Sustainability: More Than A Buzzword at Shuckin’ Shack!

Sustainability: More Than A Buzzword at Shuckin’ Shack!

Sustainability is one of those buzzwords you hear often. But is it really? You see, because many people think of it as a buzzword, they often don’t pay much attention to it. Likewise, many people don’t think about what effect the choices they make have on the environment.      

At the Shuckin’ Shack seafood franchise, sustainability is more than a buzzword. We know it’s important and we know that we all need to play our part to protect our environment and our resources for future generations.    

Sure, we like to have fun. In fact, a large part of our seafood franchise business is fun. But in this post, we’ll get serious, because we know the serious risks our environment is facing. We’ll show you what sustainability is, why it’s important, and what we’re doing to play our part in protecting the environment. 

What Is Sustainability?

So, what exactly is sustainability? Although this question may sound simple, it’s actually quite complicated because there is no universally agreed definition of sustainability. This is precisely what allows some businesses to claim they use “sustainable” practices without walking the talk like we do at the Shuckin’ Shack seafood franchise.

formal definition of sustainability is the ability to exist constantly. Another quite formal definition is that it’s the processes and actions through which humankind avoids the depletion of earth’s natural resources in order to keep an ecological balance that doesn’t allow the quality of life of modern societies to decrease. 

Wow, that sure is a mouthful. Here at Shuckin’ Shack we don’t like formal, so let’s keep it simple. So, in simple terms, the underlying idea behind sustainability is that we must act responsibly about the products we use to support the billions of other people on the planet forever.  

A simple example would be to think of electricity. Traditionally, electricity is generated by using fossil fuels. Unfortunately, there’s only a finite amount of fossil fuels available. So, if we keep generating electricity with fossil fuels, our supply will run out which means that lights will go off. To make it more sustainable we could use solar energy to generate electricity. 

In this way, we use the sun’s rays to give us electricity and let’s face it, the sun isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. This is more environmentally friendly because it reduces pollution and it also saves money because we don’t have to build huge power stations that use coal to generate electricity.

So, at its core, sustainability is about protecting the resources we have, and, for that reason, we must reduce waste, move toward energy efficiency, and implement sustainability practices across supply chains.  As a seafood franchise, Shuckin’ Shack is committed to implementing sustainability practices that benefit our planet by preserving the availability of the oysters, crabs, and other sea life that we love and depend on so much.

Why Is Sustainability Important? 

Whether you look at the simple or formal definition of sustainability, one message is clear. This is that we cannot maintain our quality of life, the diversity of life on earth, and all the earth’s ecosystem unless we embrace it and take steps to protect our resources.  

This means that sustainability is important for the following reasons:

    • A brighter future for all. It’s simple, when we protect earth’s resources, we ensure that future generations have a bright future on a sustained planet. Think about it in this way, the choices we make today can have long-term impacts on future generations. So, by making ethical choices with sustainability in mind we ensure a safe and livable future for everyone. For example, if we overfish our oceans, we don’t only risk depleting the ocean of fish, but also every other organism that’s related to that fish in the food chain.        
    • Less energy usage. When we act with sustainability in mind, we reduce our energy usage by, for example, switching to energy efficient lighting and using solar and wind energy. This reduces long-term electrical costs and the effects on the environment. In other words, when you do this you not only protect the environment, but it also helps you to become more efficient overall and you save money.    
    • A heathy habitat. Over the long-term our society benefits from improved water and air quality, less pollution, reduced landfalls, and increased renewable energy sources. This means if you’re committed to sustainability, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint and the amount of toxins that’s released into the air, ensuring more healthy living conditions for everyone.  
    • Societal impact. Apart from having a positive impact on the environment you also have a positive impact in your society if your friends and family see that you’re committed to sustainability. Soon, they’ll be too.   
sustainable seafood franchise

Call us “shellfish,” but we want to ensure that future generations of Shuckin’ Shack seafood Franchise Owners can continue to earn a great living making seafood lovers happy. Hard to do that if we don’t protect the seafood we have now!

What Can Franchises Do to Be More Sustainable?

Why exactly is sustainability important in a seafood franchise setting, or in any business, for that matter? Well, consumers are increasingly looking for businesses who take initiative and who focus and are committed to being eco-friendly and sustainable. This, ultimately, means that if a business focuses on being more sustainable, it not only protects the environment, but it attracts more customers. This, in turn, means more profit.  

