No so long ago, it was perfectly acceptable for a chef to write his menu you according to what he felt like cooking and what he thought the guests would love. So why does this approach need some tweaking in the hospitality industry today?
The buzzword sustainability comes to mind. There are more factors now that need to be considered when a restaurant decides on its menu. These include seasonality of produce and the transport required to get that produce to the table.
Buy Produce in Season
This means a change in the menu 4 times a year to accommodate the 4 seasons. Insisting on incorporating imported items in your menu means the food has to travel long distances before it gets on the plate which means a rise in the fuel used to produce that meal. Changing to a seasonal menu has its benefits. The food you produce will contain ingredients at their freshest and in their peak.
Choose the Right Suppliers
It’s not always easy to know exactly what goes on in a supplier’s business but certain things stand out in a sustainable supplier such as being local.
Grow Your Own
Even if you just start with herbs out the back in a planter box, it all counts to reducing the distance the food travels to the table.
Make Recycling Easy for Staff
By adding in processes that make recycling the restaurant’s waste effortless for staff, you immediately reduce the waste going to the landfill. Worm farms and composters are great additions to your restaurant for small-scale food waste. For larger scale food waste, consider a food liquefier. Glass recycling can be managed with a bottle crusher and the rest can be placed in correct recycling bins.
It’s not something that happens overnight but an increased consciousness through education that brings about the evolution. There needs to be a solid commitment by everyone involved in order to make the transition to a more sustainable restaurant.