Green trends are flourishing in all divisions of the foodservice industry including the mobile food sector as consumers demand more environmentally friendly products. According to the 50 percent of American adults said that when selecting products, a business, restaurant, or a mobile food vendor to visit, the topic of sustainability at times influences their choices.
For food truck owners, adding sustainable practices may impress customers but it also serves a more practical purpose: It will benefit your bottom line. Here are a few tips to consider when implementing sustainable practices in your mobile food business.
5 Sustainable Practices To Green Your Food Truck Business
- Source food and ingredients locally. Choosing locally sourced foods lessens your carbon footprint while boosting the local economy. Many food trucks are already seeing the benefits: locally sourced meats and seafood topped menu trends for 2013, according to a National Restaurant Association survey.
- Choose green vendors: A recent report indicated that 77 percent of American businesses consider a vendor’s commitment to sustainability a “somewhat important” factor when deciding to purchase products or services. To ‘green’ your food truck, choose vendors and suppliers that also have green programs and processes in place. Third-party certifications like Green Seal or EcoLogo can help you determine those vendors.
- Improve kitchen culture. According to a 2012 white paper by the Natural Resources Defense Council, 4 – 10 percent of food purchased by restaurants becomes kitchen loss (edible and inedible) before reaching the consumer. This number should be headed by food truck owners as well. You should educate and monitor employees in your mobile kitchen area to reduce the food waste that occur from poor cooking and cleaning habits.
- Cleaning green: Certain cleaning products and chemicals can be hazardous to the environment and harmful to your health. Mobile food vendors should take the appropriate steps to incorporate green cleaning products into their maintenance plans to reduce sick leave and productivity loss from ill employees.
- Save paper: In addition to using recycled paper products, food truck owners should also make an effort to minimize paper waste. One-at-a time napkin dispensers control napkin consumption and reduce overall paper usage. Some brands of napkin dispensers can reduce paper usage by 25 percent.
The Bottom Line
Adding sustainable practices to your food truck operation may impress customers the big reason to do this is to benefit your bottom line. While sustainable practices might not directly drive your mobile food business, it can still be a cornerstone to your business model. The reward is recognition from customers, repeat visits to your service window and an opportunity to build brand loyalty for your food truck.