Caterers Share ‘Going Green’ Success Stories

Last month, Special Events looked at the many ways caterers are cutting down on environment enemy No. 1—single-use plastics.

Here, we share an array of strategies that caterers are using to go green. From simple steps such as “upcycling” kitchen scraps to investing in energy-efficient equipment, caterers are cooking up a cleaner world.

“I worked on a huge program with Subaru earlier this year that was three days, 2,000 guests, and generated less than three bags of garbage to landfill. This was really incredible to witness and unfortunately was only possible because we were in Vegas,” where properties offer a labor force big enough to separate recyclables from trash.
Jeff Ware, director of operations, Catering by Michaels, Chicago

“We use a Salvajor Trough System–Salvajor’s food waste systems reduce water usage by filtering and recirculating water with a minimal amount of incoming fresh water to reduce our overall impact on the environment.”
Warren Dietel, president/owner, Puff ‘n Stuff, Orlando, Fla.

The team at Kensington Caterers launched its recycling program more than 20 years ago, “and the monthly cost back then was almost $1,000, a significant expense.” Today, “We have convinced clients to use potted herbs and succulents as centerpiece options, and then volunteered the centerpieces to be used in public green spaces and community gardens.”
Richard Mooney, CEO, Kensington Caterers, Los Angeles

Affairs to Remember dubs its sustainability program “Legacy Green,” and “we’ve garnered hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue in new business just based on our having such a strong sustainability program.” The program takes a team to succeed: “When we made ‘going green’ part of our brand, our employees embraced it immediately. Not surprisingly, they’re proud to work for a green company! After the initial training, our employees started policing each other, keeping us compliant with our brand. Like most anything, we do ‘re-train’ from time to time, to stress the importance of ‘walking the talk’—integrity of brand—and to share new practices and successes.”
Ahmad Nourzad, executive chef, Affairs to Remember, Atlanta

“We recently made use of heat exchanges in the kitchen. Hot gas from the refrigerator is used in the kitchen geysers to heat water. These heat exchanges are energy-efficient and help with the ‘going green’ process.”
Enrika Brianskyte-Sher, public relations, By Word of Mouth Catering, Nedlands, Western Australia

The team at Marcia Selden Catering and Event Planning offers a laundry list of green practices:

To read more on” Going Green”, click here.