Customers are becoming more discerning as the hospitality industry grows. As the market expands with more and more offerings, people need ‘pull’ factors that make them ultimately decide to spend their money with one offer over another. There are hundreds of gourmet burger shops out there, plenty of sushi concepts, Greek outlets and pizza bars just to name a few. How do you get yours to stand out so that the customer lands on your business?
Throughout our blogs, we’ve touched on a number of the factors that will get a customer to choose your business over another. They include things like visual appeal, marketing and loyalty programs but a big factor for many customers nowadays is sustainability - where food comes from, how it is prepared, how many miles it traveled to get to the plate and what happens with the leftovers. Consumers regularly factor sustainability into purchasing decisions with up to a third of consumers buying from brands based on their social and environmental impact.
With that said, how do you be the most sustainable restaurant in the world? How do you gain yourself the tick of consumer approval? You go by Septime’s standards. Septime, a modern French restaurant in Paris, has won the most sustainable restaurant award for the second year running and we looked into exactly what this restaurant is doing to achieve such a title:
1. Sourcing - 99% of the ingredients the restaurant uses is grown in France. They are so invested in their produce that they have invested in land outside of Paris to grow as much of their own produce as possible.
2. Vegetable-rich Menu - 80% of the menu is made up of vegetables. We’ve seen such huge growth in the plant-based food trend however it’s not just for health but for the environment too.
3. Whole Ingredients - including animals. The chefs invest in the entire animal when they want a particular cut on the menu and use the other, lesser known cuts in other dishes such as terrines.
4. No Beef - beef has been linked to such devastating environmental outcomes that the restaurant has taken it off the menu.
5. Fair Farmer Treatment - Septime works with small-scale farms and offers to buy at a rate of 20% higher than market price. If they want something special grown for them, they’ll ask a farmer to grow it with the guarantee of buying the whole crop.
6. No Bottled Water - they have installed a water filter system and serves it chilled in recycled wine bottles making bottled water an unnecessary item on their menu
7. Advocates for Environmental Change - Septime’s team are part of a movement to lower the environmental impact of the hospitality industry and they aim to educate their customers of this as much as possible by explaining where ingredients come from and why certain items won’t appear on menus due to seasons.
8. Measure and Monitor - They upped the anti on recycling and other waste management, going above and beyond what is offered by the local authority as they weren’t satisfied with the service. Now they can measure and monitor every bit of waste they create. Solutions to waste include Ingredients and cut-offs being reused in sauces and dishes and any extra being given to staff as staff meals.
Now, we aren’t saying that you need to be the most sustainable restaurant in the world but with the environmental footprint of a brand being at the forefront of consumer choice, integrating sustainability into your offer in some way or form is in your business interests. It can create your unique selling point (USP) or just allow your customer to feel comfortable with the choice they have made. Consider adding food sourcing techniques to menus or ensure your packaging is recycled, allow people to read about the produce you are using or market your sustainable-edge on your menu boards.
Looking for ways to incorporate sustainability and the environment into your business model? Talk to one of our food consultants who can look into where and how this can be done.
Credit: Cover Image via Unfolded