• GRA report: People care about credibility of green restaurant claims

The Green Restaurant Association has released findings from a survey it administered to help find out what people think about dining "green." The company enlisted premier foodservice research company Technomic to administer the survey and tabulate the results.
GRA spokeswoman Colleen Oteri said the association commissioned the survey out of a need to demonstrate to operators that consumer demand for green restaurants does exist. Oteri said the GRA often gets questions from consumers about what it means for restaurants to be green, and what a particular restaurant did to get certified.
Oteri said the survey polled a representative sample of 500 people. Most questions were not GRA-specific.
The survey reported consumers displaying a strong feeling about how they value the verification of green claims. In addition, those consumers chose which type of certifier or recognizer is most trustworthy in providing green distinctions to restaurants.
May 2010 Technomic Consumer Survey Findings:
  • 82 percent will decrease or stop going to a restaurant that is falsely claiming to be green (i.e., said they recycle but in fact do not).
  • 94 percent trust a restaurant's green claims when they are verified by an organization as being true.  Only 6 percent trust self-reported claims that are not verified.
  • 79 percent said they are more likely to dine at a Certified Green Restaurant over one that is not, after the pertinent question described GRA standards and procedures.
  • 79 percent would deem an organization to be untrustworthy if they found that the organization was awarding "green" restaurant decals without requiring the restaurant to meet certain environmental standards.
  • 91 percent of consumers polled said that they expect a certifier or recognizer of "green" restaurants to perform annual audits of the restaurant's green claims.
"The statistics show that consumers have strong opinions about two things," said Michael Oshman, founder and CEO of the Green Restaurant Association. "They want to dine green… and they want it to be legitimate. We've known that for 20 years, but this is the first time that we've had in-depth data to demonstrate that consumers expect real and verified environmental changes in their favorite restaurants."

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