Restaurant Recycling: Consumer Opinion Makes it Good for Business

A growing number of restaurants are recycling to reduce waste and protect the environment. According to a new study, there are other benefits to consider. In fact, a recycling program can affect a restaurant’s reputation and revenue in positive ways.

In a recent survey, the National Restaurant Association found that 65% of restaurant owners embrace recycling. The fact that most restaurateurs are recycling is encouraging. But responses from consumers are even more promising.

Consumers prefer restaurants that recycle
Recycling can affect consumer loyalty and cause a willingness to pay more. Here are results from the survey:

  • 3 out of 5 adults would rather visit a restaurant with a recycling program
  • 51% are willing to pay a little more at restaurants that recycle
  • Consumers are willing to pay a median of 10% more

In the mind of the consumer, a restaurant that recycles is a responsible member of the business community–one that cares for the environment and should be supported. In this sense, going green is a solid step towards a good reputation and loyal customers.

An incredible return on investment
Consumers also say they’re willing to pay 10% more to dine at restaurants that recycle. You might think this 10% would be offset by extra recycling costs, but think again. In the same survey, 73% of restaurateurs say recycling doesn’t affect their cost of goods.

Keep in mind that restaurant recycling can boost the bottom line in other ways as well.  Many restaurants sell their recyclable waste and others take advantage of municipal cash incentives. It’s clear then that recycling brings an incredible return on investment, benefiting the business and the environment.

What’s a smart restaurateur to do?
Insight from this survey tells us it’s important to not only start a recycling program, but also promote it. This may be easier for quick-service restaurants, where recycling is often visible in the front of the house. But restaurants with back-of-the-house recycling can promote it in other ways.

Messages on the menu, on the website, on printed materials, in advertising and in social media can all help get the word out. Businesses with a strong green initiative should also send a press release or participate in green events. Whether it’s online or off, any opportunity to highlight the restaurant’s eco-friendly practices can have a positive effect.

Sustainable practices are here to stay
Sustainable practices are increasingly becoming best practices in the industry. To gain full benefits, it’s important that restaurants adopt recycling while also informing their customers. Because as this survey shows, recycling is not only good for the environment, it’s also good for business.

About National Waste Associates
National Waste Associates provides waste management services for restaurateurs with multiple restaurants located anywhere in the USA, Puerto Rico, or Canada.  We help restaurant chains with challenging work environments by working closely with each location, reducing their waste, helping them become compliant to local recycling laws, and reducing waste removal costs up to 30%

 Read More About Our Restaurant Waste & Recycling Management Programs