Gather and Gather staff restaurant puts sustainability on the menu
The staff restaurant at Whitman Laboratories has put sustainability on the menu by reducing meat and increasing vegetables and pulses in their popular meat-based meals. The contract caterer, Gather and Gather, already offer a daily plant-based option, but they wanted to take further steps to reduce their carbon impact, and contribute to better health for the planet, and for their customers.
The Gather and Gather catering team at Whitman were keen to become a Cool Food Pro pilot site so they could show their customers that it is still possible to have delicious, cost-effective meals while being sustainable and helping the environment.
Diners in the staff restaurant at the Hampshire based business, prefer meals with meat as the main component, and therefore traditional meat-based meals are currently the most popular. So, at times, it has been a challenge to bring change to the menus, with many customers resistant to trying new dishes which are different to the norm. Fortunately, the Whitman directorship is focused on sustainability and backed their catering team to get involved with Cool Food Pro. This was to not only meet their sustainability targets, but also to contribute to the potential better health of their employees.
With the support of the Cool Food Pro team and carbon calculator, catering staff at Whitman have managed to provide the same meals, but reduce the meat content, replacing it with other more sustainable alternatives. Customers are still getting the meat dishes they love. So far, they have reduced the meat grammage in their most popular meals – fried chicken, pasta bake and roast dinner - from 160g to 120g per person, generating a total carbon saving in just 2 months of 264.07kg Co2 eq.
Customers have been receptive to the changes, so they now plan to introduce meat reduction in more of the meals across the menu.
Emma Duke, General Catering Manager at Whitman found the Cool Food Pro calculator tool very easy to use and simple to navigate. She found the information generated by the tool on key sustainability indicators to be insightful and informative, so much so that they have recently taken part in the Cool Food Pro food waste reduction trial, to reduce carbon, but also to increase awareness and drive behaviour change amongst her customers.
We wanted to get involved in the Cool Food Pro trial to show our customers you could still have delicious meals while being sustainable and helping the environment. Our client on site is focused on sustainability so 100% supports our involvement.
More case studies
Littleport Community Primary School joins Cool Food Pro to reduce food waste in their dining hall.
Littleport Community Primary’s menus are managed by Norse Catering who are dedicated to reducing plate waste through actions applied to mains and sides. All while continuing to provide a great lunchtime service to approximately 200 students a day
Thomas Deacon Education Trust (TDET) makes significant environmental savings by switching meat for plants
Peterborough-based Thomas Deacon Education Trust (TDET) puts forward five schools to track the environmental impacts of reducing meat and increasing vegetables and pulses across their menus. The Trust already celebrate meat-free days but aspire to increase their vegan and vegetarian offers for the health of their pupils and the planet.
Caterlink reduce food waste in school kitchens
Education catering specialists, Caterlink are working with one of their primary school sites as a pilot in Cambridgeshire to reduce the amount of food left over at the counter after lunch time service.
By looking at baseline waste values at Isle of Ely Primary School, they have set out key areas to work on that will result in less food going in the bin, with a view to roll this out across the business.