Eco-focused eateries can capitalize on guests still gung-ho for green during economic crisis

Eco-focused eateries can capitalize on guests still gung-ho for green during economic crisis

PHILADELPHIA —Consumer desire for green products and services is going strong despite the economic crisis, and restaurants with an eco-friendly focus may even hold a competitive advantage over those that do not, a recent study found.

In an online poll of 2,014 adults conducted late last month by Harris Interactive, 73 percent of respondents said they still buy “green.” Of those, only 8 percent said they’ve reduced their green purchases because of the down-trending economy, while 26 percent reported that they are buying more green products and services. The remainder of respondents said they are buying about the same amount as before. —Consumer desire for green products and services is going strong despite the economic crisis, and restaurants with an eco-friendly focus may even hold a competitive advantage over those that do not, a recent study found.

The poll also found that restaurants that operate in an eco-friendly manner may win more consumer traffic. The study offered participants a scenario of two restaurants identical in food, service and price, but Restaurant A had a green focus while Restaurant B did not. Seventeen percent of respondents said they would choose eco-friendly Restaurant A even if the wait time was longer than it was at Restaurant B. An additional 21 percent said they would visit “green” Restaurant A if the wait times were the same. —Consumer desire for green products and services is going strong despite the economic crisis, and restaurants with an eco-friendly focus may even hold a competitive advantage over those that do not, a recent study found.

When it comes to pricing, the Harris poll found that 60 percent of respondents expected to pay the same amount at either restaurant, while 10 percent said they expected to pay less at the eco-friendly establishment. However, of those expecting to pay more, 13 percent said they would pay 5 percent more and 11 percent said they would pay 10 percent more. —Consumer desire for green products and services is going strong despite the economic crisis, and restaurants with an eco-friendly focus may even hold a competitive advantage over those that do not, a recent study found.

The Harris survey was sponsored by SCA Tissue North America, a manufacturer of paper products. —Consumer desire for green products and services is going strong despite the economic crisis, and restaurants with an eco-friendly focus may even hold a competitive advantage over those that do not, a recent study found.

Despite the challenges posed by the economic downturn, a variety of restaurants are forging ahead with their green initiatives. —Consumer desire for green products and services is going strong despite the economic crisis, and restaurants with an eco-friendly focus may even hold a competitive advantage over those that do not, a recent study found.

One such operator is Ted’s Montana Grill [2], the Atlanta-based, 55-unit casual-dining chain founded by veteran restaurateur George McKerrow Jr. and his partner, media mogul Ted Turner. Both McKerrow and Turner have become leaders in the green restaurant movement and often tour the country, encouraging other operators to go green. —Consumer desire for green products and services is going strong despite the economic crisis, and restaurants with an eco-friendly focus may even hold a competitive advantage over those that do not, a recent study found.

“The reality is that [green] is here to stay,” McKerrow said. “We’re beginning to see people embracing efforts at all levels, and that adds up to be a big change in the long run. —Consumer desire for green products and services is going strong despite the economic crisis, and restaurants with an eco-friendly focus may even hold a competitive advantage over those that do not, a recent study found.

“I hope we will continue to be leaders in environmentally friendly practices,” he continued. “Traditional restaurants create five times more waste than any other retail business, so this is a golden opportunity for us to start leading by example. Hard work can pay off to make a better world.” —Consumer desire for green products and services is going strong despite the economic crisis, and restaurants with an eco-friendly focus may even hold a competitive advantage over those that do not, a recent study found.

Alberto Gonzalez, the owner-operator of GustOrganics [3] in New York City, which is the nation’s first government-certified organic restaurant, said earlier this year that his business is going strong, thanks to a loyal customer base that believes in what he sells. —Consumer desire for green products and services is going strong despite the economic crisis, and restaurants with an eco-friendly focus may even hold a competitive advantage over those that do not, a recent study found.

“People are starting to care more about where they spend their money and why,” he said. “I believe everyone is going to follow; you’re going to see a huge change in business models.”— [email protected] [4] —Consumer desire for green products and services is going strong despite the economic crisis, and restaurants with an eco-friendly focus may even hold a competitive advantage over those that do not, a recent study found.