the switch to eco-friendly packaging, for instance, as well as opting to use more energy efficient equipment and sourcing produce more locally. This is just a snippet of some of the positive steps suppliers and other businesses are making in order to turn ‘greener’.
Spanning the wider industry, there are some other fantastic initiatives being carried out from all areas to improve sustainability efforts. UKHospitality, for one, has been instrumental in creating the Net Zero Roadmap - the first of its kind - to allow foodservice operators to follow a consistent plan to meet their goals. The FEA has also just launched Foodservice Carbon Professional, a new accreditation designed to develop the industry’s understanding of sustainability. Again, this is just a fraction of some of the amazing initiatives being put in place to help businesses meet their sustainability goals.
The contract catering channel is also paving its way to a more sustainable future, with one of the world’s biggest catering groups recently unveiling its target of saving a staggering 31 tonnes of PVC plastic since 2022 - the equivalent of over 5,200 miles. Another leading contract caterer also recently unveiled its pledge to ensure 70% of its UK main meals would be low-carbon by 2030.
Restaurants are also operating more eco-friendly as consumers look for their indulgences to be as kind to the environment and people as possible - whilst also being delicious. In fact, research has found that 70% of diners are willing to pay more for a meal if it is sustainable, while more than a quarter of eco-conscious diners would stop visiting somewhere if they found out that it was not being run in a sustainable way.
These figures all point to one thing - a brighter, more sustainable future. And if we, as an industry, continue the way we are, we will no doubt hit our target. Having said all of that, we can always be doing more. We should always be striving for more, especially when it comes to sustainability.
Plenty of opportunities remain for foodservice businesses to become more sustainable, but embracing them requires time, money, belief and a great deal of patience. Here at Eat PR & Marketing, we believe the secret to success in operating a sustainable foodservice business is to adopt an honest and transparent storytelling approach - something we are extremely proud and passionate about.
As experienced PR professionals, we look forward to continuing the sustainable journey ahead, at the same time as supporting our wonderful clients and contacts as best we can. If you think we could help you elevate your business through effective PR and marketing, then please get in touch. We would be delighted to hear from you.