Not only is it good for the environment, but it pays to advertise your “green” practices. In fact it could pay up to 12% more according to “The Dynamics of Green Restaurant Patronage,” by Hsin-Hui “Sunny” Hu, H.G. Parsa, and John Self, a study published in the August 2010 issue of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ). Based on the responses of 393 residents of Taiwan, research findings indicate that a substantial percentage of respondents would be willing to pay more for menu items that are produced using sustainable restaurant practices such as recycling and composting, using sustainable food sources, preventing or reducing pollution, increasing energy and water efficiency, and using green building and construction practices. The researchers found a strong connection between the respondents’ own ecological behavior and their intention to patronize a “green” restaurant. Well over 90 percent of the respondents claimed that they were willing to pay more for a “green” restaurant. One-third said they would pay up to 12 percent more, and just 8 percent said they wouldn’t pay anything extra.
Restaurants can take advantage of this by marketing their sustainability efforts. The Green Restaurant Association suggests multiple areas where restaurants can have an ecologically or environmentally friendly impact and become certified “green” restaurants.
The full study is available as a featured article from the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.