How Do You Spell 'Green'?
I have the privilege of working with Mitchell Schechter on this new and, by the way, very sustainable foodservice publication, as the “chief green blogger.” And that truly is a honor, as I get to write up thoughts, opinions and experiences surrounding one of the most talked about and important issues to hit the foodservice industry in a long time: greening.
To gets things started, I would like to offer a new way to spell “green,” or “greening” as far as this and further blogs for this magazine are concerned. Let’s spell those terms this way -- S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y. That’s right – we are going to get rid of those over-used, mono-dimensional words, focus our nomenclature and only use “sustainability” moving forward.
So, what is this blog going to be about? It is my intent to make it multi-dimensional in nature. What I mean by that is that I will be introducing both strategic and tactical aspects of sustainability. Because, in reality, foodservice operators can’t have one without the other. Case in point: “Things” only get done through people, employees working within any organization. How can any foodservice implement a sustainability strategy without having a sustainable workforce? The short answer: you can’t. This exemplifies a strategic aspect of sustainability – what do organizations need to do to have a sustainable work force? Reaching this goal is especially important at the owner/operator level within our industry, where the average employee turnover rate is in the stratosphere! We’ll also take a look at how operators can systemically develop and implement a comprehensive sustainability program you can actually sustain!
From the perspective of sustainability tactics, we will recommend some immediate and specific actions foodservice operators can implement to save energy, reduce waste (did you know that the average restaurant in the U.S. produces over nine pounds of waste for every meal served?), cut consumption and emissions, and how this creates a virtuous cycle of benefits. For instance, just by implementing an equipment preventative maintenance program, operators can reduce energy bill by as much as 15%! Not bad considering that energy costs are a significant and growing component of operators’ expense ledgers.
We’ll also review those new pieces of foodservice equipment that have been designed and engineered to promote one or more aspects of sustainability. Take for instance the Vegawatt “machine” that won a Kitchen Innovation Award at this year’s NRA Show. It’s designed to let operating staff simply throw in food waste, and out comes electricity. Well, it’s not quite that simple, but it represents the new categories of equipment that manufacturers are developing to enable sustainability at the unit level.
Additionally, this blog will offer real-world examples of foodservice operators here in North America and other parts of the world who have implemented successful sustainability programs, resulting in reduced costs and improved profitability.
So, that will be our journey. Hopefully, you will elect to get on board with us and make sustainability an important and integral part of your business, your management plans and your equipment selections.