Sustainable dining is more popular than ever with Aussies
To mark World Environment Day, OpenTable, the world’s largest online restaurant reservations platform, has released its second Sustainable Dining Report unearthing Aussies’ growing appetite for ethically sourced and eco-friendly dining options.
In 2017, OpenTable conducted its first Sustainable Dining Report which found that 81% of Australians believed it was important that the food they ate when dining out was ethically sourced. Two years on, diners are taking action, with almost half (46%) of the population preferring to dine at restaurants that use sustainable practices, such as local, organic produce and minimising food waste.
When it comes to selecting a restaurant, savvy diners are doing their research before booking, with 1 in 3 (31%) wanting to know how far food has travelled before ending up on their plate, whether the restaurant uses organic produce (30%) and how the restaurants disposes of their waste (29%). Furthermore, the presence of organic ingredients (14%) and plant based menus or restaurants (14%) are continuing to have greater influence on Australian diner’s decisions when eating out.
Tim Domelow, OpenTable’s Senior Business Development Manager for APAC, said: “Australia is home to some of the world’s best locally grown produce, with a deep rooted appreciation for fresh food and the environment intrinsically linked to Australian’s way of life.
“More than just a temporary food trend or fleeting fad, sustainable dining has become a mainstream lifestyle choice. Our Sustainable Dining 2.0 Report indicated that Australians are not only interested in environmental cooking practices, but are also demanding greater transparency from restaurants, with 43% of diners wishing restaurants disclosed whether their food was ethically sourced.”
As a result, OpenTable has seen an increasing number of environmentally friendly restaurants joining the platform in recent years, including Red Gum BBQ, Hogget Kitchen, Isles Lane & Kitchen, and The Grounds of Alexandria, who have introduced greener practices and are helping play a critical role in enhancing the local food and hospitality industry.
In addition, the research reveals a rise in plastic-free warriors, with 25% of Australians saying they would think twice about returning to a venue if it offered plastic or unrecyclable takeaway coffee cups, plastic cutlery (22%), takeaway plastic boxes (20%) or single-use plastic straws (20%).
Chef and Co-owner of Three Blue Ducks at The W said: “As Australians are placing more value on sustainable restaurant practices and locally sourced produce, we have a responsibility to be mindful about what we put on people’s plates. At Three Blue Ducks, we’re committed to sourcing local and
ethically farmed produce. We’re seeing changes in diners’ palettes and attitudes – they love that our menus are not just fresh and seasonal, but also reflective of our ethos to serve up simple, delicious, and locally-sourced ‘real’ food.”
Whilst the majority of Australians’ describe themselves as omnivores (72%), interestingly the Sustainable Dining 2.0 report reveals that the younger generation are the ones with the biggest green thumbs. Millennials are more likely than Baby Boomers to:
● Understand what sustainable dining means (41% compared to 28%)
● Be flexitarian (13% compared to 8%), vegetarian (13% vs 4%) or vegan (5% compared to 1%)
● Say they would like restaurants to disclose how they dispose their waste (35% compared to Gen X – 28%, Baby Boomers -24%)
For more information, or to view the full list of sustainable restaurants, visit https://www.opentable.com.au/lists/green-restaurants/australia