The Business Case for Reusable Straws in the Hospitality Industry
The push for a removal of single-use plastic straws presents a challenge for many businesses, such as resorts, hotels, etc. However, with the emergence of reusable straws as a new retail item, this challenge provides a new and profitable opportunity for savvy business operators.
The ongoing movement to ban the use of plastic straws is spreading quickly. Some major cities have already passed laws that require businesses to phase out all plastic straw use. Other municipalities are considering doing the same. As a whole, public sentiment is pushing aggressively to eliminate the desire for people and businesses to use single-use straws through social campaigns, petitions, and day-to-day pressure. Suddenly, businesses & people who use straws are seen as not caring about the environment. In many ways, plastic straws have become a signal / spokesperson for whether or not a person/business cares about the environment.
Millions of plastic straws are used every day in America and plastic straws are not recyclable. Therefore, all these used straws end up in landfills, roadside ditches or, worse yet, oceans and waterways.
Why Businesses Should Switch to Reusable Straws (and get rid of single-use plastic straws)
Plastic straws for many years have been a staple “free” offering by many major industries such as restaurants and fast foods, resorts, and amusement parks, to name a few (pretty much anywhere beverages are served). Some of these businesses have announced the discontinuation of straw use to comply with these new laws and/or to project an image of social consciousness.
So, how can we deal with the disappearance of plastic straws and still meet the needs and wants of our customers?
By removing free, give away plastic straws and instead selling reusable straws, businesses can lower costs, increase revenues, and enable themselves a great new PR /marketing approach.
- Reduce Cost: The number of free straws given out is massive. Even though straws are not expensive on an individual basis, the numbers add up. For a large resort, the annual cost for free plastic straws can be tens of thousands of dollars or higher.
- Increase Revenue: Turning lemons into Lemonade. Get rid of free straws and instead sell reusable straws! A new, high margin sku for businesses. Imagine a family of 5 who are staying at a hotel & resort for 5 nights. Why not make an attempt to sell them a 5 pack of reusable straws with a carrying case (or 5 individual reusable straws with carrying cases) as soon as they enter the resort? It could even be a promotional item to get them to stay in the first place. At a price of $10-$20 per family, that’s a lot of revenue. Since there is a social element to using reusables, that family feels ‘good’ about not producing extra waste, and that vibe reverberates through the resort — there is a sort of peer pressure to use those types of straws, which they have to buy from you, the resort. Further, if the straws are branded by the establishment, they will serve as a marketing reminder when that family goes back home.
- Branding Your Business as Straw Free: No business wants to be seen as socially irresponsible. By eliminating plastic straws, you create an opportunity for marketing buzz. People prefer to book & use establishments that promote social causes. Furthermore, many guests will post pictures on social media with their straws and drinks and a savvy business might opt to put a hashtag on their reusable straws for guests to include in their posts. Again, people like to feel good about being environmentally responsible, and they like letting other people know they are environmentally responsible, make it easy for them!
- Keep Your Grounds Clean: When people buy drinks, they often discard the straw on the ground, either accidentally or intentionally. As it happens, they can be difficult to clean up with industrial vacuums because straws fit into tile cracks. Straws are unsightly — nobody likes to see a chewed up straw on the ground while they are trying to enjoy their vacation. No throwaway straws = no straws thrown on the ground.
So, plastic straws bad, reusable straws good — for business, PR, etc. But which reusable straws are the best to sell for resorts, restaurants, etc? Available options include: silicone, metal, glass, hardened plastic. We believe silicone straws are the most versatile straw for businesses to offer because they offer great drinkability which people love (see reviews for customers perspective) — and, most importantly for a business, they eliminate liability associated with hard straws like glass, metal and hard plastic — especially for use by kids and toddlers. That liability was made very public when starbucks was sued in 2016 when a child injured his throat with a metal straw– starbucks subsequently recalled 2.5 million metal straws. With silicone, that risk is gone.
Advantages of silicone as reusable straw offering for businesses:
- Silicone is virtually indestructible under normal use.
- Silicone is easy to clean (especially after using your straw squeegee) in your dishwasher (silicone can withstand hot, even boiling water, so sanitizing is not an issue).
- Silicone is soft, bendable, and chewy so it is a safer material to use, especially for children (no throat pokes, eye gouges, or chipped teeth).
- High-quality silicone, unlike plastic, will not leach harmful chemicals.
As we mentioned, your business can sell small packs of silicone straws or straw singles that the customer uses during their visit/stay & will take home and reuse. Larger business can private label the packaging or even the straws with their name/logo to serve as a continuing advertisement of the company. It’s recommended that straws be sold with a carrying case as well as a cleaning tool. This way customers can carry the straws with them and easily clean them on their own.
Introducing Softy Straws
Softy Straws manufactures the finest silicone straws on the market. We offer our straws in packs or individually. We also offer a premium straw carrying case which is very brandable (not found anywhere else). Perhaps most importantly, we invented the Straw Squeegee. The Squeegee is a patent pending device that makes it easy (and fun) for people to clean out their straws. It is made of the same high-quality silicone as the straws.
(Multi-Pack and Individual Carrying Case Coming Soon!)
Softy Straws is a U.S. based company. We are not a “middle man” company. We have our own molds and control the manufacturing and distribution of our products. We claim to have the highest quality silicone straws on the market (FDA certified) and we are anxious to demonstrate and explain why we make this claim.
For additional information please contact us