July 13, 2023
Devn Ratz

7 Ways to Make a Sustainable Menu for Online Food Ordering

Picture the perfect menu in the hands of your customers. 

It’s an engaging list of dishes and descriptions–and they can’t wait to order. For you, it’s a business tool designed with upselling techniques and restaurant marketing strategies. So, what exactly would make this menu ideal? Could it be the promise of convenience and the comfort of sustainability?

Today, customers crave ease. They want quick, seamless service without changing the quality of their meals. As a driving force behind the shift in operations toward online ordering for restaurants, businesses increasingly lean toward practices that speed up service. 

At the same time, customers are more conscious of their environmental footprint and its dire consequences. They seek businesses that match their values, and when they find them, they choose to support those who showcase restaurant sustainability. Combining their two highest values—convenience and consciousness—will set your brand apart. 

Future-proof your business with a sustainable menu for your online ordering solution. Add to your sustainable packaging solutions, and prepare your unique recipe for success in the food service scene by getting our 7 suggestions for your sustainable menu.

Key Takeaway: A sustainable menu offers major growth to enterprise restaurants by satisfying customer values and contributing to environmental protection.
Find the data you need for your sustainable menu through Revolution Ordering. Schedule your demo to see how it works.

How Sustainable Menus Support Restaurants

Restaurants embrace sustainable menus with online ordering technology to stay competitive and sustainable. This combination aligns with today’s customer preferences for convenience and consciousness. It also reduces restaurant food waste and increases operational efficiency in your restaurant.

Use menus to cater to the growing number of restaurant delivery and off-premise orders. Demo Revolution Ordering to see how we can help you gain an ecological edge over your competition with the benefits below.

Cut Operating Expenses

A sustainable menu can cut your restaurant's operating expenses by 30%. The PG&E Food Service Tech Center found $8 billion in annual wastage in cooking and storage. 

To really costs, prioritize energy-efficient menu items, and consider implementing sustainable technology like energy-saving restaurant equipment.

Reduce Labor Costs

Sustainability aligns with customer expectations, business strategy, and employee values. This reduces staff turnover and the high costs associated with losing employees. 

Staff and customer retention improve when your restaurant supports their values. Serving locally sourced, organic foods mirrors those important environmental values.

Capture New Customers

Millennials and Gen Z favor sustainable restaurants. Add menu items like farm-to-table salads as well as digital menu ordering to attract this group.

The National Restaurant Association noted 58% would pick more sustainable restaurants and venues. Grow your customer base by showcasing the importance of sustainability through your business.

Create Marketing Opportunities

Sustainable restaurants stand out from the crowd. Green, unique branding attracts media attention and differentiates you from competitors. 

Use this to your advantage: stick out for customers through your sustainability. For example, you can promote plant-based options to draw positive media attention and customer loyalty programs.

Conserve Natural Resources

Your sustainability efforts have a massive positive impact. It's not just about savings, it's also about helping the planet. 

Embrace sustainability and benefit the Earth by choosing to cut food waste through smarter menu management strategies.

7 Options to Make a Sustainable Menu

Embracing sustainability to improve restaurant operations is no truly optional; it's noticed. In restaurant operations, your efforts for sustainability significantly alter customer perception and loyalty. 

Learn how to drive business, enhance restaurant appeal, and improve operations while simultaneously supporting our planet. Follow this step-by-step approach to infusing sustainability into your menu. 

1. Local Produce

Artisans and producers in your area create delicious, local foods customers recognize and trust. By sourcing locally, you not only support your economy but also elevate your restaurant's image. 

It enhances the authenticity of your dishes when customers find value in local, recognizable ingredients. This sense of community engagement fosters strong customer relationships, vital for custom loyalty programs.

2. Seasonal Fare

Fresher, more tasty produce comes from local farms. Offering seasonal produce directly means your customers get the freshest and most flavorful dishes. It not only reduces transport and storage costs but also minimizes your carbon footprint. 

Seasonal menus are exciting too, always offering something new. This leads restaurants to get more orders, eager to try your latest seasonal delicacies.

3. Surplus Foods

Reduce food waste with over-stocked ingredients can be an effective strategy to minimize costs while pushing creativity. Restaurants often have over-stocked ingredients, so use them in your recipes to stir your innovative side.

This helps in minimizing food waste, cutting costs, and demonstrating your commitment to sustainable values. You might discover unique dishes that customers find irresistible in the process.

4. Certified Organics

Organic practices cut pollution, reduce water use, and reduce energy usage. Organic farming reduces pollution, water use, and energy consumption. Adding organic produce to your menu shows your commitment to sustainable practices. 

Sustainable restaurant practices are attractive to an increasingly eco-conscious customer. They provide brands with a competitive edge and cement their reputations as environmentally responsible businesses.

5. Low-Carbon Dishes

Fruit, beans, nuts, and other ingredients can make almost any dish into a low-carbon alternative. You can transform any traditional dish into a low-carbon alternative. 

This reduces your restaurant's carbon footprint and centers on a growing demand for healthy, low-emission items. Use the opportunity to cater to an emerging market while aligning your business with sustainable practices.

6. Low-Water Veggies

Beyond the carbon savings, veggies like beans and nuts also have a lower water requirement than other foods, like beef and chicken. Beans, nuts, and other low-water vegetables contribute to water conservation, a critical aspect of sustainability. 

By using these ingredients in dishes, you can further reduce your restaurant's environmental shadow. As a result, you’ll strengthen your sustainability narrative and appeal to customers who are passionate about conservation.

7. Sustainable Proteins

Fish and vegan proteins are great alternatives for customers looking for green, healthy options. Redefine your menu offerings with fish and plant-based proteins to offer healthy, eco-friendly options for customers. 

With a rising interest in plant-based diets and sustainable fishing, these proteins meet the demand for health and environmental awareness. They also contribute to the diversity of your menu, enhancing its ability to catch the eye of almost anyone.

Create more sustainable menus with Revolution Ordering’s restaurant tech.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sustainable Menus

Adopting a sustainable menu isn't only about environmental responsibility; it’s a strategic business decision that enhances profitability, boosts your image, and sharpens a competitive edge. 

To create a restaurant experience that aligns with the values of modern customers, remember your commitment to sustainability. Shape the future of your business and the planet by getting the answers to the most common questions about sustainable menus.

What is a sustainable food?

Sustainable food is safe, healthy, and produced responsibly. It's typically free from hazardous pesticides, chemicals, and non-essential antibiotics. In production, as well, these foods require less water, energy, and waste to farm, transport, and serve.

Nutritional value is a crucial aspect of sustainable foods. The trend for more plant-based foods signals the preferences of today's environmentally conscious market.

How do you make a sustainable menu?

Creating a sustainable menu first means localizing your supply chain and embracing “farm-to-table.” You should also update your menu seasonally and use smaller portion sizes to help eliminate food waste and reduce carbon footprints

In general, you should serve less meat and resource-heavy foods because their production has a high environmental impact.

What are sustainable menu choices?

Sustainable menu choices emphasize fresh ingredients over heavily processed foods. They heavily feature fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and some whole grains.

These choices benefit our health and the planet, providing nutritious food with a lower environmental effect. The shift toward these choices reflects your commitment to sustainability in food service.

Make much more than sustainable menus than you think. Read about sustainability in restaurants through our free, complete guide.