Last year over 250 food service professionals joined us to recognise the extraordinary achievements of the whole sector.
With a new category format that aligned with our Sustainability Framework, SRA members were awarded for their work across Sourcing, Society and Environment.
Bæst and Mirabelle
Customers at Bæst, in the fashionable Nørrebro area, can enjoy some of the 350 varieties of fruit and vegetables grown on its own nearby farm, as well as mozzarella on their pizzas made in the restaurant every day using milk from the farm’s 15-cow herd. To complement the Italian theme, Bæst’s chefs also make ice cream and with pigs from a local free-range drove they make salami for the pizza toppings.
In a bid to make the most of their own fabulous food and keep waste to a minimum, whey from the cheese-making process is used to make croissants in the bakery, where customers are incentivised to use reusable bags with a 10% discount on baked goods.
Surplus bread is sent to their chicken supplier and coffee grounds to a mushroom grower while gluts of fruit and vegetables are pickled and fermented. This is typical of Bæst’s progressive approach to business. All their electricity comes from hydro-electric power and they are reducing energy use by 10% a year.
See the Food Made Good Top 20.
In response to consumer demand, Jamie’s Italian set about adding even more fruit and veg to its children’s offering when planning its 2017 menu, following the lead of its adult menu which features a host of healthy and nutritious options. Every dish on the new kids’ menu includes at least two portions of veg, while some dishes, including the five-a-day lunch box will help kids eat, you guessed it, their five-a-day.
The in-house team of nutritionists at Jamie’s also worked with colleagues to devise imaginative, engaging and fun ways to ensure that their younger customers actually eat the veg on the plate. And because all of the dishes are healthy, parents can relax while their children choose whatever they like.
Friends House Restaurant
The restaurant at the central offices of the Quakers in Britain worked with the Douglas House Project (DHP), to establish a social enterprise bakery giving men recently released from prison or hospital a chance to learn how to create, bake, sell and deliver cakes and sweets. Many have gained food hygiene qualifications and four have been given paid apprenticeships at Friends House, whose customers now enjoy the baked goods too.
The project manager at DHP said: “Friends House have offered our clients a purpose. It is for many of them, the first time in their lives they have had structure, the first time they have been paid for the work they do, the first time they have worked with others on a project they are proud of and take responsibility for.
Pizza Hut Restaurants
A transformation in the way it treats its staff has seen job applications soar to 150,000 in the last year. Pizza Hut Restaurants introduced a range of initiatives to put employees at the heart of the business. Emotional training, available for all 8,000 staff, to help relieve stress and people management training for managers, are two of the new schemes that have helped enhance the staff experience. In an industry first Pizza Hut Restaurants launched a degree level apprenticeship scheme which has had 12,000 applications to date.
The all new site opened earlier this year powered entirely with renewable energy and featuring lampshades made of mushrooms, seats padded with cow tails and walls insulated with sheep’s wool.
A green living wall, the building’s wooden frame and state of the art heat recovery system that provides the whole site with hot water, are just some of the myriad of elements that contributed to Nando’s opening right and winning the award.
Already one of the UK’s leading suppliers of compostable packaging, Vegware recognised that a number of businesses which were using their sustainable products were struggling to recycle them properly. So, they launched their own pilot collection service in Scotland’s Central Belt. Once collected, the waste was composted at a plant near Glasgow and then used on farms within weeks. Two tonnes of food waste was collected during the trial and the company has just announced it will roll out the system across the country.
Lucky Beach Cafe
A feel-good combination of organic burgers and directly traded coffee from its own roastery, combined with a big fat social purpose helped popular south coast restaurant top the poll of readers of delicious magazine. In a tightly fought contest, which saw more than 11,000 people cast their vote, Lucky Beach’s use of money from sales of its organic grass-fed beef from a nearby Sussex farm and directly traded home-roasted coffee, to build a school in Rwanda – where its coffee beans are grown, proved the recipe for success.
The Granary at Sheffield Hallam University
A turbo-charged mix of measures which has halved energy and water use in its campus café, The Granary, helped the Yorkshire uni this award. Solar panels, a ground source pump and rainwater harvesting system are just three of the things that saw it smash its ambitious environmental targets. In 2017, it reduced water use per pupil by half and is on track to cut energy use by a third well in advance of its target date of 2021.
