Frequently Asked Questions: Restaurants
How long does the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant designation last?
Designation lasts for three years. After three years, a restaurant has the opportunity to renew its designation. We highly encourage all restaurants to renew their designations prior to expiration, as the renewal process is expedited for restaurants whose designations are still active.
What are the benefits of earning Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant designation?
There are many benefits for a restaurant to earn designation, including, but not limited to:
- Increased marketability – Not only do we provide you with tools to share about your own designation, we also help to connect you with customers and guests through social media, newsletters, advertisements, access to events, and other marketing efforts.
- Saving money and increasing profits – We can introduce you to opportunities such as grants, rebates, and sustainable solutions that can help to keep more money where you need it.
- Having happier employees – Staffing challenges continue to have negative effects on restaurants. Restaurants with their sustainable designation can show that they value and care for their employees, contributing to a vibrant community within their restaurant and beyond.
- Joining a community of like-minded people – Being a part of the sustainable restaurant community allows restaurants to share advice and recommendations about how to optimize their businesses for sustainability and profitability. Additionally, designated restaurants are provided a plethora of resources and one-on-one assistance to help them improve.
How do restaurants get recognized for their designation and sustainability successes?
Restaurants are recognized with one of four levels of designation: Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum, based on their overall performance throughout the sustainability assessment. With the designation, restaurants receive physical and digital promo kits that include: A sustainability profile, designation window clings, table tents, certificate of designation, press release template, and digital assets for menus, website, and social media channels. In addition, all designated Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants are listed and their sustainability profiles featured in this searchable map with new updated filtering options to help people locate, patronize, and support your business.
Is there a fee for restaurant participation?
Fees to participate in the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program are listed in the chart below and reassessed every three years. These fees cover access to Sustainable Pittsburgh’s custom online portal, participation in the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program, designation, technical assistance from Sustainable Pittsburgh staff, physical and digital designation promo kits, resources, access to events and marketing, and more.
Please note that fees will be waived during 2022 – meaning your three-year designation is completely free if you complete it this year! When these fees come into effect in 2023, fee waivers will be made available to organizations that are unable to pay but would still like to earn designation as a Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant. Please don’t let cost be a barrier to participating! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-258-6642 for assistance.
|Restaurants with fewer than 15 employees||$50|
|Restaurants with 15-50 employees||$75|
|Restaurants with 51-200 employees||$100|
|Restaurants with more than 200 employees||$150|
*If you are looking to earn designation at multiple restaurant locations, please contact us at email@example.com or 412-258-6642 for more information on fee structure.*
Who can participate in the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program?
Any food-based business that resides in a brick and mortar establishment with a kitchen onsite located within the following Pennsylvania counties is welcome and encouraged to participate in the program and earn designation: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, Westmoreland.
How can I get started on earning designation?
Visit this link to create an account and complete the onboarding process. For more information you can view this short tutorial. How to use Sustainable Pittsburgh’s Performance Program Platform – YouTube
How can I earn points and achieve a designation through the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program?
The Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program provides a framework of questions to help your restaurant assess its sustainability progress to date and identify areas for future impact. Each response you provide will earn a given number of points.
Restaurants may earn a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum designation through the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program. To achieve a given level of designation, restaurants must both a) earn a given percentage of the points available in the program, and b) respond affirmatively to a set of required questions specific to each level. Point percentage and question requirements for each level can be found here!
Where can I find a list of the actions included within the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program to earn designation?
A full listing of all categories and actions included in the program coming soon!
What is the time period about which I can report when answering questions in the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program?
Responses should be based on a restaurant’s current state of operations or policies or standards that are already in place. Responses should not be based on any actions that are intended to take place in the future. Once new actions are taken, a restaurant can reassess to work its way toward a higher level of designation.
Who on restaurant staff can complete the designation process?
We understand that restaurants are a fast-paced, busy environment and that time can be a factor. For this reason, any one person or team of people can be designated by the owner or management to complete the assessment. All we ask is that the owner or management reviews the completed assessment for accuracy and validity prior to submission.
Once a restaurant earns a level of designation, can it reassess later in order to achieve a higher level?
Yes, a restaurant can reassess at any time during the duration of its three-year designation without an additional cost. Sustainable Pittsburgh staff can also assist with restaurants striving to achieve a higher designation level.
Who created the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant designation?
This designation program was developed by Sustainable Pittsburgh with the insights and expert guidance of the members of the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant advisory committee. The development of this program was made possible through grant support from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.
What if I have a question or issue that was not addressed in this FAQ section?
We are here to help! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-258-6642. We will update these FAQs accordingly, as one restaurant’s experience may be helpful to others.