A number of restaurateurs say they will change their takeout packaging this year to reduce their environmental footprint, new research from the National Restaurant Association has found.
According to the NRA's 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast, 62 percent of fine-dining operators and 57 percent of casual-dining restaurateurs questioned said they plan on adopting more environmentally friendly packaging.
Why the reason for the change? Jeff Clark, a consultant for the NRA's Conserve Sustainability Education Program, said it is because more consumers are interested in frequenting more environmentally conscious businesses.
"Restaurants that seek to change their packaging are acting on their customers' desire for more sustainable practices at those brands they visit," Clark said. "By doing this, operators are not only showing they're in tune with consumers' values, but also that they want to help protect the environment and the communities they serve."
In addition to seeking out more sustainable packaging, a majority of operators also said they want to offer their guests containers that better maintain the food quality of takeout items. Among restaurateurs polled for the NRA's 2012 Restaurant Trends Survey, 57 percent of family- and casual-dining operators and 47 percent of fine-dining restaurateurs said they plan to switch out their packaging to better maintain product integrity.