Food Chains to Explain How They Reduced Their Waste

A recycling bin
Food Chains to Explain How They Reduced Their Waste

ReFED's webinar on food waste reduction will look at the successes of some restaurant and food companies, who will share best practices and lessons learned.

Six months after introducing its Restaurant and Foodservice Food Waste Action Guides, ReFED, a nonprofit committed to reducing food waste in America, is highlighting how restaurants are minimizing their own waste creation.

On Aug. 28, the organization, will host “ReFED Restaurant and Foodservice Food Waste Action Guides Solutions in Action,” a webinar featuring panelists from Chick-fil-A, Aramark, online procurement company BlueCart and the National Restaurant Association. ReFED’s Angel Veza is the moderator.

The nonprofit, which takes a data driven approach to getting the food system to commit to reducing food waste, collaborated with foodservice companies Aramark, Sodexo, Compass Group and Delaware North, as well as leading restaurant companies to produce the Action Guides. They were released in February and provide best practices and strategies and proven prevention, recovery and recycling solutions to accelerate waste reduction activities.

The message to restaurant and foodservice operators is simple, says National Restaurant Association sustainability director Jeff Clark. “Reducing food waste is efficient, and also shows employees —especially Millennials and Gen Zs — that the companies they work for are aligned with their personal values; they want to reduce hunger and their environmental impact.”

Dawn Rhodes, who leads Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A’s corporate social responsibility efforts, will discuss her company’s programs LEAN and Shared Table, which focus on reducing waste and donating unused food to those in need. She says approximately 750 of the chain’s more than 1,600 freestanding restaurants are actively donating food. The reasons: there are income tax savings through the Enhanced Food Donation Tax Credit, and it resonates with team members who are pleased to see the food serve a good purpose. Chick-fil-A restaurants have donated 643,000 meals year to date, Rhodes notes.

Josh Scarbriel, Aramark’s business process director of food productivity, will talk about his company’s initiatives to minimize food waste. Through Green Thread, Aramark’s commitment to reduce its environmental impact, the company emphasizes the reuse and recycling of food and other waste before it’s generated and after by donating food, followed by producing animal feed and compost. The goal is to send as little waste as possible to landfills, he says. “We focus on simple steps that make measurable impacts.”

Register for the webinar here