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In simple words a business is sustainable when generates a positive impact on the environment or society. A sustainable strategy aims to positively impact one or both of those areas, helping address some of the world’s most pressing
problems, such as climate change and income inequality. Here below few reasons why business sustainability strategies are essential to financial success:
Improper practices damage reputation and dealing with a public relations disaster can divert important human and financial resources from the core business.
By instituting a sustainable strategy that protects the environment and your workers, you also protect yourself from any damaging effect on your business reputation.
Competitive advantage because of purpose driven goals
Sustainability and business goals go along very well together. Recent studies show that 90 percent of executives believe an organization with shared purpose has greater employee satisfaction. Additionally, 85 percent say they would recommend more a company with a strong purpose.This factor can be a competitive advantage when attracting best talents and target markets.
Market for sustainable goods is growing fast
Today consumers are willing to change their habits to reduce their negative impact on the environment; sustainable products sales have grown by 20 percent since 2014. Millennials in particular love sustainable ingredients or products that reflect social responsibility.
Together we can change
As individuals we feel overwhelming or simply impossible to create changes in a meaningful way.
But when innovative and successful companies are working together to solve pressing problems, we can see that our efforts are in good company. Purpose-driven companies working together have experienced great success.
Value of sustainability
Sustainability doesn’t mean sacrificing profits; It has become a crucial element in any organization’s successful strategy, for improvement in profitability, growth, employee retention.
Integrating sustainability into a business strategy create more opportunities for success.
1. Open wall spaces can be filled by local talents; a new artist or group of artists can assist either monthly or quarterly with a rotating collection of unique decor and, in addition, sales opportunities can be generated with a proper art exposure.
2. A mural is also a great idea as many guests will take selfies for an Instagram-worthy piece of art related post, giving you free publicity.
3. Go Green: Indoor plants are not only beautiful and relaxing, but can also many help purify the air and create a visual connection for guests about the freshness of the ingredients.
4. The kitchen itself being part of the décor or an exposed wine “cellar” can be seen by guests as an important learning moment. Lots of upselling moments there.
5. A restaurant theme shall reflect menu or brand.
6. A minimalist look is made of think clean lines, natural materials, and a simple color scheme; this style is perfect for a “less is more” kind of concept.
7. Certain looks are classics for a reason; a classic pizzeria showcasing checkered tablecloths can provide a sense of nostalgia while still having a modern twist.
8. A community-centered experience can be created simply by adding a communal table or offering board games for guests to play while they are waiting.
9. Good lighting creates ambiance for your guests. Besides the feel, other things to consider are energy efficiency, staff safety and offering guests the possibility to be able to get a good shot of their plate
10. A well-functioning restaurant professional needs always a designer / consultant to plan layout and maximize function. A small space doesn’t necessarily need to feel crowded or cramped!
11. Every guest in every seat shall be looking at something nice!
12. A warm hello and welcome greeting is the guests’ very first impression of the place. This should never be overlooked
Il Bel Paese Group successfully reopened 6 units in Hong Kong Central and Discovery Bay, Lantau Island.
Dining Vision Ltd led the project and assisted the owning company from concept development all the way to the successful openings, through kitchen, retail and dining areas design, decor elements selection, food and beverage offering, hiring and strategic planning.
The grocery shops (Happy Valley, Bonham Road, Caine Road, Discovery Bay)
are now a lot fresher, with brighter, more inviting and approachable retail areas; ice cream corners and huge see-through vertical cheese and cold cuts fridges are located right at the entrance, sending a bold and inviting message at the street level.
We wanted to re-look at an Italian grocery store concept, not formal and intimidating but rather engaging and conversational.
The restaurant division (Caine Road, Queen`s Road Central and Discovery Bay Plaza) showcases updated interiors to provide the best guest experience possible. Restaurants renovation included a complete revamp of the kitchens, upgraded dining areas, modernized furniture and décor as well as a completely remodeled exterior in Discovery Bay, now boasting a patio able to welcome 200 guests for lunch and dinner all year round and featuring Italian imported furniture and an ultra-light canopy.
The food and beverage selection is now offering imported organic and sustainable products, an expanded selection of premium wine and spirits, homemade authentic cuisine available with dine-in and take-away options.
Dining Vision (HK) is now ready for a new challenging task (Ecospitality) to be developed with its subsidiaries D.V. Co. (Thailand), V.A. International (Vietnam), the newly formed Lotus & Jasmine (Vietnam and Thailand) and the newly acquired Eataly.vn (Vietnam): the development of a sustainable hospitality project, where "ecospitality" and "from farm to table" dining concepts will evolve around responsible tourism practices and the 17 SDGs, United Nations sustainable development goals, https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/
As issues like climate change and plastic pollution are in the spotlight, diners are paying lots of attention to environmentally-friendly practices, food waste reduction, sustainability.
Quality of food and atmosphere, service, value for the money are still important parameters when choosing a restaurant, but now people are also considering Corporate Social Responsibility as a factor which helps in taking the right decision.
Implementing environmentally friendly practices into a restaurant business or starting a transformation will generate a positive effect, as customers will notice these initiatives, and they’re likely to become more loyal as a result.
