Our winner is: EN_FOOD, Hertfordshire
Ben Murphy, Head Chef of EN_Food set out to prove that you could run a civic centre restaurant dedicated to showcasing healthy, environmentally conscious and delicious food. Using the SRA’s Sustainability framework Ben created a blueprint.
One of the major barriers was the lengthy and laborious process to approve new suppliers through the council’s system. In order to cut through the red tape, Ben had to convince a number of department’s that the societal, economic and environmental benefits were worth it. Slowly, Ben found allies in the council and an impressive array of 15 local suppliers were brought on board.
Ben’s next job was to create menus to do the ingredients justice. Now, the restaurant is a hub of the community serving council staff and the public food that’s local and seasonal as well as affordable, nutritious and delicious and which showcases local suppliers and their produce.
Our winner is: The Wheatsheaf Chilton Foliat, Wiltshire
With an organic farm providing beef and pork on the doorstep, chef-owner Ollie Hunter is guaranteed quality meat, but challenges himself daily to ensure he keeps the menu’s impact to a minimum.
One of the effective methods Ollie’s employed is to maintain the meaty flavour while reducing the meat content. Two dishes exemplify this. The Pork and Split Pea Stew with Black Pudding uses pork stock only and the black pudding is organic and a by-product. The Wheatsheaf burger now includes mushrooms and oats, but still tastes 100% beefy.
Using smart innovations like this the pub has reduced by a third the meat it purchases and a shift to buying whole animals only has helped reduce waste, create more menu variety and enhanced chef skills, as well as increasing GP which is also boosted by the increase in veg in dishes! Making seven dishes out of a single chicken is a prime example.
Our winner is: YO!
Since is launch in 1997 YO! has always strived to keep the most unsustainable seafood off its menus, never serving bluefin tuna and removing eel when it became critically endangered.
A major internal review of the 70-site group’s sustainability highlighted that 40% of its seafood had a Marine Conservation Society rating of 4-5. It resolved to ensure that all of it would be responsibly sourced by the end of 2020.
It achieved that target in August 2019, 15 months ahead of schedule by implementing a Responsible Seafood Policy. It also joined the Sustainable Seafood Coalition collaborated closely with the SRA, Sustain and its two main suppliers and developed new products like Japanese amberjack to reduce reliance on tuna and salmon.
The final piece in the jigsaw has involved training staff so that they can help share knowledge about sustainable seafood with customers.
Our winner is: Nando’s UK & ireland
You need a lot of chillies for 425 peri-peri chicken restaurants. In fact Nando’s is the world’s largest importer of Africa Bird’s Eye chillies and wanted to put this buying power to good use.
Now 1400 small scale farmers across rural southern Africa are benefitting from above-market value pricing, a guaranteed market, interest free loans for seeds and equipment as well as access to training.
The good news for farmers – Nando’s is running a pilot to extend the project to cayenne and paprika too. And the even better news for Nando’s and its customers is that they have a completely traceable, reliable source of chillies that maintain a livelihood for thousands.
Our winner is: The Roebuck, London
Frequent efforts to nudge customers of this south London pub away from its ever-popular burger, to more planet-friendly menu items have never worked.
Chef Jareth Mills devised a cunning plan to keep his meat-loving regulars happy while also reducing the pub’s impact. Now carnivorous customers tuck into a less meat burger, featuring a third less organic beef. The missing 35% is made up with mixture of mushrooms of lentils.
The mushrooms retain the umami flavour, but each burger has a reduced footprint, making it an excellent vehicle for introducing more plant-based eating to a traditional group of guests.
With 400 burgers sold every month this One Planet Plate has delivered a carbon saving equivalent to driving a car halfway round the world.
Our winner is: The Restaurant Group
The 650-strong restaurant group which includes Wagamama and Frankie and Benny’s has been running a near decade long campaign to drive down energy use. Keen to step it up to another level and involve staff in the process, the company worked on a new user-friendly reporting system.
Now Operations Managers can easily access and analyse live energy data. Armed with this they are then able to find areas where savings can be made, appoint energy champions to support the campaign and install motion sensors and other energy saving technology.
The group has reduced electricity and gas by an impressive combined 4,800,000 kWh in 2018, and since 2010 saved the equivalent of 12,000 tonnes of carbon.
Our winner is: BuJo, Dublin
Owner Michael Sheary opened Dublin burger joint BuJo with the intention of being as sustainable as it could be. But in a counter service burger joint how do you cater for thirsty customers if not with cans and plastic bottles?
Collaborating with their drinks suppliers and packaging partner from day one, BuJo provides beer, wine and cider on draft only.
When it comes to the soft drinks, there is no packaging, served instead in reusable cups, removing tens of thousands of units of compostable cups, lids and straws, reducing bin lifts by at least two a week.
