March 10, 2020
One Word Benjamin, Plastics
I sit on the board of directors of a home owners association. Last week we had to adjust
our schedule to meet during what most people call "Dinnertime". To avoid rumbling
stomachs we ordered dinner in. Red Robin won the coin toss. We ordered a dozen of
their upscale burgers each with a side. The food arrived hot, fresh, and on time since
the Red Robin was only two miles a way.
After the meeting we passed a trash bag and it was stunning how much plastic was involved
in our meal. The divided plates, clear plastic domes, plastic delivery bags, etc. all filled a medium-large trash bag.
I submit it's a snapshot of the restaurant industry. While chain managements are more
and more obsessed with delivery the amount of waste generated is pretty much hidden
from the judgmental public.
So, while chains are pissing off customers with poor quality mushy straws, inferior packaging, and recycling efforts in the front of the house ... in the back of the house the delivery teams are increasing the use of landfill bound materials and the like.
It could be that the overall volume of restaurant trash is increasing vs. being reduced. And yet the guests who visit the restaurants are going to suffer with inferior straws, utensils, and packaging.
All to be politically correct.