Are you the Owner of, in charge of Procurement, or Marketing for your restaurant? Then this comprehensive guide will help you choose the right Eco-Friendly straw material for you.
We have taken into consideration the most important deciding factors for restaurants, by simply asking our current clients what mattered most to them when they were in your shoes not too long ago.
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Before looking into the benefits of switching from single-use plastic straws, every single business we have dealt with have mentioned safety as their primary concern. No sensible business wants to provide cause for litigation and be on the receiving end of a damages claim.
That being said, if your restaurant is considered a family-type one, that is, children tend to be around quite a lot, then we would recommend that you skip on Stainless Steel and Glass. Kids will be kids, and the trade-off might not be worth it.
Marketing & PR
Although plastic pollution is a undoubtedly a big enough reason to ditch single-use plastic, we understand that this issue should be tackled from a business perspective in order to realistically succeed. If restaurants can contribute to ending plastic pollution while generating additional revenue, then how is that not all-around fantastic?
McDonald's, Bon Appétit, Starbucks and many more have, in one way or another, condemned the use of single-use plastic straws, in favour of more eco-friendly ones. Now, the decision whether to follow the industry giants or not is up to you, but just bear in mind that even if profit is not on top of their agendas, it certainly is pretty close up there.
Would your customers would post something like this on Instagram? Is this a talking point among friends? Search for #bamboostraw and find out!
Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, the state of California. What do all of them have in common? Disapproval of the use of single-use plastic straws. This obvious trend which started in 2018 is taking up the US, and it will inevitably engulf your state or city eventually. Whether you choose to stay ahead of your competitors is up to you, and businesses that prefer being proactive instead of reactive are usually the ones which get the lion's share of the profits. If others aren't doing it yet, it gives you a greater chance to stand out early on.
Value for Money
Calculating the cost of single-use straws for investment purposes is pretty straightforward for procurement purposes. For reusable straws, on the other hand, you just have to consider their lifespan before deciding on the amount you are ready to spend on them, very much like cutlery.
Is that it?
But again, there are many other factors to consider. For family restaurants, we recommend 3 main types of straws. These recommendations have been made following intense research and experience in the eco-friendly straws industry, supported by continuous feedback, positive and negative, from our business partners on the West Coast.
Silicone is the Safe and Ultra-Hygienic option; its flexibility, softness, natural odor-resistance, and stain-resistance make it the ideal candidate for general use. Practically damage-proof, it does not leak tiny particles and affect taste or health like plastic does under high temperatures. It can be used for hot coffee, as well as frozen slushies, without any unfavorable trade-off. It can also be easily washed in industrial dishwashers.
It just looks quite dull and cannot be counted on for a 'cool' Instagram photo. It is on the higher end of the spectrum with regards to price per unit. Despite being recyclable, it is neither biodegradable nor compostable.
Paper Straws are the Cheapest alternatives to single-use plastic straws. More colourful, vibrant and creative designs, than other materials. Great for child-friendly parties and one-time events; no need to worry about washing up. Fully Biodegradable and Compostable, depending on the kind of ink used.
Terrible for long drinks; the straw gets mushy after extended periods. Single-use only. Terrible for hot drinks, i.e. above 30°C or 86°F.
Bamboo Straws are insanely Eco-Friendly, really. Fully biodegradable and Compostable. Cut from actual bamboo stalks. Usually free from chemicals. Perfectly complement exotic drinks and make great photos and talking points.
Limited lifespan. Not entirely kid-friendly. The straws' internal diameters differ from one another.
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