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With environmentally friendly efforts hot on consumers’ agendas, guest experience management expert, HGEM has revealed the latest results from its comprehensive survey into the importance of operator sustainability.

According to the research, 92% of consumers now expect operators to be acting sustainably where possible, with reduced packaging (93%), food waste strategies (93%) and paper/metal straws (87%) topping the list of priorities.

For those operators acting sustainably, a staggering 94% of consumers revealed they would think better of the brand, with this number rising to 98% amongst 18-25-year olds. Of those who admitted their perception would change, 53% listed their personal regard for the environment as the reason, whilst a third admitted it was nice to see brands trying to make a difference and 15% credited the impact it would have on consumers as a result.

The survey also found that an almighty 82% of people are more likely to choose a venue that proactively sources local produce, whilst 45% now expect to see charity support/donations within a restaurant. When it comes to operators best communicating these efforts, consumers listed on-premise (93%), social media (67%) and via the company website (61%) as their top three preferences.

Commenting on the results, Sally Whelan, Founding Director at HGEM said, “Consumers are becoming ever more aware of how their actions are impacting the environment and, as a result, their perception and behaviour towards brands is beginning to change.

'Sustainability is no longer a nice to have for consumers, it’s an expectation. Those brands actively communicating their efforts have the potential to attract new customers and build loyalty with existing ones.”

Established in 2003, HGEM is the UK’s leading expert in guest experience management (GEM). Operators of over 6,000 restaurants, pubs, hotels and caterers use HGEM’s Hub and client support services to help managers to benchmark their performance and easily identify actions for team development and sales growth.

(source: HGEM, image: pixabay)