Going green is trending everywhere these days. You can thank the Millennial generation for their influence when it comes to sustainability. People want to hear about, and they want to be a part of it. By using more and more sustainable practices in your catering business, you will appeal to a larger number of potential customers. Not to mention, the added benefit of helping the planet. Check out our tips on how to make your catering business more sustainable.
You should start on small when it comes to sustainability within a catering business. If you start out too large, you could get overwhelmed and scrap most of your concepts all together. Think about what you can achieve right away, and what seems like more of a future goal. Easy things would be how your menu is printed, and having a recycle bin within the office. You don’t need to plan each season’s menu on day one.
Have the Right Suppliers or Grow It Yourself
Every food supplier operates differently. Some follow strict sustainable growing practices while others take the easy way out and use what will allow them to grow the highest volume of food in the smallest amount of time. If you can’t find the right suppliers or you have the resources, try growing some of your food ingredients yourself. It sounds a lot harder than it, but it has a bonus of giving your catering chefs a new appreciation for what they cook.
It’s important to include things in your menu that are currently in season within your area. For example, avocados are only in season in the winter and summer months. When you use a seasonal menu, it cuts down on food transport from far places where specific menu items may be in season. When you cut down on long food transports you also cut down on costs. This is a win-win situation for both you and the environment. Additionally, think about how creative you can get with a seasonal menu.
As an off-site caterer it can be very easy to just throw everything away after an event, and start fresh at your next one. You should think about items that you can use at multiple events. Is it better to have silverware that can be washed or thrown away? What about table linens? If you have the space and time, then reusing such items will be great for the environment. Plus, your guests won’t even know the difference.
Pay attention to this if you are an off-premise caterer. Since you and your team are constantly traveling to different locations, it’s important you think about how much gas you are using. You should try to encourage carpooling with your employees. If you have a central hub office, try having everyone meet there, and use vans or other larger transportation to carry everyone and all of the equipment you need. When each person takes their own car, gas can really add up, and it can waste parking spaces for the actual event guests.
Train Your Staff on Sustainable Practices
It’s not enough for just one person within a business to make a fully sustainable business. Everyone has to do their part for the environment. There are numerous ways you can make your staff passionate about sustainability practices within your business. You can do things like contests to see who can do the most recycling or who has the most creative ideas for different seasonal menu items. Additionally, you should encourage your staff to share insight about the different sustainable practices you use within your business. The best way to the heart of your guests is through your staff.
This one is easy! Go digital and lose the paper. If you have to use paper, then go with recycled paper. However, in such a digital age you should be striving to incorporate it more into your everyday activities. If you plan on taking orders at an event, why not do it on a mobile or tablet device? Additionally, don’t forget about management software. It can save you time and paper, plus keep you organized throughout the entire event.
Get to It
Do your research and learn what sustainable practices will work for you and your catering business. Don’t get overwhelmed and remember that even the smallest sustainable actions can help the environment. It’s all about action, so get out there and make your business the best it can be.