SAP spent the month of February participating in Bon Appétit’s Waste Awareness Campaign, an annual month-long educational and awareness-raising initiative with a three-part goal: to help guests and staff become more mindful of how much food they waste; to better understand the reasons for that waste; and to learn tips and tricks for how to be less wasteful.
The team used color-coded buckets to track the types and quantities of both back-of-house and front-of-house waste. Having this information gave them a better sense for what specific changes would help prevent and reduce waste in the future. Since employee education is a key component of the campaign, the teams participated in 10@10 trainings on everything from portion control to prep techniques, all designed to help them prioritize waste reduction and prevention and adopt best practices moving forward.
At the start of the campaign, no one was sure what to expect. Buckets with colored tape appeared everywhere, and cooks weighed and recorded food waste for the entire month. There was admittedly some early doubt about whether these actions would successfully reduce waste and thereby help the environment.
Four weeks later, any doubt was erased. The answer was a clear and resounding yes!
During the month, SAP’s three cafés reduced their overall food waste by an average of 27 percent. The dramatic reduction stemmed from consistent education and frequent review of production techniques, from trimming onions to utilizing the very last part of broccoli heads. Café Manager Eva Wilson and Café Chef Raj Selvarathnam ably led the team through these efforts.
Education, empathy, and a sense of teamwork all played significant roles in revitalizing the culture of awareness around Bon Appétit at SAP’s waste-reduction priorities. The new team motto? “Keep the buckets!”
Submitted by Melissa Miller, General Manager, and Claire Cummings, Waste Programs Manager
Picture at top, left to right: Dishwasher Jose Luis Godoy, Grill Cook Matthew Arnold, Supervisor Karina Bustos, Café Chef Robert Perez, Indian Chef Lakshmi Tikka, Salad Bar Lead Yadira Quintana, Prep Cook Elizabeth Escobedo, Line Cook Ramon Godoy, Cashier Fernando Conde, and Indian Prep Cooks Jose Hernandez and Federico Martinez