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In the past, plastic cutlery has been popular for being convenient, sanitary, cost-effective, and disposable. You wouldn’t be at a summer BBQ, in the woods camping, or at a company picnic without them. And with food delivery only growing, the plastic piles grow with it.

Fortunately, sustainable practices are entering the restaurant world. These days, you might be wondering where the giant wads of napkins and way-more-than-necessary plastic forks are at the bottom of your takeout bag. 

Big cities around the U.S. like Los Angeles and Chicago are creating ordinances that prevent restaurants from including these most oftentimes wasteful add-ons, unless specifically asked for from diners.

Grubhub joins the new normal

Reducing single-use plastic cutlery is not only the right move for the environment but also your restaurant’s profit margin. Research has found that restaurants can save thousands of dollars annually by reducing how much plasticware they use.

To help, Grubhub has joined the #CutOutCutlery campaign, and we’ve added a new feature on the Grubhub app and website. Now, the Grubhub app and website will automatically default to zero utensils and napkins with every order. 

If they want, Grubhub customers have the option to request if they would like plates, utensils and napkins included or excluded from their order. In Grubhub for Restaurants, these requests can be found on individual orders in the Special order instructions section.

While diners will still be able to request plastic cutlery when needed, this move will help generate significant savings for Grubhub restaurant partners. In fact, this action by Grubhub will remove millions of pieces of plastic cutlery from entering the environment annually. 

See the image below to view where diners will now have the opportunity to opt-in or out of including utensils in their Grubhub order.


Grubhub’s new in-app sustainability feature for restaurants

Keep your diners (and the planet) happy

According to, organizer of the #CutOutCutlery campaign, 40,000,000,000 pieces of plastic cutlery end up in the waste stream per year, polluting our oceans and harming sea life. This also added up to $3.2 million in savings for restaurants during the COVID pandemic.

But restaurants aren’t the only ones who are passionate about this change. Generation Z and millennial diners are more sustainability-conscious than any other generation. They’re also more likely to pay close attention to corporate responsibility.

Read our guide and tips on how you can continue to reduce food waste and become a fully Green Restaurant.

Get your restaurant involved – how to spread the word

While the Grubhub Marketplace helps your restaurant save money and reduce unnecessary waste, it’s important to let your diners know where you stand on this relevant issue. Use social media to create posts that highlight your efforts. 

Let your diners know the latest sustainable packaging you’re using, or use Earth Month to create featured content.

Take it a step further and introduce your diners to your sustainable endeavors by sending out a customized email with your owned customer data on Grubhub Direct. Using Grubhub’s promotions and loyalty tools, you can even include a special discount for those ordering during the month of April. 

From attracting new diners to driving incremental cost savings, remember that sustainable restaurant practices can help the environment and your restaurant’s bottom line.

Learn more about Grubhub and join the sustainability movement for free for your first 30 days.