Diners willing to pay more for sustainability

A NEW REPORT from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) states that more than half of UK diners are willing to pay more for sustainably sourced ingredients.


It also showed that consumers are more interested than ever in how restaurants are run and their environmental credentials.


Raymond Blanc, President of the SRA and chef patron of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons said: “This report provides further evidence that our customers not only want to enjoy high quality food, but also want to know that the restaurants they eat in are managing their business responsibly.”


The survey of 1,000 people across the UK, carried out by Populus, shows a significant shift in diners’ priorities. Food waste, health and nutrition, and locally sourced produce are the three top issues on which diners want restaurants to focus. When the SRA asked consumers the same question in 2009, they ranked local sourcing, employee treatment and organic as their highest priorities. Only 5% of those asked this time ranked organic as one of their main concerns, compared with 45% when the survey was first conducted in 2009.


More than half of those surveyed said they would pay up to 10% more for their meal if they knew the restaurant was investing in reducing its environmental impact and taking its social responsibility seriously.


Increased interest in these issues has fuelled diners’ desire for more information and the research reveals that diners don’t feel restaurants tell them enough about the things that matter to them most, with 85% saying they know little or nothing about the social and environmental standards of the restaurants in which they eat, while almost exactly the same number (84%) want restaurants to tell them more about their sustainability.


Diners also want to know more about what is in their food. 81% think restaurants should be more transparent about what is in the meals they serve and 89 % said they didn’t receive any information about the nutritional value of their meal.