All wine and beer in this Dublin burger joint is served on tap and soft drinks are served with no packaging either, removing thousands of cups, bottles and cans in the process.
Our winner is: Vacherin
The 40-site workplace caterer stood back and looked at the impact of food waste both on the environment and its bottom line. The company’s Director of Food, chef development team and operations managers all teamed up put together a plan that’s good for planet and profit.
During 2019, Vacherin signed up one of its sites to the Crown Estate’s food waste pledge to cut waste by 25% by May 2020.
This year has also seen it really step up its use of ‘wonky’ fruit and veg (delicious but cosmetically faulty) with its I’mPerfect initiatives, using nine tonnes of the stuff, an increase of 35% on the previous 12 months.
Who said today’s breakfast couldn’t be tomorrows snacks? Vacherin chefs now turn leftover porridge into tasty protein bars and smoothies.
Sending all used coffee grounds to be recycled by bio-bean has reduced coffee emissions from this waste source by 30%.
All told, Vacherin has reduced food waste by 25% and in 2020 plans to monitor it in fine detail across all sites.
Our winner is: Chris’s Fish ‘n’ Chips, Leicestershire
Owner Stratis Kyriacou has seen the future and is giving his customers the chance to taste it. This Hinkley chippie embraces many examples of forward thinking while retaining all of the traditional charms regulars would expect.
Yes, you can order traditional fish and chips. But Chris has been having good success tempting his customers to try one of the growing number of vegan or vegetarian options at a discount. Whatever customers choose they can enjoy their takeaway guilt-free, taking it home in bio-boxes inside a paper bag, before tucking in with a wooden fork, or enjoy it in the community park Stratis has opened opposite the shop. This sense of community extends to the extensive recycling regime. Customers can bring in their used cooling oil and the restaurant will get it recycled.
Our winner is: YO!
As part of its business-wide sustainability review, launched in 2018, YO! adopted a new wellbeing policy, recognising the need to address the prevalence of mental health issues in the workplace.
The HR team has overseen the training of 16 metal health first aiders within the 70- restaurant group. Added to this YO! has become the first restaurant group to take the Time To Change Pledge – signing it up to end mental health discrimination in the workplace. Staff now have access to a range of counselling services and mental health and wellbeing is a regular feature in operations meetings.
The response of staff to the initiative has been overwhelmingly positive, absences have fallen 40% in six months while salaried staff turnover has dropped 9% over the same period.
Our winner is: Costa Coffee
Since launching its Costa Community Programme in 2014, the 2000-strong café chain has been looking for new ways to support the communities with more than just a place to drink coffee.
A Costa survey revealed that 75% of people would like to have more human interaction. The introduction of the Chatty Café concept in August 2018, has turned 350 of its stores into community hubs, helping thousands of people out of social isolation.
Store teams reached out to their wider communities encouraging them to take part in the scheme, targeting local vulnerable groups and then offering Chatter and Natter tables.
Now dozens of independent cafés and Sainsbury’s are following Costa’s lead and adopting the concept and the success of the project has led to Costa to develop wider plans for its stores to grow as community hubs.
Our winner is: CH&Co
How do you get thousands of kids to make positive menu choices every day while not coming across as preachy? That’s the challenge facing caterers like CH&CO’s schools division.
Family cooking classes, fruit and veg growing programmes, and educational visits from nutritionists are just part of the caterer’s plan to feed schoolchildren well and develop a positive lifelong relationship with food.
CH&CO is also happy to share the secrets of its success with other operators, stressing the mantra that all food is good so long as it is eaten in moderation.
As well as overwhelming positive feedback from children, parents, teachers and governors CH&CO can point to a two-thirds increase in school meal uptake at one school as proof positive of its approach.
Our winner is: Belu
Already widely known for helping provide thousands of people worldwide with clean water and sanitation through its partnership with WaterAid, Belu turned its attention to supporting restaurants to reduce their impact on the environment.
The introduction of its free water filtration system in 80 sites is having a big impact on the foodservice sector. Each participating restaurant is saving 12,000 single-use bottles a year, staff and customers awareness of the value of water has increased and WaterAid continues to benefit to the tune of £1 per bottle.
For the restaurants, there’s the bonus of a ‘free’ quality product that also communicates their environmental and social credentials to customers.
Deri Reed, The Warren, Camarthen
Deri, dubbed The Ethical Chef, opened The Warren with the mission to leave the environment and customers’ health in a better place than if it had never opened. He created a restaurant built by the community, it started with a £20,000 crowdfunding campaign, and for the community, realising his dream of running a restaurant showcasing quality, mostly organic, Welsh produce at affordable prices that also doubles as a venue for yoga classes, LGBT and mother and baby groups.
