Restaurants across the United States are being encouraged to join the Green bandwagon and become environmentally friendly. The National Restaurant Association voted in January 2007 to promote earth friendly practices in its 900,000 plus member organization.
Recently 300 restaurants pledged to be come certifiably green under the Green Restaurant Association. This non-profit organization has the mission to create an ecologically sustainable restaurant industry. Restaurants can take steps to be "certified green restaurants." National Public Radio covered the green restaurant movement in March 2007.
In many cases going green means money saving for restaurants and makes people feel good about eating out, so its a great marketing strategy to "go green." San Diego district manager for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stated, "Going green is a win for everyone. We are helping the environment, educating our employees and customers and through the GRA four-step process, and saving money. What could be better?"
On the Green Restaurant Association web site they list reasons to become a certified Green Restaurant. We encourage you to visit the site, but here are a few teaser reasons for the curious:
- 1. Receive Great Publicity
- 2. Cut Costs
- 3. Improve Staff Productivity and Morale
- 4. Increase Customer Loyalty.
- 5. Drive in New Customers
- 6. Stay Ahead of Legislation and
- 7. Create a Healthier Environment.
Will this green trend continue in restaurants? Yes, think many restaurant and hotel owners. In a May 2007 Dallas News article Nikki Leondakis, Chief operating officer of the boutique hotel chain Kimpton Hotel and Restaurants said, "Sixteen percent of Kimpton's hotel guests now say they are drawn by the company's environmental policy. That tells me that restaurants will follow suit at some point."
Interested in dining in a green restaurant. The GRA web site has a database of restaurants that have gone green so you can find out which of your local restaurants are earth-friendly.
We all agree that our Earth needs all the help it can get. Next time you eat out, pick a place that will make you feel like you're helping mother Earth. Go Green.