When Erbert & Gerbert’s committed to bettering our sustainability practices several years ago, we were met with some challenges both operationally and fiscally. While not entirely unexpected, we were often left wondering how to source responsibly, offer a fair price to our guests, and a worthwhile profitability margin for those operating our brand.
Its easy to imagine that any restaurant franchise would find this daunting because the franchise model itself lends toward sourcing, distributing, and cost at a national level…not exactly a flexible scenario to implement such initiatives. However, if we want to create a better environment and way of purchasing and consuming food, then we have to start somewhere, even if its small steps.
First, sustainability in foodservice is a broad idea. It addresses everything from recycling to the care of animals…in a nutshell, it can be described as making environmentally and socially responsible business decisions. Over the past five years, we’ve walked the fine line between making these choices and maintaining a profitable model. Here’s what we have been able to acheive:
- -we switched to a low wax, craft sandwich wrap
- -implemented the use of post-consumer, brown paper bags with low ink printing
- -utilizing Energy Star rated equipment and low energy lighting
- -researched using recycled equipment and building materials in new site construction
- -introduced vendors and suppliers that support the humane treatment of animals
- -eliminated the use of applied growth hormones in our pork and beef products
…and we continually look for new ways to make better environmental and socially responsible decisions. Becoming a sustainable brand, and furthermore a sustainable world, does not happen over night. But as we act, take small steps, and commit ourselves to the philosophy, the easier and more financially sound it will become for all.