The restaurant industry serves millions of people every single day, so an ethical culture is important for both restaurants and customers.
However, an ethical culture in the restaurant industry isn’t just about treating customers and employees well. It’s also about food sourcing and giving back to the community.
Surprisingly, in the world where ethics seem to have disappeared, restaurants are starting to step up their ethics game. This is especially true as customers place a higher value on ethical companies.
Paying A Livable Wage
Many restaurant employees have protested their wages, especially wait staff who live mainly off of tips. However, many restaurant positions, especially fast-food are only meant for part-time work for unskilled workers. This doesn’t mean restaurants don’t care. Some restaurants offer free management training programs and even help with college tuition. Others are now eliminating tipping to make wages more fair and offering higher salaries to all employees. The only downside is finding a balance between higher wages and food costs. Striving to fix the wage issue showcases a more ethical culture, though.
Providing Higher Quality Ingredients
More customers are eager for better ingredients, especially if they’re paying more for the food anyway. This means organic, free-range and real. Instead of questionable meat-like patties, customers want real beef. By offering better ingredients and less fluff, restaurants not only get more business, but can charge slightly higher prices. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Having A Transparent Supply Chain
People do care where their food comes from and the restaurant industry is starting to take note. As an effort to achieve a more ethical culture, many restaurants are showing customers exactly where their food comes from and how it’s sourced. They may list which farms vegetables come from or what type of cattle the beef is from. This allows customers to further research their food, such as seeing if pesticides are used. The Culture Trip lists 12 of these ethical restaurants that keep customers in the know.
Paying More Attention To Customers & Employees
A common theme among restaurants who are achieving a more ethical culture is listening to employees and customers. Not only do they listen to what they need, but they pay attention when something is wrong. From ensuring fair treatment for everyone, such as firing employees or kicking out customers who use racial slurs, to researching whistleblower complaints, restaurants are working hard to make the environment better for everyone involved.
Giving Back To The Community
Finally, restaurants are trying to eliminate waste and give back to the community. While many don’t think about it, throwing away perfectly good food at the end of the night is unethical when so many go hungry. Many restaurants are now partnering with organizations to donate left over food and even old equipment to help feed people all over the country.
As another way of giving back, restaurants are adopting more sustainable practices, such as using paper straws over plastic. This creates a greener community a little at a time and encourages customers and employees to do the same.
While the restaurant industry isn’t perfect, it’s an example of an industry actively trying to make ethics a priority.