Patron feedback led a local restaurateur to reconsider his business’ plastic straw policies.
“Some of our best policies and ideas come from our customers,” Mike Monen—who, along with his wife Taylor, owns HiFi Clyde’s. Community Pie, Urban Stack, Taco Mamacita and Milk and Honey—said via text.
After a customer pointed out that servers always gave straws, Monen and his team realized it was wasteful to automatically give out the plastic utensils.
Initially, decision makers considered banning straws completely, but they realized that children or people with disabilities need them, Monen said.
Now straws are available only by request at all the local Monen restaurants.
“On any given day we can easily serve over 6,000 people at all of our restaurants. Wasting and putting 6,000 straws into the environment is careless, so I thank our customers for giving this type of feedback,” he said.
The Monen Family Restaurant Group is joining a national straw trend.
Some restaurants and communities across the country are banning straws or making them optional.
A citywide ban on plastic straws and utensils went into effect earlier this summer in Seattle, and Starbucks recently announced its plan to eliminate straws in its stores by 2020. Marriot and American Airlines also recently announced a plan to remove disposable straws.
As new of the trend started to spread, some national outlets reported the statistic that “Americans use about 500 million straws a day.”
The New York Times fact-checked that and found that it may not be accurate, but some advocates said regardless of the number, there’s too much plastic being littered into the environment.
The straw-banning trend also prompted some people with disabilities to fear the move would limit their accessibility, CNN reported.