Raising guests’ awareness to the benefits of a more plant-based diet
The planet faces the challenge of feeding its growing population while preserving its natural resources. Placing more importance on plants in the diet (fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds) now appears to be an essential element in meeting these challenges and ensuring the health of humans and the planet.
One of Elior's goals is to increase the proportion of vegetable proteins in the meals it serves while changing the eating habits of its guests. This is possible thanks to the talents of our kitchen teams to create tasty vegetarian recipes, as well as to a greater frequency of vegetarian dishes on offer and adopting a more educational approach concerning their benefits.
Choosing a vegetarian dish also means discovering ingredients that are little known or have been forgotten in recent decades - buckwheat, einkorn wheat, lentils, sweet potatoes and squash, etc., or come from world cuisine, such as Indian and Lebanese cooking which are traditionally low in meat products. There are a thousand and one ways to accommodate the hundreds of ingredients our chefs use in their vegetarian dishes. Inspired by kitchens from foreign shores, our chefs use herbs and spices to develop tasty, colorful and easy-to-prepare recipes.
In all of its operating countries, the Group is promoting more vegetable-based food.
Training kitchen teams in Spain to cook vegetarian dishes
In Spain, Serunion’s teams are being specially trained in vegetarian cuisine so that they can acquire the skills necessary to offer balanced recipes adapted to the tastes of vegetarians and vegans, as well as to the growing number of flexitarians (or semi-vegetarians who follow a more flexible variant of vegetarianism which tolerates the occasional inclusion of meat). This makes it possible to cook dishes corresponding to the tastes of guests for a more vegetal diet.
Elior’s Spanish teams have also launched “con sentido”, a new offer which is more responsible and gives pride of place to vegetarian dishes.
In France, raising guests’ awareness and creating new recipes
Elior has published a book on plants that highlights the Group’s know-how and ability to reinvent itself so as to adapt to culinary trends. This book features Elior's culinary universe and showcases the Group’s food offers and new products. It includes a collection of the finest vegetarian recipes, prepared with seasonal products, by our chefs, eager to cook meals that are good and tasty. The book offers a range of seasonal recipes to accommodate a variety of tastes.
In addition, thanks to the Taste Observatory, Elior teams are working to enhance the attraction of certain raw vegetables such as red cabbage, which children generally do not like. To modify its appearance which is too crunchy and difficult to chew, Elior’s kitchen teams now grate it more finely instead of slicing it. Using the red cabbage as a base for a vinaigrette, a dietician developed a sauce prepared with cottage cheese, garlic, chives and shallots. More broadly, our teams have been working with chefs to adapt recipes to the specific characteristics of contract catering so as to make plant-based cuisine possible in our kitchens and to offer recipes that appeal to our guests.
In France, Elior notably sought the advice of France Franco, a chef specialized in Ayurvedic cuisine,
who offered a different vision and a new approach to food. She worked with the Elior teams to adapt her recipes to contract catering, in the health sector and in school canteens.
In the United Kingdom, Elior encouraging guests to consume responsibly
In the UK, 39 % of Elior's recipes are vegetarian. One of the challenges for Elior teams is to encourage guests to consume more responsibly. To encourage corporate guests to eat dishes which have a low environmental impact in the B&I canteens it manages, Elior has forged a partnership with JUST ONE Tree, an association which promotes reforestation. Since vegetarian recipes emit less carbon, for each vegetarian dish purchased, employees accumulate points, which Elior then transforms into donations it makes to the association. This innovative approach makes it possible to replant trees in different regions of the world and to raise consumer awareness to this issue.