COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on businesses across all indus- tries and the effects of the pandemic have been felt strongly within the hospitality sector. Many restaurants, bars, cafes, and other businesses within hospitality were forced to close for several months.This was necessary to comply with social distancing regulations* introduced by the UK government to help fight the spread of the virus.
On a positive note, social distancing measures have had an environ- mental benefit and there has been a record-breaking drop in CO2 emis- sions**, highlighting the need for sustainability and the fact that all businesses should focus on maintaining these environmental benefits.
But now that the hospitality sector is opening itself back into the world, many business owners are having to fight to stay afloat.While there are many routes they can take, they must bear in mind that there is more pressure to maintain the environmental effects of COVID-19, what with the government’s announcement of the green scheme and warnings from organisations such as National Geographic.
Luckily, new, innovative trends are rippling throughout the hospitality industry, encourage greener initiatives to enhance business services.This calls for reflection on trends that were on the cusp of a major break- through within the sector, some of which grew in popularity throughout lockdown, such as take out and pop up restaurants. Many businesses are still relying on these services, so now is the time to reflect on what’s been done, and how we can take these latest trends one step further, while contributing towards a more sustainable world.With that in mind, here are the key ways that businesses can increase sustainability within the hospitality sector.
ALTERNATIVES TO BRICKS AND MORTAR WITHIN THE HOSPITALITY SECTOR
There has been a major drive in recent years to help make buildings more eco-friendly, resulting in a rising trend of shipping container archi- tecture.This new method can be simple way for hospitality businesses to make their operations greener.
Investing in a shipping container business can offer several advantages. Firstly, shipping containers can be custom designed to suit your exact needs and requirements.They can also offer a cost-effective alternative to renting a commercial property.Another great benefit is that they are built from high-quality materials that are durable and long-lasting, designed to withstand wear and tear.The fact that they are so portable can also help those part of the hospitality sector, as it will also allow them to branch out to festivals, fairs, and other events where food and drink play a huge role.
For example, S Jones*** recently completed a project for popular venue Beech House Club in Solihull.They were tasked with creating a quirky alfresco bar and outdoor seating area out of recycled containers. The addition has been a massive hit with customers and clearly demon- strates the benefits of hospitality brands incorporating shipping contain- ers into their business operations. Something similar to this renovation would cost around £20k minimum.
On top of this, shipping container businesses are considered extremely trendy and appeal to eco-conscious consumers. Moving your business to a recycled shipping container may help you attract a new customer base, especially given the fact that more and more consumers are looking to support green businesses.
MAKEYOUR HOSPITALITY BUSINESS MORE ENERGY-EFFICIENT
Shipping containers are of course not the only method business own- ers can turn to when it comes to embracing new, eco-friendly ideas. Fortunately, there are dozens of simple ways for hospitality businesses to reduce their energy usage and make their daily operations more sus- tainable. Here are a few ideas:
Hospitality businesses tend to use high amounts of electricity, particularly if they have cold storage facilities on-site. Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances – Switching to more efficient models should instantly reduce your electricity usage and could save your business significant amounts of money in the long-run.
Try and think local – the pandemic has created a surge of support for local businesses, as sadly, there are many throughout the UK which could not survive lockdown. So by showing your support for local farmers and food sup- pliers, not only are you helping your local community, but customers will recog- nise this and continue to support your business as well.
Recycle your food waste – Hospitality businesses such as restaurants and cafes tend to produce large volumes of food waste. Restaurants can recy- cle old food by arranging regular waste collections or creating a compost bin. If you find you’re left with large amounts of unused food one day, try and come up with a new, exciting dish that can be served as a special the next day.
Switch to a green energy provider – This is a simple way to make your hospitality business more sustainable. Switching is quick, simple, and could save your business almost £500 per year according to uSwitch****.
Minimise plastic waste – Try to purchase stock and products that use mini- mal packaging.You should also encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags or offer eco-friendly alternatives to plastic carrier bags.
The COVID-19 measures are starting to ease, which signals a gradual return to ‘normal’ life.This means that many hospitality businesses can open their doors to customers again.While this is an exciting time, peo- ple within the hospitality sector must adapt their services and embrace new ideas to ensure the safety and comfort of their customers. Sustainability should be a top priority for all businesses within the hospi- tality sector and every company should set environmental objectives.
Using recycled shipping containers, switching to energy-efficiency appli- ances, and recycling food waste and simple ways for hospitality business- es to reduce their environmental impact and increase sustainability post-pandemic.Try incorporating some of the above ideas to make your business greener today!
* “Staying alert and safe (social distancing ….” https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and- safe-social-distancing. Accessed 17 Aug. 2020.
**”Coronavirus set to cause largest ever annual fall in CO2 ….” 9 Apr. 2020, https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-coronavirus-set-to-cause-largest-ever-annual-fall-in-co2-emissions. Accessed 17 Aug. 2020.
***”Creating an Outdoor Bar For Solihull`s Beech House Pub.” https://www.sjonescontainers.co.uk/case-stud- ies/creating-an-outdoor-bar-for-solihulls-beech-house-pub/. Accessed 17 Aug. 2020.
****”Uswitch.com.” https://www.uswitch.com/. Accessed 17 Aug. 2020.
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