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November 16th, 2012
Written by Bonnie Azab Powell on November 16, 2012in Community, Featured, News, Opinion, Staff - 0 Comments
How Bon Appétit Management Company defines “food service for a sustainable future,” that tagline that follows our company name, also defines our very identity as a company. For a while now, it’s been clear we’d outgrown our working definition of sustainability: Food choices that celebrate flavor, affirm regional cultural traditions, and support local communities without compromising air, water or soil, now and in the future. It had served us well, but it didn’t fully explain anymore why we choose the kind of food that we do, or cover what we hope to achieve going forward.
In honor of our quarter-century anniversary, we asked all of our employees to brainstorm with us, through group meetings with a flip chart or whiteboard, or by submitting their thoughts directly. It was so gratifying to see the photos of Bon Appétit team members eating popcorn out of 25th anniversary bags and to read the thoughts they recorded on flip charts in different handwriting!
We also reached out to our guests and the public. We hosted a “Tweetchat,” a free-form public discussion on Twitter held at a designated time to discuss a particular topic, in this case what “sustainability” should mean for a corporation like Bon Appétit. People could join, weigh in, and follow the chatter using an agreed-upon label called a #hashtag. More than 75 people, including reporters, farmers, and representatives from the National Pork Producers Council and the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Association, did so, Tweeting comments using the hashtag #BAsustain, to their combined 194,000-plus Twitter followers.
In the end, though, all those thoughts and ideas had to be shaped into language broad enough to cover all that we have done and that we might do in the future, and yet specific enough to be meaningful and inspire. Condensing them is one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever had as a professional communicator. I submitted draft after draft to CEO Fedele Bauccio and Vice President of Strategy Maisie Greenawalt, and we argued passionately over every nuance, every comma.
The result: Continue…