We want you to tell us your recipe for success!
In the application survey you will be asked to describe the ingredients, serving suggestion, prep, method and reviews that helped to drive your sustainability success story.
Below is an explanation of what all these headings mean, with example answers given in italics.
What was the problem you trying to solve, and in a nutshell, what was the solution you were dishing up?
We recognised that even though we’ve been separating our food waste from refuse and recycling for years, our food waste bags were bulging so we didn’t feel we’d fully addressed the problem. We decided to agree an internal manifesto to halve food waste leaving the restaurant within six months.
Who was instrumental in the process?
(Stakeholders in the project e.g. procurement officers/suppliers)
We involved our entire back of house team in the process, as well as our supply chain managers and of course, our sustainability officer. Other key stakeholders also included the general manager, financial director and crucially, our food waste contractors.
What did you need to make it happen?
(Key factors in delivering the project e.g. operational/cultural change)
Staff motivation was key in successfully affecting behavioural change in the kitchen, so we organised a staff away day with our waste suppliers to the local landfill and composting sites. During this exercise, an enthusiastic food waste champion emerged in the form of our prep chef who agreed to spearhead the project.
Who benefits from this success?
(Benefactors of this project e.g. customers or local community)
The whole staff profits from the cost-saving side of things as the savings can be directed back into the business. Long term, the customer should benefit from cost-control, the smarter we are with calculating supply and demand. Ultimately, the environment is the key benefactor!
What was the plan for service?
(Strategy or tactics used e.g. the vision or policy implemented)
Our preparation began with in-depth auditing, measurement and monitoring of the entire kitchen system – in particular prep waste and plate waste. Recipe reviews also took place in order to assess the opportunities that lay in incorporating a higher volume of prep waste products into our dishes.
How did you make it happen?
(The execution and delivery e.g. timings and quantities required)
A section of our daily team meeting was devoted to the status of the waste measurement project and sharing the findings and insight, meaning that the kitchen staff remained interested and invested in the progress. Dedicating an area of the kitchen to capturing this was vital, as it gave the prep chef a safe space within which to store the paperwork and scales, and stage the separation of waste products. The kitchen porter also became a key part of the plate waste review process, going the extra mile to separate the waste at speed upon its return to the kitchen.
The chefs got creative with replacing elements on several dishes with diverted prep waste, including stock from vegetable peelings for our spring broth, adding crunch to pasta dishes using stale breadcrumbs, and creating a xiao long bao special using homemade bone broth bouillon.
How was it received?
(Impact and success e.g. customer feedback or improvement areas, uplift or sustainability-related data)
The process was a unanimous success across the business. We identified multiple blind spots and gaps between prep, service and waste management which were simple to address once we’d spotted them. We immediately spotted areas for improvement and opportunities to divert waste back on to plates. The process really united front and back of house, and staff motivation remains high when it comes to new sustainability initiatives – they’re actually suggesting them to us!
This is a new way of working for us, so we’re going to cement several new practices before our customer-facing comms kick off in 2019, but we can’t wait to introduce this side of our brand to our diners.