The Operator of the Year for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability award recognises that with pressure on businesses to act as responsibly as possible when it comes to sustainability, not to mention the rising cost of energy bills, the focus on energy efficiency in commercial kitchens has never been greater.
This accolade pays tribute to the operators that are working hard to make their kitchens greener through the right practices, equipment and standards.
We are delighted to announce that the 2019 shortlist includes the following operators:
Byron’s efforts to offer customers a healthier and fresher product while reducing the volume of oil used across its estate have been rewarded following its investment in Valentine fryers and Vito oil filtration systems. Initial trials at one of its busiest London sites demonstrated a saving of 100 litres of oil per week as well as a reduction in the amount of labour required from not needing to manually filter and replace the oil. With a 60% decrease in oil usage and overall levels of Total Polar Material (TPM) achieved, the system has been extended to 50 sites along with training for kitchen staff. Workers can even access remote support via a group chat on WhatsApp to ensure maximum efficiency.
Gather & Gather
Gather & Gather has put a huge emphasis on sustainability across its operations, leading it to receive the SRA’s coveted 3-star award for its work within sourcing and the environment. It became the first UK-wide contract caterer to change its policy on catering consumables by removing single-use plastic straws from all 276 catering sites across the UK. That followed an earlier initiative to introduce 100% recycled serviettes, a reduction of 6.7 million wasted napkins a year. It also won acclaim for its work with a leading bluechip client to create a café that served as a blueprint for single-use plastic-free catering across the entire company. Reusable cups and crockery were introduced along with compostable takeaway products and reusable stainless steel cutlery.
Greene King diverted 12,488 tonnes of food waste to anaerobic digestion – saving enough electricity to power 11,239 homes for a month – as part of its goal to send zero waste to landfill. The introduction of compostable PLA straws across its estate is set to remove 30 million plastic straws from use every year, while it has become the first ever pub company to join forces with the Too Good To Go app, which offers surplus carveries to customers at a discounted price at the end of service. The initiative is being rolled out to all Greene King Pub and Carveries and Farmhouse Inns after a successful trial in 19 pubs prevented more than 1,000 carveries being wasted.
Hollywood Bowl Group
Speed, quality and consistency have traditionally been the main drivers of catering equipment purchases for a group that numbers 60 sites, but you can now add energy efficiency to the mix as well. Its endeavours in this space are best illustrated by the adoption of induction fryers following a product testing programme that found the technology could deliver an excellent standard of food within the tight timeframes needed to keep pace with peak demand. As well as cooking faster and taking less time to clean, the group has seen clear cost and operational savings from switching to induction. The fryers consume 50% less energy than its existing models and generate less heat in the kitchen, while oil life has doubled.
The healthy fast food chain has launched a programme called ‘Planet Love’ which sets out a radical approach to reducing its environmental impact. The company is working towards renewable energy sources to power its restaurant kitchens, which are also equipped to support a menu that has become increasingly plant-based. Each site makes food fresh to order and is therefore required to carry out careful forecasting to meet the chain’s goal of completely eliminating daily leftovers. Any surplus food is sent to anaerobic digestion or collected by charities. Food is served in compostable boxes and bags, just like its takeaway coffee cups, and plastic cutlery and straws have been replaced with biodegradable and paper alternatives.
The 2019 FEJ Awards ceremony and gala dinner takes place on Tuesday 4 June, the first evening of the Commercial Kitchen show, at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.