All this, and, in an area where meat is a mainstay, Deri has also profited from providing a mostly vegetarian and vegan menu. Deri’s has realised his dream and with it the local farmers and diners have benefitted hugely too. His reward, being named 2020 Good Food Guide Best Local Restaurant in Wales and now Food Made Good Chef of the Year.
The people’s winner is: Yeo Valley Canteen
Delicious readers and the thousands who voted for this former staff canteen, were won over by the menu that champions locally sourced and organic ingredients – with most of the meat and veg coming from its own farm.
The affordable prices also mean everyone can discover the delights of quality, sustainable food while admiring one of the finest restaurant views in the country.
Our winner is: Lauren Haffenden, Lakeside Restaurant and Coffee shop
A successful community relies on people giving and taking. As the assistant manager of a training restaurant, Lauren is more of a giver, sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for all things sustainable, with her immediate colleagues, students and importantly the wider Food Made Good Community via the online platform.
Lauren is a regular contributor in this member space, helping answer fellow members’ questions, offering advice and sharing successes – especially when it comes to reducing disposable coffee cups.
Our winner is: Olio
Launched in 2015 to connect neighbours with each other and food waste heroes with food businesses, so surplus food can be shared not thrown away, OLIO discovered that redistribution was just not happening in the foodservice sector. It set about transferring its successful model.
Using sophisticated algorithms, the app can provide businesses with detailed information about the volume of food saved, the number of people fed, and the equivalent water and CO2 saved.
That means that early foodservice adopters like Virgin Trains and caterers Fooditude and Vacherin are not only having food collected and distributed that no charity could take, but also see the benefits in black and white.
For example, OLIO has saved the equivalent of 2,000 meals for Virgin Trains, feeding 330 people and avoiding 3.7 tonnes of C02 in the process.
Our winner is: The Wheatsheaf Chilton Foliat
Ollie and his team at this organic Wiltshire pub are on a mission to minimise their impact on the environment and maximise the positive effect they have on their local community.
Three quarters of the menu is now veg-led and even the meaty dishes, like the popular burger, are a third less meaty with mushrooms making up the balance.
They’ve taken roasts off the Sunday menu to reduce waste, make their own crisps to cut down on plastic and the only loser is the dustman who has just a third of a bin to collect each week.
Customers with fruit and veg gluts can exchange them for a tab at the bar where all staff are paid at least the real Living Wage.
The winner is: Greta Thunberg
For “waking one generation, shaking at least one more, and inspiring millions to engage and act on climate change.”
Our winner is: The Buxton, London
For its new pub, the team behind the Culpeper, resolved to build in sustainability from its very foundations. They wanted to do justice to the man after whom the pub is named – Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, the anti-slavery campaigner and social reformer. The Buxton, they felt should fulfil the role of a pub as the heart of its community.
The team worked tirelessly with more than 200 local craftsmen over three years to use as many as possible of the building’s existing fixtures and fittings.
This approach has saved 21% of the whole life carbon emissions that would have been generated if they’d built from scratch. To top it off they’re growing their own fruit and veg on the roof and are powered by 100% renewable energy.
First winner: The Green Vic
It’s bold to aspire to be the world’s most ethical pub, but that’s exactly what this Shoreditch pop-up set out to do.
The one hundred per cent plant-based food menu and offering of 40 drinks that all included a charitable donation, were all served by a team positively recruited from vulnerable groups like the homeless and disabled.
Second winner: The Vegetable Diva
With a name like this you know your meal will come with a side order of positive attitude!.
The vast majority of the Asian inspired vegetarian dishes are made with produce from the owner’s market garden.
While most customers take away, there’s NO single-use packaging. Customers must provide their own containers.
Third winner: Where the Light Gets in
The Stockport restaurant, Where the Light Gets in, uses food to tell stories – few more powerful than the one related by its version of a duck doner kebab.
liver and gizzard are barbecued and served in naan bread made with the blood. Then! Guests are then presented with an NHS organ donor form.
I never thought I’d be here telling you that a kebab is the perfect vehicle for inspiring people to waste less food and save more lives.
Our winner is: Poco Tapas Bar
These pioneers of provenance and warriors of waste have become the first restaurant to be inducted into the Food Made Good Hall of Fame.
Poco Tapas Bar has been a serial winner at the Food Made Good Awards in previous years, including twice being names Food Made Good Sustainable Business of the Year.
An almost obsessive devotion to ensuring every ounce of its lovingly sourced ingredients stay on the plate and out of the bin, combined with ongoing efforts to reduce its environmental footprint by restricting its meat offering to offal and game, are just two of the industry-leading practices at the heart of Poco’s operation.