I remember writing a post back in November on the massive amount of food and drink we waste each year, so I am really thrilled to see the efforts of the newly launched Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).
Calling for every restaurant and chef to lead by example in promoting healthy and sustainable food choices, the SRA, has already signed up over 100 restaurants since its launch on March 1st 2010.
Founded by Giles Gibbons (Good Business), Mark Sainsbury (Moro and The Zetter Hotel), Henry Dimbleby (Leon) and Simon Heppner (Good Business), the SRA provides a platform not just for restaurants, but also diners, restaurant employees and suppliers and it is calling for everyone to help them get as many restaurants to sign up as possible.
Saving money, motivating employees, attracting new customers and growing your company are just some of the benefits of operating a sustainable restaurant – it’s good for business and its good for the planet, so why are so many restaurants so reluctant to jump on the band wagon? Is it because they think it will be difficult, too expensive, complicated, if so then the SRA makes it all so simple by offering tips and advice, and a community of like minded people to discuss and solve whatever concerns they might have.
Just look at the stats from a recent survey of Toptable users: 93% think that restaurants and chefs should lead by example in promoting healthy and sustainable food choices; 70% would be more likely to eat at a restaurant that was accredited by a reputable sustainability body. If that’s not enough, here are some stats from The Environment Agency that might help sway them:
- The hotel and restaurant sector fares the worst in terms of environmental awareness
- Food services and restaurant industries are responsible for a staggering 3 million tonnes of food waste annually
- Restaurants throw out an incredible 600,000 tonnes of glass bottles a year
- Restaurants in England and Wales are using 391 million cubic metres of water annually, enough to fill over 104,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools
The issues that need to be addressed are identified on the SRA website under 14 key focus areas, and three sectors: society, sourcing and environment. Being supported by a large number of advisory bodies and partners across the restaurant industry and sustainability spectrum, The SRA really does have the know-how to help both restaurants and diners to be more sustainable.
Among those already signed up are Carluccio’s, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Moro, Due South, The Felan Fach Griffin, Canteen, Gurnard’s Head, Benares, Wahaca, Feng Sushi, Rockfish Grill, Caffe Caldesi and Seahorse Restaurant.
It’s such a good cause, so I am urging you to help them reach their goal of recruiting a further 900 restaurants this year: sign up and pledge your support now – What have you got to lose?
For further information about the Sustainable Restaurant Association please visit www.thesra.org