The deposit system: a solution designed to achieve zero waste
In a corporate restaurant that serves roughly 400 meals a day, the chef-manager and his client work together on a daily basis to limit the impact of their activities on the environment.
One of their flagship measures is the take-out deposit system, launched in January 2021. Employees who opt for a salad, for example, leave the canteen with their meal in a returnable glass container, which they take back to the canteen after lunch. Employees may also bring their own container, if they prefer.
This zero-waste strategy has been taken even further in the canteen. The restaurant has stopped selling plastic bottles for drinks, replacing these with returnable glass bottles, and all plastic and cardboard goblets have been replaced with cups. In addition, waste is sorted in the kitchen, as precisely as possible into organic waste, oils, plastic caps, cardboard boxes, non-recyclable waste, and glass, etc.
These initiatives were driven by Elior’s involvement and underpinned by the client’s support. The canteen chef/manager and his client exchange views on environmental issues which enables them to find concrete solutions together.
"It was also key to onboard our guests in order to change mentalities. This, we have done, because the vast majority of employees support these changes and understand their usefulness on a daily basis. “, explains Bertrand Amodeo, Elior chef.
It was also key to onboard our guests in order to change mentalities.
Bertrand Amodeo - Elior chef
The kitchen teams therefore take pride in helping to limit the carbon impact of the meals they produce. After searching for the best way to proceed (finding containers, developing the process, communicating with guests, etc.), the initial investment has already paid off, and new responsible habits are rapidly being adopted.
Feedback on the deposit system has been both encouraging and instructive for restaurants wishing to implement a similar approach.