The Greenie® and Lunchkin® Innovate “Lunch” Business

For decades now, the paper industry has touted their eco-friendly and cost-effective messaging to restaurant owners and even consumers. While many believed the eco message, even more believed the costing information. The bottom line, is that neither are factually true. Recently, there are some new linen products that absolutely seal the deal on both fronts.

Here are some “environmental” facts related to using linen reusable napkins in lieu of paper disposable napkins.

1) If every American uses linen napkins at breakfast and lunch (instead of paper), our planet will save nearly 60,000,000 (million) trees per year, will add up to 15,000,000 (million) pounds of oxygen per year, and will save up to 5,000,000,000 (yes, billion) pounds of landfill trash per year.

2) It takes far less water and chemicals to manufacture linen napkins, than it does to recycle paper into napkins. The paper industry is responsible for putting 16,000,000 (million) pounds per year of toxic pollutants into US waters, and 204,000,000 (million) pounds of toxic pollutants in US air. And most people just don’t realize just how much water is used to make paper in America… about 3 gallons per sheet (shown in a recent article of “The Atlantic”).

3) Paper napkins have one life, unless they are recycled. If recycled, they rarely have more than two lives. They simply end up in our landfills.

4) Linen napkins from a qualified linen rental supplier have 80 – 100 reusable lives, and are washed in an eco-friendly formula (mandated by sewage laws). The temperatures used in commercial laundering bring the linen fabric temperature to the point that “hygienic cleanliness” is ensured (according to AAMI – a leading healthcare measurement association).

With facts like these, why on earth would consumers and restaurant owners even consider paper at their tables? The real reason is that the paper industry has simply done a better job of talking about it, and until recently, our industry has not.

The second motivator has always been the myth that paper is cheaper than linen. Simply not true. Here are some facts on the subject.

1) The typical paper napkin used in restaurants – costs the operator about 3 cents each.

2) The typical diner uses 2-3 napkins while dining (many times more).

3) The average cost of paper napkins (3 cents average x 2.5 average uses) is about 7.5 cents ($0.075 per serving). In many cases, such as BBQ restaurants and the like, the cost can be up to 3 times that cost to the restaurant.

4) According to recent surveys by Milliken & Co, 84% of US dining consumers actually prefer cloth napkins in restaurants. They feel better, and exude an atmosphere of higher quality. And diners only use 1 per serving… fact.

5) According to statistics previously released by the American Restaurant Association, diners will actually spend more money at restaurants using linen, as they expect a higher quality dining “experience”.

So, if the environmental message is more earth-friendly for linen, and if the cost of paper is actually much higher than most people think… what’s the real issue here?

The average cost of renting traditional dinner linen napkins may be equal or perhaps higher than the actual cost of paper. That said, it boils down to price, right? How do we offer high-end linen “lunch” napkins at a price that makes sense to restaurant owners?

Enter… “The Greenie®“, and his cousin, “The LunchKin®“. Working with Milliken & Company (USA makers of “Signature®” brand table linen fabrics), ADI American Dawn has innovated two new products, designed specifically for the lunch market, to help our industry counter the marketing of paper in the restaurant industry.

the GreenieThe Greenie® – made of Milliken’s USA recycled polyester has a complete green story, designed to help linen suppliers tell the story of reusable textiles to their B2B audience. The collateral that accompanies the product, shows the statistics within this article, and can be seen at www.thegreenieinitiative.com. The other key element of Greenie® marketing is that ADI donates 2 cents to environmental causes, for each unit sold (1 cent to TRSA’s Education & Research Fund, and 1 cent to NEEF – National Environmental Education Fund). One of the funds builds awareness within our industry, and the other builds awareness in our consumers’ youth base. Using The Greenie® in a restaurant allows that owner to participate in environmental awareness, at no cost to them or their Customers.

The Greenie® is smaller than traditional dinner napkins, with a 12″ X 15″ lap print. The Milliken fabric lasts 80-100 cycles, just like traditional linens. While many launderers will press the product, ADI’s collateral suggests that The Greenie® be delivered with a “natural” finish, thus saving even more energy in the process. This product comes in 1 color – “Earth Green”, and has contrasting stitching (blue) with a yellow woven label. The colors of green (earth), blue (water & air), yellow (energy) help carry the environmental story to the consumer… complete with table tents for the restaurant.

And now you say, “but restaurants will want more than just one color! We need choices.” Enter “The LunchKin®“! This new linen lunch product was also innovated by ADI American Dawn, with fabric manufactured by Milliken & Company in the USA. The LunchKin® is exactly the same lap print as the Greenie® (12″X15″), and comes in 6 other colors… White, Black, Caribbean Blue, Hazelnut Brown, Palm Green, Vanilla Bean.

While these products won’t work for dinner crowds, imagine the difference that a consumer experiences in paper vs these new exciting innovations. And given that the price of these products is competitive, and costs less to process, imagine how competitive a linen supplier can be, to convert restaurants from paper to linen.

The paper industry has misrepresented the benefits of paper for decades. The benefits of linen vs paper are not only available, but logical. And when B2B customers figure out that reusable linens are less expensive to offer for lunch, rental linen suppliers have a whole new market opportunity!

The Greenie® and The LunchKin®. Better for the environment – than paper. Less expensive for restaurants – than paper. More desirable to Consumers – than paper. More upgraded imaging for restaurants – than paper. 

This information provided by ADI American Dawn