This report details the results of a survey of 500 restaurant owners and operators about their environmental efforts and sustainability opportunities and challenges within their operations. More than 1,000 consumers also were surveyed about the best methods for restaurants to promote sustainability practices to customers.
The results show that restaurants of all types are innovating and making progress. From independent operators to large restaurant chains, the foodservice industry is reducing its energy and water consumption, minimizing waste creation, and connecting with environmentally aware guests. This research also points to opportunities for restaurant operators to learn more about incentives that support sustainability steps. These include utility-company rebates for installing efficient equipment, enhanced tax deductions when restaurants donate wholesome leftover food to charities, and liability laws that protect food donors. These incentives can help ease the sustainability process for some operators.