By Tom Tanner
Independence Day, Super Saturday, the end of hibernation – whatever you’re choosing to call this weekend’s re-opening, for the more than 10,000 SRA Member kitchens readying themselves to serve customers on site again for the first time in more than three months, this is undoubtedly a massive moment.
We’re as thrilled as any of our member businesses to see the lights switched back on, ovens re-lit, tables laid, corks popped, and pints pulled. As you put the final preparations in place for throwing the doors on 4 July, be sure you don’t miss out on what we also see as a massive opportunity to mark yourselves out from the crowd.
Among the precious few pluses to emerge from Covid-19, consumer interest in the environment and food loomed large.
The findings of a YouGov survey for RSA’s Food, Farming and Countryside Commission (FFCC), together with food charity The Food Foundation provide some of the most compelling evidence, if it’s needed, to inspire you to shout about your credentials.
Almost half of consumers (42%) say they are valuing food more and only 9% want things to go back to how they were. A third say they are throwing away less food and
40% feel a stronger sense of local community. There in a nutshell you have the three pillars of the SRA’s sustainability framework writ large: Sourcing, Environment and Society. And proof positive that citizens really do care about them.
We think there’s never been a better time to:
- Shout about the fabulous farmers and producers from whom you source your ingredients
- Place your most sustainable dishes front and centre of the menu and make themyour bestsellers
- Create and celebrate zero waste dishes
- Fire up your wait staff to be your front of house sustainability ambassadors
- Be as transparent as the single-use plastic you may have to use for a while – explaining to customers that you’ll be back to your sustainable best just as soon as you can be once you’ve taken care of their safety (But do check out schemes like #ContactlessCoffee and the Vegware and Paper Round compostable packaging scheme)
- And last but absolutely by no means least, go loud and proud with your SRA membership – let those stars of sustainability shine. One more stat for you – 93% of consumers said knowing more about the ethical credentials of a company’s food or products or could influence where they choose to eat. Contact email@example.com if you need us to send you any digital assets.
We know your customers don’t want a lecture with their lunch and you know how best to talk to them. So, over the coming weeks and months we’re asking you to share with us and your fellow SRA members the best examples of how you’re making sustainability work for you, while keeping your customers safe and how you’re talking to them about it. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to share your successes.