Keeping Christmas sustainable
2020 really has been a year to ring in the changes. After a very challenging time for both industry and consumer Christmas is a time for us all to take a step back, reflect and spend time celebrating with our loved ones.
At a time of year full of festive fun and cheer, it is important we do not oversee our responsibility in remaining safe and environmentally sustainable wherever possible.
Recently I am sure you have been working hard to find solutions and overcoming continual hurdles we have faced as an industry. So below we’ve tackled one for you, with some great hints and tips to help you offer a safe and sustainable Christmas this year.
Eco friendly table top decor
This year we have seen some extremely positive steps forward with the Tom Smith Christmas Cracker range. We are proud to supply Tom Smith crackers as they have such emphasis on their environmental credentials. Alongside their success in removing all single use plastics from all their crackers we now have the new Kraft range available that are not only made from recycled board but also fully recyclable themselves but these eco-friendly crackers help give back to those in need. Supporting the Trussell Trust, Tom Smith will be donating £2 per case from the sales of our Eco friendly cracker range supporting a nationwide network of food banks. Alongside their success in removing all single use plastics from all their crackers, I feel these are the all-round solution to a decorative and fun yet guilt free Christmas table.
Minimise food waste
Approximately one – third of all food produced in the world for human consumption is lost or wasted*. This alone has a staggering social, economic and environmental impact globally but it’s also essentially just “money down the drain” for your business.
Where possible we should try to be more mindful of the food we are serving and the amount of it. There are options when it comes to surplus food so why not see if you can explore these options to help others and prevent food going to waste.
Have you used it all to its full potential? Why not use the off cuts of turkey in a festive turkey sandwich on the lunch menu for example – Careful menu planning can lead to less food in the bin and also provides you with an added sales opportunity. Our chefs at Bidfood have created some great recipes and creative tips to help use up left over produce so don’t forget to check them out.
Another option to help reduce the volume of left over stock is to buy individually packed and/or pre portioned foods. Having your main centre of plate option ready to cook as an individual portion is an easy way to eliminate mass surplus alongside buying frozen. Frozen pre portioned desserts allow you to remove and defrost only a certain number of slices for service rather than risk the potential of the whole product not being sold.
Where surplus food is inevitable maybe there is a way you can support others around you with your extra food. Can you sign up for a scheme such as Too Good To Go, again allowing you to still sell the excess meals for a discounted amount, but reducing produce into the bin and potentially opening up to new customers during the process. Finally don’t forget local charities that support those in need, donating surplus foods has a huge impact to those in need, especially during the festive season.
With many new rules to follow to ensure the safety of staff and customers there are a few options available that can also help keep up your sustainability credentials.
Avoiding unnecessary handling and maintaining social distancing many establishments have opted to use an online app for ordering within their restaurant. With fewer physical menus being printed and therefore cleaned or discarded once used, where possible an app can be more efficient for a business and has a positive impact on our environment.
With take away and disposable food & drink carriers being more popular than ever this is also an area in which a business can be more environmentally conscious. There are many elements to think about when using to-go packaging such as is this going to efficiently keep items hot or cold? or how do I retain the texture of the foods when using a closed carrier?. Yet one questions we cannot oversee is, what will happen to this packaging once used or removed from your establishment. Bidfood offer an expansive range of food & drink carriers that are recycled, recyclable and/or compostable so why not take a look at the range and use this opportunity to review and improve your environmental credentials.
Overall, there are many opportunities for you to have a safe and sustainable Christmas offering. We’re here to help you do just that with our fantastic Christmas range …be sure to check it out!
*Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations – http://www.fao.org/3/mb060e/mb060e00.pdf