The Borough Market street food stall built its whole menu around two main ingredients which normally never make it beyond the farm gates as victims of the dairy industry. It’s made a thriving business serving kid billy goat and rose veal from male calves, both of which are too often discarded. As well as building a menu around two delicious and waste-busting ingredients, owners Nick and Nadia Stokes also use their POS data to control the amount they buy. Staff are also trained to promote dishes that could be wasted and get to take home any Gourmet Goat that is left over.
The Thali Cafe
Thali Café, which recently opened its sixth site, in Oxford, has been battling waste since serving its first curry at Glastonbury Festival in 1999. There are now 10,000 proud tiffin tin owners using the reusable box over and over again, instead of disposable packaging. Customers that don’t want to buy the tiffin get to take home their food in biodegradable alternatives.
OXO Tower Restaurant
The Food Made Good Champion category is designed to reward the business that has done the most to promote positive, inspiring others with their successes, sharing their challenges, supporting our monthly campaigns, answering out monthly campaign asks and attending events. No sooner had the Food Made Good community hub gone live, within seconds, OXO Tower Restaurant Bar & Brasserie, in the form of Andrea Zick, the PA to the GM, was posting inspiring and inquiring content. Always constructive, sometimes challenging, throughout each month Andrea has really grasped the goal of what we’re aiming to achieve with the community.
Chris’s Fish and Chips
The Leicestershire chippy offers its 2-3,000 weekly customers regular alternatives to cod and haddock, like hake and sole, and tells them which boat caught it and where. It’s the same story with the chips, the name of the farm that grew the potatoes is advertised in the shop. And when it comes to taking their fish and chips home, customers get a biodegradable box made of rice pulp. Owner Stratis says his customer get a sense of reassurance from paying a little bit more for their takeaway and enjoy that feelgood factor.
Henry Dimbleby & John Vincent
Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, follow the likes of Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as the SRA President’s Sustainability heroes. Their transformative School Food Plan introduced free school meals for all infant pupils and was responsible for the return to the curriculum of cooking lessons. When the Government threatened to scrap free lunches they fought a successful campaign to ensure the next generation continued to eat and learn well. The award also recognised the achievement of the Leon founders in bringing healthy fast food to the high street.
Working with farmers and fishermen on their doorstep, the kitchen team at The Gallivant serves a 15-mile menu. This has helped develop a thriving food network in the area, as well as ensure customers get to enjoy the best, freshest seasonal produce, like Romney Marsh lamb and south coast crab. Committing to such a tight sourcing area can be a challenge, particularly in winter, but the chefs work closely with all their suppliers, constantly adapting and creating new dishes.
Executive Chef Damian Clisby is passionate about his daily changing menu championing vegetable based dishes and offering only organic meat. In June 2017 Petersham also hosted the launch dinner for the #TurnYourNoseUp campaign, helping raise awareness about the true cost of cheap meat, as well £20,000. The restaurant also makes every effort to celebrate the provenance of the meat it serves – most of it hailing from its sister business at Haye Farm in Devon.
Kingfisher Fish and Chips
Haddock or herring, pollock or prawns and even lobster, every type of seafood on the menu at Kingfisher is sourced from sustainable stocks. In fact, a world record 12 of its menu items are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, helping to take the heat off the most popular species like cod and haddock. Owner Craig Maw even tells his customers at the Plymouth chippy – as many as 700 a day – which boat caught their dinner, via a QR code on their takeaway box. And Craig has no qualms about removing fish if their sustainability status takes a turn for the worse.
The Breakfast Club
Customers of one of London’s most popular breakfast hangouts can tuck into avocados, the 21st century morning staple, safe in the knowledge the farmers who grew them will feel as good as they do. The Breakfast Club was determined to match the nation’s appetite for avocados with a fruit that not only tasted great but also ensured a fair deal for farmers in Central and South America. So, they switched suppliers for their favourite Hass variety to one with the Fair for Life certification which provides producers and workers with a wide range of social and economic benefits.