Hospitality jobs

Low Waste Restaurants

This year’s upcoming food trend doesn’t only satisfy your taste buds but satisfies the growing demand for environmental sustainability. With guests becoming ever more conscious of the how their ingredients land onto their plate, restaurants are dishing up new ways to utilise their pantry to its full potential, curbing excessive waste and reducing environmental footprint where possible.

Some restaurants have chosen to reduce their effect on the environment by reusing ingredients that would typically be thrown away. Spring at Somerset House achieve this by incorporating their leftovers back into the menu, with yesterday’s bread serving as warm bread pudding and excess fruit and veg transformed into delicious soups. Whilst New London restaurant Lino base their entire menu on low-waste ingredients, adopting techniques such as reforming this morning’s breakfast pastries into that evening’s dessert.

However, when re-using products back into the menu isn’t an option, food recovery programs can be the answer. Collecting food that would otherwise go to waste, companies such as City Harvest and Food Cycle rescue unwanted food and donate it to soup kitchens, food pantries and community programs for people in poverty. Or alternatively, many restaurants like Sat Bains in Nottingham send their leftovers to be used as compost to complete the loop of eliminating food waste from start to finish.

Food isn’t the only thing that is wasted in the kitchen, restaurants like Brighton’s acclaimed Silo show that you can achieve zero-waste from interior furniture and tableware to ethical delivering and packaging of food products.

We spoke to owner David Moore at Michelin Starred Pied a Terre Restaurant in London, to see how and why they recycle every scrap of food waste they make.

How do you go about reducing the waste created by your restaurant? We have a zero food waste strategy in place at Pied-a-terre. We use a composting initiative run by Indie Ecology Ltd. They collect all food and compostables using electric vans and put all the waste down to composting. They also run a small farm where vegetables are grown on the compost and delivered back to the restaurant.

Why do you think creating a low waste service is important in both the culinary industry and on the whole? It’s all about the planet and sustainability. We have to be mindful of the footprint that hurt business leaves behind; it becomes of greater importance as you get older and become a parent

What are the challenges you face in reducing your waste? Changing work habits and systems, breaking through the inertia that is normal in any workplace.

What does the future hold with Pied a Terre’s concern for the environment? We will be working harder to do more. The small changes we have made have had a big impact and we hope to drive more awareness.

Its Clear companies are beginning to understand the importance of the footprint they leave behind from their daily business operations. From tons of plastic to masses of wasted food, the culinary industry creates a considerable amount of waste each year. By being more conscious as a consumer as well as a business, each small step makes all the difference when trying to reduce the damage on the planet. Being both tasty and eco-friendly benefits everyone!