From the nation’s first experiment with trayless dining in 2005 to a 20% total reduction in food waste in 2009, Bon Appétit Management Company is first in reducing food waste in public dining
Palo Alto, Calif., (June 9, 2009) What began in 2005 as an experiment by the Bon Appétit Management Company general manager at St. Joseph’s College in Maine became a nationwide trayless dining craze by Earth Day 2009.
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education predicts that most of the nation’s 4,000 colleges and universities will institute trayless dining within the next five years.
Trayless dining is a great start, but such measures only reduce food waste on the consumption side, failing to address food wasted in kitchen production. Bon Appétit Management Company, the nation’s leader in sustainable dining services, has been successfully focusing on reducing all aspects of food waste through their Low Carbon Diet program. They are especially concerned with food waste because, in addition to its potential to help alleviate hunger, it packs a double global warming whammy, representing both the waste of the embodied energy it took to grow, harvest, transport and cook the food and significant methane emissions when the food decomposes in landfills. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, landfills are the largest human-related source of methane in the US, accounting for 34 percent of all methane emissions.
“Responsibility is the hallmark of Bon Appétit’s brand. With a UN Report on food waste worldwide stating that over half of all food produced is wasted, or discarded due to inefficiencies in the supply chain, we’re stepping up to do everything we can to reduce our contribution to the problem,” said Fedele Bauccio, CEO Bon Appétit Management Company.
Skilled chefs give Bon Appétit a significant advantage in reducing waste while tempting diners with fresh, delicious dishes made daily on site in each of the company’s 400 kitchens. Because Bon Appétit’s chefs create dishes from scratch, rather than relying on company recipes and pre-made components, they can adapt their menus to use what’s on hand and utilize vegetable trimmings that would otherwise go to waste to create stocks and sauces.
By April 2009, Bon Appétit Management Company had reduced food waste generated in its cafes by 20% through a variety of measures:
1. Educating chefs and kitchen staff on the importance of food waste
2. Distributing educational tools to kitchen staff on proper portioning and prepping techniques
3. A weekly waste monitoring program in all kitchens
4. A consumer waste reduction educational campaign including weighing and measuring food at dish return stations and, where appropriate, trayless campaigns
The company has long instituted programs that divert kitchen waste through a variety of different avenues, and has been stepping up these efforts. They include on-site and off-site composting, direct relationships with farmers who use the waste for pig and chicken feed, biofuel processors, and food banks. The weekly reduction in CO2 equivalent emissions is between 40 and 50 tons.
Waste reduction is part of Bon Appétit’s Low Carbon Diet, created in 2007 as a way to reduce the company’s carbon emissions associated with food production by 25% over three years. A focus on carbon reduction through food waste and other avenues is a natural extension of Bon Appétit’s decade-long commitment to local sourcing, supporting small owner-operated farms, animal welfare, sustainable seafood and numerous other policies that are firsts for food service and move the needle on ethical business practices for the entire industry.
About Bon Appétit Management Company:
Bon Appétit Management Company (www.bamco.com) is an onsite restaurant company offering full food service management to corporations, universities and specialty venues. Bon Appétit is committed to sourcing sustainable, local foods for all cafés throughout the country. A pioneer in environmentally sound sourcing policies, Bon Appétit has developed programs addressing local purchasing, the overuse of antibiotics, sustainable seafood, cage-free eggs, and most recently, the connection between food and climate change. The company has received numerous awards for its work from organizations like the National Resources Defense Council, Seafood Choices Alliance, The Humane Society of the United States, and Food Alliance. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Bon Appétit has more than 400 cafés in 29 states, including eBay, American University and the Getty Center.