Dining with a Conscience
In our chosen industry we are faced with many important decisions concerning what we serve and how we serve it. We see these decisions as opportunities to make choices that are environmentally and economically sustainable. Food services are notorious for waste. Where there is so much waste, there is so much potential to make a difference through our practices, standards and expectations. We are committed to strategies that promote environmental responsibility within the community’s needs and preferences.
Knowing our industry’s waste reputation (some statistics say food is 12% of what goes in the landfill), we have been focused on reducing our own, directly and indirectly by:
- Keeping good food out of the trash:
- We follow guest preferences so we know what to prepare and how much, and
- We believe in giving foods an “encore” (aka using up leftovers that are still tasty and appropriate).
- Using less disposable products
- Donating fryer grease for biofuels
- Practicing energy saving habits: turning ovens on when we need them and not before, turning off faucets, setting computers to “sleep”, and the list goes on
During the growing season, many produce items are sourced locally through relationships with growers.
How do you know what’s local?
Generally speaking, our week-at-a-glance menu doesn’t tell you as those purchases and deliveries are often subject to availability. Instead, local items and ingredients are identified with signage. Also, as much as possible, we incorporate “all natural” or organic ingredients including select dressings, vegetables, dairy products and meats.
In the fall we promote eating local with our “Feed the Difference” meal — featuring local ingredients in appreciation of the harvest season. In the spring we celebrate “Earth Day” by again featuring menus and methods that are especially mindful of our natural resources.
We also occasionally feature reduced meat menus. The negative environmental impact of factory farming is far-reaching — water pollution, land erosion, carbon emissions. Traditional farming is part of our country’s heritage and economy and well worth supporting. But, factory farming is what produces bulk meats. By occasionally reducing meat or being meatless one day a week we are making a conscious choice to reduce the demand that drives expansion in factory farming.