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NRAs 2016 - Waste Prevention (Commercial)

Winner: Café Spice Namasté

Café Spice Namasté was the first Indian restaurant in the UK to sign up to the WRAP hospitality and food service agreement in 2012. The London restaurant’s waste prevention and environmental sustainability credentials are among the highest in the UK’s food service and retail sector.

Chef proprietor Cyrus Todiwala is conscious of the extent of businesses waste, and the restaurant achieved a 22% reduction in food waste in the past 12 months, starting from March 2015. This was triggered by a participation in the mayor of London’s ‘Food Save’ programme in 2014.

Other measures include returning packaging containers to suppliers for reuse and having used oil collected by companies that convert it to bio-diesel.

The initiative was supported by using Winnows’ software package that helped to identify what was going in the bins and categorise the reasons for wastage. As a result, the restaurant could point out whether food waste thrown in the bin was cooking error, vegetable trimmings, plate waste (food coming back from the customer’s table after clearance) or something else.

A brilliant approach to waste prevention, practised in its truest sense. Using detailed analysis of food waste returned by customers, the restaurant was able to re-evaluate portion size and design its menus to meet customers’ needs

Judges’ view

Further investigation revealed that 90% of the items that made up nearly a third of the cooked food wastage were firm favourites of regular diners. Taking this into account, a target to reduce food waste by at least 20% in a six-month period was then implemented.

It was decided that offering half or smaller portions of those dishes at a reduced price would be the way to go. But rather than explicitly stating it on the restaurant’s website or having a dual price structure on the menu, it was decided to verbally communicate this to diners.

The result was a 15% reduction in the first six months and, during the next three months, a reduction of 22% was achieved. The business is confident that by the end of one year it will achieve a figure of 25%.

Shortlist

  • Eurofins UK & Ireland Group
  • The Good Rubbish Company
  • GreenWavePlastics
  • JPA Furniture
  • Returnable Packaging Services
  • RMF Installation and Services
  • SCC
  • Stone Computers
  • The Used Kitchen Company
  • Wales & West Utilities and Coleman Remediation Services
  • Woodmad

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