The final straw – is it time to say goodbye?


The final straw – is it time to say goodbye?

A guest holding a straw in a drink

A hot topic in recent months has been the decision made by some big-name brands to do away with plastic drinking straws in their pubs and restaurants. Wetherspoons recently announced that the end of 2017 would spell the end for plastic straws in its branches, while The Alchemist stopped offering them earlier this year.

According to a report in The Caterer, Oakman Inns went one step further than simply pledging to remove plastic straws from behind the bars of the business' 18-strong estate. The company's 'Ban the Straw' campaign saw that every guest who asked for one offered an eco-friendly alternative and an explanation that every plastic straw made still exists today, polluting landfills, rivers, roadsides, beaches and our oceans.

In short, hospitality operators are answering the call of the modern, eco-conscious guest – a guest who is equally discerning and ready to make a choice of where to eat and drink, based on their values. The Alchemist managing director Simon Potts stressed to the Morning Advertiser that this decision is about educating and engaging guests. As well as doing their bit for the environment, it's an excellent way to open a dialogue and connect with guests while attracting those with similar values.

There's no doubt that ditching the plastic straws can also make a difference to the appearance of a pub and streamline the clean-up operation. If bar staff are dishing out one or even two plastic straws per drink, it's likely a number will end up discarded on the floor – particularly in busy outdoor areas. This makes keeping on top of appearances that bit harder for your team – litter is not a good look for any venue.

Perhaps you've never given much thought to the straws your business gives out each night, but maybe now's the time to ask yourself: just where do you stand on the war on straws?

Back to Blog