How to Reduce Takeout Waste
As the foodservice industry turns toward pickup and delivery channels as a safer alternative to dine-in seating, takeout waste grows too. Lately, environmentally-minded guests have pushed for more renewable business practices.
Making sustainable, eco-friendly choices may require you to shift your priorities. Whether it’s finding greener vendors or changing how you package delivery, here are 5 ways to reduce your takeout waste in 2021.
Eliminating Takeout Waste
1. Bag Smarter
Group some food items together and use more compact boxes to reduce your plastic waste. Ask customers to choose between paper or plastic, or require them to ask for one in the first place. Avoid double-bagging unless it’s necessary. Simple steps like this can reduce your plastic use significantly immediately. By grouping certain foods together that don’t necessarily need to be separated in the bag, you’ll save space without sacrificing the meal’s quality.
2. Reusable Options
Some restaurants have gotten rid of single-use options altogether. Instead, they use containers that customers can repurpose for leftovers. Sanitization programs are growing too. Businesses have started letting customers bring back their empty containers for the restaurants to sanitize and reuse.
Incentivize guests to follow through by creating a rewards program, such as offering delivery discounts when they bring back the containers. This improves customer loyalty and encourages them to come back again and again.
3. Greener Cleaners
When you sanitize returned containers or clean up your store, consider industrial-grade, certified green alternatives. These are better for the environment and act as an additional selling point for eco-friendly consumers who will appreciate that you go the extra mile. Publicize the changes you’re making on social media or put a certification sticker at the bottom of the menu to let customers know you’re committed to saving the planet.
4. Single-Use Plastics
Sometimes it does make sense to employ single-use plastics, but even that can be done sustainably. For example, many places require customers to ask for straws instead of just handing them out freely. Some states now charge for plastic bags. Employ this same strategy with plastic utensils too. Often, off-premise orders won’t require them because guests have cutlery at home, so why not give them the option to turn them down? For single-use containers, consider aluminum trays, clear plastics, and cardboard so diners can recycle when they’re done.
5. Single-Use Compostable Alternatives
Give green-minded customers peace of mind with certified compostable containers, made by third parties who can verify their status. Let customers return their single-use, compostable boxes for you to dispose of properly or turn over to an organization that accepts them. Most importantly, communicate exactly what you want from your customers so they know what to do how to contribute to your new green initiative.
Save the Planet with Less Takeout Waste
Save money, prevent unnecessary waste and strengthen customer loyalty by making a commitment to green business practices. Streamlined restaurant operations start with a smarter Point of Sale.
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