It has been reported that 400 hundred restaurants across the UK, including major groups, independent favourites and fine dining establishments will put their sustainability credentials to the test by the end of 2011.
The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) Star Rating system is quickly becoming the industry standard and will even be included in a number of prestigious restaurant guides, such as Top Table for example, from later this year.
In order to become a Sustainability Champion, restaurants will have to provide answers and evidence to 70 questions across 14 areas of sustainability. The survey is intended to find out whether a restaurant is serving local, seasonal, high welfare food and how the resources and waste are managed, along with the way in which staff and customers are treated, and whether the community is valued.
So far, 14 restaurants have been awarded the top rating, which is three stars, which means that they have achieved a score of 70% or higher in the survey of their all round sustainability.
Two stars have been awarded to a further 21 restaurants and 24 have received one star.
Tim Bouget, owner of Ode in Devon, one of the restaurants to receive three stars, has said: “We are delighted with our Three Star rating and to be recognised nationally for our efforts. With increasing customer awareness, the SRA rating system is a great way to benchmark all hospitality businesses, big and small, and communicate how we’re doing to our customers. It also encourages us all to look at our policies and procedures to make our industry more sustainable.”
Rob Love, Managing Director of River Cottage, another restaurant to achieve three stars, has commented: “Sustainability is core to River Cottage and we continue to strive to achieve the highest standard. We support the work the Sustainable Restaurant Association is doing, encouraging other businesses to become more sustainable and giving them the tools and knowledge to do that.”
Paul Jenkins, the Purchasing Director at D&D London, which currently has 25 restaurants undertaking the rating, has been quoted saying: “By providing a clearly defined means of measurement the SRA has helped demystify the riddle of sustainability for the restaurateur and customer alike. It is only by operating sustainably that we can continue to ensure the success of our business and industry.”
Meanwhile, there are 70 hotel restaurants also putting themselves forward for a sustainability star rating which is sure to impress when applying for restaurant insurance quotes.
Mark Linehan, Managing Director of the SRA, has stated: “In the last three months we have been inundated with requests from restaurants for us to rate them. Owners and chefs are really seeing the value of getting recognition for the excellent work they are doing.”
Mr Linehan went on to add: “Consumers tell us they would rather eat in a sustainable restaurant and now they have a simple means of finding somewhere to eat out that not only serves good food but also matches their values. Competition has never been tougher and by putting their sustainability claims to the test, restaurants are establishing a genuine point of difference.”
Any restaurants that are interested in being rated have been advised to contact the SRA. It could help split you apart from the competition!