As small business owners, we’re always looking for a way to get the edge over our competitors. We know how many other businesses are snapping at our heels and how much ground we can lose to them if we don’t take active steps to maintain a competitive edge and operate efficiently. As devastating as 2020 has been to many small business, there’s no such thing as investing too much in an infrastructure for success. However, success as a small business is a battle on many fronts. You don’t just have to grapple with legions of competitors, you also have to wrestle the unwieldy beast that is public opinion. And in an age where more and more consumers demand more Corporate Social Responsibility from the companies they buy from, you need to be able to demonstrate your commitment to your workforce, your supply chain and the environment to engage ethically minded consumers.
Believe it or not, the food you serve up in your lunch room can help you to fight on two fronts. When your team are netter nourished they’re more likely to be able to give their all at work. What’s more, if they’re getting the nutrition they need to support healthy immune function, their productivity is less likely to be compromised by illness. What’s more, making judicious choices in the food you serve up in the break room can also help you to operate more sustainably.
Let’s take a closer look…
Plants are awesome. When you have them in your office they can make your team happier and more productive. But when your team eat more of them, it can really help to unlock their true potential. Serving up more veggies, fruits, grains and pulses in your diet is a great way to ensure that they are properly nourished. A diet that’s full of plants is full of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to support healthy immune function. What’s more, a plant based diet is infinitely more sustainable than one that relies heavily on dairy and intensively farmed meats. They require much less land, water, energy and other finite resourced to get to your plate.
Demand a better class of meat
Of course, you don’t have to insist on a totally plant based diet if you want to get the most out of your workforce and operate more sustainably. But you do have to be more discerning in the kind of meats you buy to feed your workers. Bacon, ham, sausage, salami and their ilk may be salty and satisfying, but they’re also Type 1 Carcinogens (that’s the same group as cigarettes).
Forge links with smaller, more sustainable local farms for better quality, more nourishing and more sustainably sourced meats. Like this Superior Farms lamb. You may be surprised how readily your team will be prepared to step out of their culinary comfort zones when you’re serving up real quality.
As consumers of food, we’ve come to expect everything to be wrapped up for our convenience. But when you’re serving up fresh food on-site, is there any need to package it up in paper, foil or (worse still) plastic? Anything you can do to drive down consumables like packaging, paper plates, napkins and plastic cutlery can help you to operate more sustainably and reduce avoidable costs.