To achieve this, there are several things franchise systems can do to be more sustainable.

Less Waste

One of the simplest ways to become eco-friendlier and more sustainable is by creating less waste. For restaurant franchises this can mean streamlining the gap between inventory and usage. In simple terms, it means aligning order size with demand in order to reduce the amount of food that goes to waste.

This could, for instance, mean asking employees to record how much food goes to waste after each shift, and then to adjust the order size according to that. This reduces the problem with food waste and the pollution it creates in landfills. Besides, it also saves the Franchise Owner money because less of their product goes to waste.   


Another way to implement sustainability practices in a franchise is to recycle. And this is as simple as setting up bins in each restaurant and investing time to train staff to throw the right items in the right bin. This is actually very important because if non-recyclable substances end up in a bin with recyclable substances, that bin must go to the landfill instead of being recycled.   

Reduce Plastic

One of the biggest problems in causing environmental damage, especially in the restaurant business, is plastic. Just think about it, restaurants often use items like straws, lids, cups, and cutlery. Now, consumers might only use these items for a few minutes, or maybe an hour or two, but they last for years in the landfill. 

They’re also often the culprit that pollutes oceans and waterways and harms wildlife in the process. 

Considering this, one of the biggest changes a franchise can make is by moving away from single-use plastics to other alternative options like reusable cutlery, biodegradable to-go boxes, and paper straws.         

Small Changes = Big Payoffs

The big effect franchises can have when it comes to being more sustainable is that they often have many stores. This means, even if they implement small changes across all their stores, the effect is massive. 

For example, a standalone store may reduce the amount of plastic waste by using fewer plastic straws. So, if that store on average used about 100 straws a day, that’s 100 straws not finding their way to the landfill. That’s 3,000 straws a month, or 36,000 a year. That’s already a huge effort, but now imagine when a franchise implements this policy across all their stores. If it has 20 stores, that will protect the environment from 720,000 straws going to the landfill.   

Spread The Word

It’s important that franchises celebrate the positive effects they have on the environment. In this way, staff will be proud to work for an organization that’s committed to a better environment for all, and customers will be delighted to do business with a franchise that focuses on sustainability and eco-friendliness. This means happier employees and more productivity, while also making customers happier and ensuring more profit. 

sustainably sourced seafood franchise

Our Seafood Franchise Casts the Net Wide When It Comes to Sustainability

At Shuckin’ Shack seafood franchise, we’re serious about sustainability. We know that oysters and other sea life need our help to stay well-stocked so that plenty of future generations will enjoy seafood just as much as we do.

That is precisely why we’re committed to serving only sustainably sourced, domestic seafood that has been caught responsibly by our vast network of certified vendors. Through our partnership with the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch Program, our work with the Oyster Shell Recycling Program, and our Ocean Friendly Establishment certification, we’re dedicated to upholding the quality and sustainability of the seafood we serve.

For example, after the oysters are eaten in our restaurants, the shells are reclaimed for use in oyster reef restoration projects, and any recycled oysters are placed back into the Bay waters to replenish and restore the reefs. 

Our commitment to sustainability goes further than our oysters, though. Our seafood franchise also participates in and promotes several other initiatives, like:

    • Skip the Straw. At Shuckin’ Shack, we’re committed to protecting our oceans, waterways, and marine life. Because of this, we’ll ask you to Skip the Straw when you dine with us. We only offer biodegradable and reusable straws on request at our locations.     
    • Ocean Friendly Establishments. In association with the Plastic Ocean Project and Surfrider Foundation we already have seven locations that are certified Ocean Friendly Establishments. It’s our mission to protect the ocean and we are committed to have all our future locations certified as they open.  
    • Aquaculture oysters. Aquaculture oysters are gaining popularity because it lets diners enjoy delicious shellfish without any of the harmful effects on the environment. Because farms now have more control over the growing environment, this results in a safer more sustainable oyster.  
    • Wild American Shrimp. All our shrimp are certified Wild American and are caught in American waters by American fishermen. 
    • Sustainable products. We reduce single use plastics wherever possible in order to protect the environment. This means that you won’t find Styrofoam, plastic bags, or drinks in plastic bottles at any of our locations.    
    • Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition. As part of the Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition, we’re continuing our sustainability efforts in the operations of Shuckin’ Shack to benefit the shellfish we love and the waters that sustain them.