Your bartenders and baristas may have noticed an increase of customers asking for beverages without a straw or even berating them for using single-use plastic straws. If, like me, you were one of the 12 million people who watched and were traumatized by the still trending video of a sea turtle with a straw stuck in its nose, you understand why this mindfulness is on the rise.
Here are three things that you can do to help reduce single use plastic straws in your restaurant:
Stop Offering Straws
Miami voluntarily banned plastic straws and many other cities are talking about doing the same. This approach increases education, reduces waste, and reduces your inventory. But many customers like straws for the convenience – especially for their take-out beverages and cocktails – so what else can you do besides quitting straws cold turkey?
Straws Upon Request
The National Park Service estimates that Americas use 500 million straws every day, but when asked if they wanted a straw, more than half of customers passed on taking one. This approach also helps reduce consumption, raise awareness, and lower your business costs while increasing guest satisfaction!
There are many great alternatives to plastic straws that won’t break the bank, and will keep customers happy. Bamboo, paper, stainless steel and biodegradable plant-based straws are all environmentally friendly choices that can enhance your restaurant’s ambiance and guest satisfaction.
Making a change doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out Restaurant Tips: Staying in the Black While Going Green for some other simple, low or no cost solutions that your restaurant can implement to help both the environment and your bottom line.