There are many changes to consider, with some ideas difficult to execute because requiring some time and others easy to integrate in daily operations in order to reduce the environmental footprint and support sustainability practices
Reduce Water Consumption
Low-flow faucets or taps operating from a motion sensor can save thousands of liters of water; water-efficient toilets and kitchen equipped with energy star-certified dishwashing machines, ice makers and steamers will help as well for sure
Big blackboards, digital menus, more moments of interactions with guests are already replacing in part old style printed menus. Once a menu is in the restaurant's website, diners can be encouraged with proper signs to read it on their smartphones. A digital loyalty program with rewards points can easily replace plastic or paper cards in a program that in addition shows a digital receipt, easy to be accessed in the loyalty app
Support Local Farmers & Family Businesses
If a restaurant purchases locally, it gives a valuable contribution to reduce transportation impact and lower carbon emissions, compared to shipping or flying imported products. Another benefit comes from supporting small businesses that offer most probably fresh and organic produce, free of preservatives and other chemicals
Food waste coming from the kitchen and from customers can be donated to local farmers for compost. Food left at the end of the day and not suitable for serving next day can be donated to charity organizations. Coffee grounds make great fertilizer, so eventually it can also be donated to guests to fertilize their gardens or to local farmers to fertilize their crops. Separate bins for food waste, glass, plastic, cardboard, and general rubbish should be in place
Use Less Energy
One of the easiest steps to take is replacing non-energy saving lightbulbs and monitoring on unnecessary overuse of air conditioning. Depending on the climate, a “1-hour on, 1-hour off” policy would literally cut in half the energy usage. Energy Star-rated microwaves, ovens, exhaust fans and all the appliances should be given priority when purchasing equipment
No Chemical-based Cleaning Products
When considering ways for eco-friendly solutions, we sometimes overlook an important area, which is cleaning. It is important to switch to environmentally friendly detergents and cleaning products free of chemicals. Eco-friendly hand soap for the restrooms can be purchased in bulk and should fill existing dispensers
Recycle Old Furniture and Décor
If considering to open a new restaurant, we should choose sustainable products as more as possible, including loose furniture. Reclaimed wood provides a trendy vibe as well as bamboo-based furniture. Table cloths and even cloth napkins can be washed and reused, just like real mugs, glasses and dishes to replace paper tissues and paper cups
Reduce as more as possible a negative impact on the environment
a) Strict “no car” delivery policy; only pedestrian or bicycle deliveries for nearby delivery
b) Encourage staff to come to work riding a bicycle and offer incentives to follow this program
c) offer a bonus to employees who share a car to work
d) No plastic straws!. Bamboo, metal or paper straws are recommended
Get Your Staff On Board!
To create the right culture at work, during operations someone needs to be in charge of sustainable practices; a proper Tailor Made Training should be created; these initiatives needs to be put in place only if and when the whole team share all values and everyone is on is on the same page, sharing also the common goal
Get Your Customers On Board!
Proper signs should make clear that the restaurant is embracing sustainable practices and customers should get involved as well through activities like donating 10% of sales to a good cause, or hosting events that ultimately increase awareness locking them into a commitment. Social media accounts to promote dedication to being an eco-friendly business should involve customers for ideas or feedback on how to bring in more sustainable techniques and methods
Restaurants are sustainable when they reduce their waste streams and are also practicing sustainable principles, minimizing their impact on the environment. While we are seeing a decline of our planet’s natural resources as well as an increase in demand for transparency and in consumer expectations, restaurants businesses are facing numerous challenges, such as growing costs, slow growth, employees retention or high turnover and ultimately a need to attract a younger demographic target.
As consumers, according to recent statistics, are willing to pay more for sustainable services and products, restaurants should consider more commitment to sustainability, as this would be an important marketing strategy to address all issues above. Here some important steps for restaurants businesses willing to start their “sustainable” journey:
- Engaging stakeholders: to start the process in the more efficient way it is important to receive support, suggestions and input from as many stakeholders affected by the business as possible; employees, suppliers, corporate, local communities, private and public organizations should be involved from the very beginning.
- Operations assessment: it is recommended to study in depth all major issues such as employee’s retention and turnover rate, relationship with suppliers and local communities, where most of the money is spent, how the company is known in the market and what can be done to improve.
- Sustainability Metrics Tracking System: once a sustainability tracking system is developed and updated regularly, metrics like water consumption, energy use, waste and others can be kept under tight control and analyzed in depth in order to identify trends and opportunities from improvement. This analysis will create a system in which monitoring on performance and benchmarks will help in consolidating best practices. Targets and goals should be realistic and not impossible to achieve; at same time they should create the right level of excitement to keep all stakeholders engaged during the journey.
- New technologies, programs and policies: understanding what is available in the market for improvement of business and operations is extremely important as there are always new trends emerging and new practices to embrace. Consultants can help and support in this stage.
- Implementation: After identifying new technologies, policies and practices, it is time to implement. Employees and stakeholders need to be informed during the journey as these initiatives can motivate them and keep them engaged.
- A never ending journey: The goal is to continually improve practices, continue to reduce costs day by day, continue to build bridges with stakeholders and continue to contribute to a better world for everyone.