According to the SRA, the number of consumers concerned about the environment has risen from 47% pre-lockdown to 65%, with almost two thirds (63%) of these concerned consumers saying they would be likely or very likely to try a restaurant’s most sustainable dish over their regular favourite, if they knew what it was.
Almost three quarters (73%) of respondents in the national survey also say they will consider, be likely, or very likely to order a dish featuring ingredients that might otherwise be headed for the bin, with 75% saying they will consider, be likely or very likely to order a meat dish where some of the meat has been replaced by vegetables.
Just under 80% of consumers say they will consider, be likely or very likely to order a dish made with local and seasonal twists on familiar dishes.
“For us diners, the message is simple: every single one of us can make a difference and if we truly want to eat out to help out the crisis-stricken restaurant sector and planet we must make good on our intentions by choosing the places that are sourcing and serving fantastic food that protects the environment as well as adhering to all the government guidelines,” says Andrew Stephen, SRA chief executive.
The findings are based on a survey of 1,031 consumers, from across the UK, who have eaten out since the start of 2020 and was conducted between 21 and 23 September.
“It is very encouraging to see so many people are wanting and willing to choose a sustainable dish. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that they act on their good intentions,” says Raymond Blanc, president of the SRA.
“As chefs, we not only have to source and serve food that tastes amazing and has a minimal impact on the environment, but also show people what sustainable food looks like.”
The survey has also revealed that consumers expect to return to eating out as often as they did pre-March 2020, once guidelines allowed. More than three quarters (76%) say they will return to their pre-lockdown eating out levels of up to four times a month.