Food Sustainability Tips To Maximise Your Hotel Bookings
September 6, 2019
Hotel marketing, Increase visibility, Sustainability management
Be Green & Be Seen
With increasing pressure on hotels and accommodation from all angles to stay profitable, popular and to stay on trend, Trip and Tonic Marketing help your property to keep ahead of the competition with our valuable advice. This blog will explore one of the latest and very influential trends in the world of travel and hospitality – Sustainable Food.
Trend for Conscious Travel
Booking.com travel predictions for 2019 suggest that this will be an important year for accommodation providers to respond to the needs of the “conscious traveller”. With currently nearly half (49%) of travellers asked, feeling that social issues play an important part when deciding on their destination.
Benefits to Business
Customer demand for sustainably-sourced food has never been stronger and on top of this the added bonus for hotels and holiday accommodation is that more and more consumers are willing to pay for sustainable brands. Companies in the travel and hospitality industry can maximise the benefit of this opportunity with the right timing and sustainability strategy.
As well as doing the right thing for the environment and for generations to come there are also business benefits of sustainable sourcing:
Bulk buying from local suppliers reduces operating costs, reduces packaging and buying seasonally. Costs can be reduced even more dramatically if you can grow your own produce a much as possible.
As hotels improve their relationships with suppliers, food quality improves and so does the service from suppliers.
Increase in customer loyalty, better community relationships and improved morale among staff, as all benefit from seeing the importance placed on sustainability issues as a whole.
Featured Trip & Tonic Property – How Gal Oya Lodge is Thinking Sustainably
This stunning safari lodge is set in Sri Lanka’s beautifully untouched Gal Oya National Park, towards the east of the island.
The team at Gal Oya Lodge have a small organic farm that supports the kitchen, which they are developing in the hope it will be able to supply the lodge for all its needs. Currently, most of the produce comes from the nearby villages. There are plenty of small farms in the area so the team source most of their produce from them daily. By sourcing daily, it not only ensures that everything is fresh but also helps support the surrounding community.
A couple of families tailor their farming purely to meet the lodge requirements and the lodge is able to pay them above market rates for this quality service. The team at Gal Oya Lodge are very conscious of the menu that they offer and having a menu that reflects what is locally available is key, so all of their dishes only use items that are locally found. For example, the only fish/meat options we serve are wild river fish (caught in the nearby lakes) and chicken.
An incredible location and accommodation for conscious travellers!
Things You Can Do
Organic vegetable and herb garden – Run your own organic garden to supply your hotel restaurant. You could even get staff involved to manage their own plot. They can be incentivised to grow and maintain their own produce for the restaurant and any surplus can be sold externally for their own profit.
For city hotels or accommodation which are space-limited, lots are using their own roofs to grow vegetables and herbs. If you aren’t able to grow your own, then next best is to source locally and pick sustainable suppliers, as a way to reduce your carbon footprint.
Choose Sustainable Suppliers
Find out where the produce is coming from, how far it has traveled, etc. Some produce, including exotic spices and fruit may need to be imported from abroad. It’s good to ask about the growers and producers you are buying from. And even how the ingredient was produced, where it’s traveled from and how it’s been packaged. Once you have this information you can decide if it’s best to replace it with a local product, even if it’s not quite what you were looking for.
Where possible when buying imported products from less developed countries, then buy Fairtrade-certified products, to help benefit disadvantaged producers. Also look for Soil Association-certified products on the UK’s organic food. This shows people employed to produce the food have been employed at a fair rate of pay and that they are trying to reduce transport by air.
In hotels all over the world, beekeeping experiences are becoming a popular thing. Keep your own bees and you can contribute to species conservation while collecting your own fresh honey and plus surrounding farmers are pleased with the pollination of their plants and fruit trees.
Bee keeper tending to a bee colony in a bee hive amongst other bee hivesBee keeper tending to a bee colony in a bee hive amongst other bee hives
Resources to Get You Started
A great resource in the UK for the Sustainable Food movement is the Sustainable Restaurant Association. They have developed an easy to navigate framework for those looking to develop this idea within their own food service offering. Based on the three pillars of Sourcing, Society and Environment they suggest providers“… take a broad and holistic view of your business. So whether your’re serving locally sourced ingredients and high welfare meat, inviting community groups to use your space, or investing in training to help your team use less energy and water, our framework captures all of the good things you are doing.” Globally the Sustainable Food Trust
Run through your daily water use and look at areas you could increase water efficiency as well as conserving the water resources of our planet. Perhaps look at the following:
Install low-flow taps in kitchen and also consider on-demand, touchless sensor taps too.
Think water when buying new appliances, for dishwashers, ice makers and steamers look for energy efficient ones.
Employee awareness – A great way to conserve water is to educate and train employees on its importance, train them on dishwasher use, for example. Motivation can really help to raise employee participation and awareness.
We hope this have given you some food for thought!
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If you would like us to help you create a sustainability strategy please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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