Sustainability is one of the core concepts of the modern world. Being concerned with the worsening ecological situation various businesses are introducing ecologically friendly concepts. The restaurant business also follows this tendency and presents various sustainable cafes and restaurants in different countries.
The twenty-first century has made sustainability one of the most popular concepts in the food industry (Sustainability, Local Sourcing, 2010). It is a separate movement in the development of sustainable restaurants and cafes. Special attention was given to the sustainability of products back in 2010, and currently this trend remains among the most popular ones. Special attention in the food production industry is given to the locally grown products, which include meet, vegetables, and even such drinks as wine (Sustainability, Local Sourcing, 2010).
Along with the sustainable concepts, the restaurants are trying to define their identities in various ways. Being sustainable is obviously not enough for a restaurant to be successful, as still not all the customers prefer ecology-friendly cafes to the modern concepts and prices. Therefore, in order to be popular, sustainable restaurants are trying to invent additional concepts that would attract customers. Ferasat (2009) identifies five tactics that can make a sustainable restaurant profitable. These include provision of proper food service and constant feedback on it; high quality of food; the use of modern technologies; adequate marketing; and creativity in organizing the space, events, food, and services.
The study of the 10 best sustainable restaurants in the US has shown that neither of them is currently implementing any type of a specific concept (Countdown, 2012). They either try to use sustainable materials in the design, or are working on the basis of old food places, thus decreasing own impact on the ecology. Some restaurants have though increased own sustainability by growing food within the restaurant’s territory, such as the Uncommon Ground Restaurant in Chicago, which has a farm on its’ rooftop (Countdown, 2012).
Theme restaurants are usually a separate group of food paces. With the specific orientation of one group of population or the design peculiarities these cafes and restaurants are still focusing on another concepts leaving sustainability aside. Only in some rare cases sustainability and themes combine. For example, the Café Gratitude in San Francisco unites the board game concept and the support of sustainable agriculture (Nickolson, 2012).
The sustainability concepts are implemented in places that work not only as restaurants but in fact combine a number of functions. For example, the Ozone restaurant is a sustainable bowling café. This place unites the concepts of tasty food and recreation along with the sustainable theme. Its’ owners have tried to make an additional emphasis on sustainability by reducing the waste of raw materials and implementing recycling in all the restaurant’s spheres (Ozone Restaurant, 2012). Even despite the fact that the Ozone restaurant has wood interior, all materials used were available locally (Ozone Restaurant, 2012). Moreover, some of the materials used are recycled, which increases the sustainability of the project. The Ozone restaurant has achieved a high level of sustainability, as its’ owners have managed to have all the items shipped in recyclable packing.
The current literature review shows that sustainability concepts are growing bigger in the food industry. After entering the food market in the twenty-first century, the “green” restaurants are becoming more and more popular. There are two main ways in which food places implement the concept of sustainability: materials used in design and food served in the place. It is essential to note that despite the growing popularity of the sustainable cafes and restaurants the niche of sustainable thematic places still remains vacant. Sustainability in itself is perceived as a separate “theme”, therefore it is commonly considered that sustainable food places do not require any additional specifications.