A Restaurant Canada survey has revealed that foodservice businesses and operators across the country find environmental sustainability crucial to drive growth.

Around 82% of respondents said that environmental sustainability is moderately to very important, while 55% agreed that it is important to very important to the success of their businesses.

The Restaurant Outlook Survey report is compiled from responses to a quarterly survey sent to participating Restaurants Canada members.

A total of 307 completed surveys were submitted, representing 4,694 establishments, including table-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants, and other businesses.

According to the survey, 98% of foodservice operators agreed that they are recycling, 93% are using energy or water saving equipment and 77% of businesses track, compost or donate leftover food, while 92% are planning to enhance environmentally sustainable operations over the next three years.

“Foodservice operators feel that cost, staff training, and scarcity of more environmentally friendly products affect their ability to improve environmental sustainability.”

Restaurants Canada senior economist Chris Elliott said: “With consumers growing increasingly concerned over the environmental impacts of their dining habits, restaurateurs are likewise becoming more focused on the sustainability of their business operations.

“These survey results indicate that Canada’s foodservice sector is mindful of how sustainability is becoming a necessity for profitability.”

However, foodservice operators feel that the cost of implementing changes, staff training, and scarcity of more environmentally friendly products affect their ability to improve the environmental sustainability of their business operations.

The foodservice industry association will conduct its foodservice and hospitality event, RC Show, from 24-26 February at the Enercare Centre in Toronto, Canada.

Restaurants Canada president and CEO Shanna Munro said: “We invite foodservice operators to attend the upcoming RC Show to learn how innovative products, pioneering people and transformative ideas can help them grow their bottom line in harmony with the planet.”