What’s the Secret to Greener Catering?
The catering business is one of those industries that seem to be invincible. People are always going to have weddings, corporate events, and birthday parties, which means you’ll always have customers. But are you future proofing your business by paying attention to sustainability?
5 Ways to Make Your Catering Business Green
“The beauty of catering, from a business perspective, is that there’s ample room for creativity,” Plastic Container City explains. “While most caterers think about creativity in the sense of table décor, place settings, and food presentation, there’s also an imaginative component to doing more with less – i.e., being resourceful.”
If you’re looking for a way to (a) make your catering business more sustainable, and (b) set your business apart, going green is the answer.
Here are some specific steps you can take.
1. Use Reusable Cutlery
Let’s start with place settings and cutlery. While there’s something to be said for quick and easy disposable options – such as paper plates and plastic utensils – these items are extremely wasteful.
A much better option is reusable cutlery that can be used hundreds of times over again. While it does require water and energy on the cleaning front, the energy expended in this area pales in comparison to the amount consumed in ordering an entirely new set every time you cater an event.
2. Serve Finger Food
Disposable cutlery and place settings are okay – reusable ones are better. But do you know what the best option is? When possible, you should eliminate the need for any of it. How do you do that? With finger food, of course!
While you can’t do this with the main course, making appetizers and desserts in finger food type portions can eliminate the need for knives, forks, and plates. Toothpicks and napkins will do the trick.
3. Use Local, Seasonal Food
“Your food should not have to travel further than your meeting delegates,” one caterer believes. “The first step to green catering is to work with local suppliers. Local foods travel a shorter distance from farm to plate demanding less fuel for the delivery and causing less CO2 emissions. You will be rewarded with extra fresh and healthy products.”
It’s also essential to use seasonal food. While local suppliers are able to grow fruits and veggies out of season using artificial heating, lighting, and other tricks, this isn’t the cleanest or most efficient choice. In-season food is much less demanding for the environment.
4. Recycle Trash
As any caterer knows, it doesn’t take a huge event to generate some serious trash volume. Even a party with 20 or 25 people can lead to dozens of trash bags and piles of empty boxes and bottles.
While it takes a little more planning on your part, and effort for the guests, encouraging guests to sort trash based on recyclability will help you reduce your impact on the environment.
5. Use Safer Cleaning Products
Finally, please make sure you’re using safe cleaning products. Almost all commercial cleaning products have harsh ingredients. They might kill the germs and wipe up residue, but they leave behind dangerous toxins.
Make it a point to use safe cleaning products at every event you cater. Better yet, make your own cleaning products using natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, borax, and lemon.
Make Sustainability a Priority
Sustainability has become a buzzword in most industries these days, but it’s more than a word you flippantly toss around. By prioritizing green decision making in your catering business, you can lower your carbon footprint and simultaneously grow your customer base. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us!