A new way to judge the UK's most popular eateries has emerged: Ethical Consumer, a website dedicated to providing information on consumer ethics (surprisingly enough) has just published its research which ranks 30 popular restaurant chains from most ethical to least ethical. Wahaca restaurants, a Mexican street foot chain, came out on top with 8 points out of a possible 20, while half a dozen high street restaurants scramble for last place – ASK, Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge, Las Iguanas, Prezzo and Zizzi all just have a paltry three points each.
Ethical Consumer's scoring system takes into account several different areas, including environmental ratings, workers' rights, politics and company ethos, and animal rights.
The ranking chart on Ethical Consumer's own website allows you to tinker with how restaurants are ranked, though, if you prefer. Maybe animal rights are more important to you than how much staff members get paid, or perhaps you only care about whether the company uses Fair Trade produce or not. Using a bunch of sliders, you can customise which areas are most important to you, and the score table will update depending on your choices. If, for instance, you set all the bars to zero except for 'worker's rights', then pub chain Slug & Lettuce comes out on top.
Ultimately though, with the top place still only scoring eight out of a possible 20 points, none of the restaurants surveyed performed particularly great, with each one failing in particular areas. Ethical Consumer highlight that every single brand lost a mark in the Animal Rights, Factory Farming and Palm Oil categories, and all were also marked down for failing to provide clear GMO policies. They came to the conclusion that "when it comes to having clear and transparent policies and sound ethical practices... all of the chain brands fall woefully short".
Featured image: Wahaca