Plastic straws were just the beginning. Guests around the world are demanding eco-friendly food packaging, and it’s changing the way restaurants do business.

The Nielsen Global Survey recently found that 52% of respondents said their sustainable purchase decisions were influenced by packaging. Many would also be comfortable paying extra for sustainable products. This growing trend is especially popular among Millennial consumers.

Restaurant operators aren’t just competing with each other; they’re also keeping up with the ideals popular among their guests. These consumers buy food from small businesses, meal kit companies, grocery stores, and even online giants like Amazon. They’re constantly surrounded by packaging solutions, and they’ve come to expect sustainable options.

 

Sustainability

For eco-friendly packaging to be truly sustainable, it has to be good for business as well as for the environment. It doesn’t matter that your new containers are compostable if they cut your profits in half. As you’re researching eco-friendly, economically sustainable packaging options, make sure you do a careful cost-benefit analysis of all the options you’re considering. How will they impact your bottom line over time?

 

Food Safety

Many eco-friendly food containers have unforeseen limitations. For example, some compostable containers are not safely microwaveable. This isn’t an issue if you’re using them to serve salad or pickles, but it may become a problem if you’re delivering soup. Make sure you’re up to date on food safety regulations in your area, and that you’re well-informed about how to safely use your new packaging options.

 

Ready, Set, Grow!

When you’ve done all the research and you’re ready to invest in sustainable packaging, you have an exciting marketing opportunity. How will you let your guests know about what’s coming? You might put a banner on your website, write a Facebook post, or even type up a note and distribute it with your menus. Don’t miss out on this chance to improve guest engagement across the board.

Ethical consumption is more than a trend; it’s a new way of life. Stay ahead of the curve by continuing to research sustainable packaging, fuel, and delivery options for your business. By making a few key investments now, you can show your loyal customers that you care about the future of the planet – and they’ll care even more about the future of your business.