As the impact of climate change becomes harder to ignore, diners are increasingly aware of the way that their eating habits are impacting the environment. As a restaurant owner, adopting sustainable practices not only makes your restaurant better for the world at large, but also improves the quality your food and can act as a marketing tool to attract patrons.
The term is everywhere, but why is it so important? Foods labeled organic have been classified as such by the FDA and contain no GMOs, or harmful pesticides that can damage surrounding ecosystems as well as the human body. Using organic food in your restaurant helps the farmers who work hard to meet the government standards, while also improving the perception of your restaurant. Diners looking to decrease their carbon footprint will appreciate these items on your menu.
Vegetarian and Vegan
More and more people are eliminating meat, in favor of more sustainable diets. While this will likely never become more popular than omnivore diets, it’s important to keep in mind when crafting menus. Get creative with vegetables! And, don’t forget to highlight these offerings on your menu.
The Impossible Burger
Speaking of meatless movements, the Impossible Burger has become an incredibly popular trend for its ability to reinvent a meat-forward dish with sustainable ingredients, without sacrificing taste. The burger has gotten so much attention for its innovation, paving the way for other chefs to follow suit. In order to capitalize off of this trend, consider serving the burger at your establishment or creating your own innovation with veggies!
The easiest way to reduce your restaurant’s carbon footprint is by forging relationships with local farmers and using their produce to fill your restaurant. Not only will this help your local economy, but also the buzz around local means that diners will be drawn in by your commitment to helping local farmers. Sourcing local will also directly enhance your menu. You can draw attention to the specific farms that you work with on your menu. And, using local ingredients means that your offerings will be ever changing, keeping diners coming back to try your latest dishes.
What’s more local than a rooftop garden? If you have space above your restaurant, think about transforming it into a greenhouse or garden. This will provide your restaurant with an attraction beyond just the food and will also keep your restaurant fresh and seasonal.