Mitchells & Butlers has introduced a grading system to determine whether surplus catering equipment can be used elsewhere within its kitchen estate or sent for recycling, preventing tonnes of redundant kit being sent to landfill.
The pub and restaurant chain makes around 250 investments in refurbishments and new kitchens every year, leading to significant volumes of surplus equipment.
Previously this equipment ended up in landfill, but as a result of a heightened focus on improving the sustainability of its operations the company has found a way to ensure the kit is reused within the business where possible, while any remaining items are resold or disposed of responsibly by Ramco Food Services.
As part of a wider sustainability programme, the potential for reusing this equipment was recognised by the pub chain’s kitchen design, equipment and capacity manager, Ellie Wrighton.
She explained: “I realised most of the kitchen equipment we disposed of was not broken, it just did not fit into the new offer post-investment.
“Motivated by the madness of disposing of kit that was still working, as well as chief executive Phil Urban’s mantra of ‘treat this like it’s your own money’, I designed a process by which previous redundant kit was assessed, stored, cleaned, tested, and serviced for use elsewhere: reducing our use of landfill and saving the company some money.”
The process is straightforward. Kitchen design managers grade the relevant equipment from 1 to 4, with anything graded 1–3 deemed as fit to be reused elsewhere in Mitchells and Butlers’ estate and anything graded 4 being stripped down for spare parts.
Equipment that is surplus to requirements due to menu changes is collected by Ramco and sold to other foodservice operators via dedicated catering auctions. The income from the sales is shared with Mitchells & Butlers.
The Ramco partnership has already led to over 50 pieces of surplus kit including combi ovens, dishwashers, potato peelers, pizza ovens, ice machines, fryers, range cookers and griddles, finding new homes in the catering and hospitality sector.
Paul Fieldhouse, head of business development at Ramco, said: “Working in close co-operation with Mitchells & Butlers we have been able to support the delivery of its ambitious sustainability programme and help recover some of the financial value of surplus equipment.
“Our approach to working with organisations is flexible and we offer several reuse options including simply purchasing unwanted assets, selling them on a client’s behalf and managing the complete process of evaluation, marketing and sales.”
Mitchells & Butlers runs around 1,700 foodservice businesses including All Bar One, Harvester, Toby Carvery and Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery.