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What makes a sustainable restaurant?

And why the Sustainable Restaurant Group is cashless

Listen to this podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify or SoundCloud.

As Kristofor Lofgren, founder of The Sustainable Restaurant Group, sees it, restaurants have an oversized impact on the world. But not the best reputation. 

"The restaurant industry is not necessarily known well for taking care of its people. It's not necessarily well known for taking care of the environment or the animals or farms that it procures products from. And it's not necessarily well known for taking care of people's health,” said Lofgren, on the NRN Extra Serving Podcast. 

To Lofgren, to be a sustainable restaurant means taking on all of these issues. At his restaurants, Bamboo Sushi and Quick Fish, sit down and fast-casual sustainable sushi restaurants, he considers everything from the farmers they source from to the financial institutions they bank with. 

The Sustainable Restaurant Group stopped taking cash this year, and Lofgren said being able to bank with small, independent firms is one of many reasons being cashless is part of being a sustainable restaurant.

But being cashless is just part of the sustainability equation.

"I believe restaurants have to do the right thing and actually serve something that is not only good for the restaurant's bottom line, but also for the community that they operate in and for the people who are coming in to eat the product and for the planet as a whole," he said. "So that's really the focus of Sustainable Restaurant Group is to be a restaurant company that does good in all these different ways." 

Contact Gloria Dawson at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @GloriaDawson


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