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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

How Is the Hospitality Sector Combating Their Waste

The plastic in our oceans has shocked the world, with more and more people waking up to the true extent of the impact our past waste habits have had. Now, every sector is under scrutiny: do we need to use plastic straws? Do vegetables need shrink-wrapped packaging? Can we reuse food destined for the bin?

According to Wrap, more than 2 million tonnes of waste is produced annually by the food and hospitality sectors in the UK:

  • Hotels — produce 289,700 tonne of waste each year, including 79,000 tonnes of food waste (9% total food waste from the sector).
  • Pubs — produce 873,800 tonnes of waste each year, including 173,000 tonnes of food waste (19% total food waste from the sector). 
  • Restaurants — produce 915,400 tonnes of waste each year, including 199,100 tonnes of food waste (22% total food waste from the sector).
  • Other hospitality sectors’ food waste contributions: quick service restaurants (8.3%), staff catering (2%), leisure (7%), services (3%), healthcare (13%) and education (13%).

The issue isn’t unique to the UK either. The National reported on the issue of food waste in Dubai, with the problem being particularly fuelled by hotels and restaurants wasting ingredients on over-the-top portions. 

Al-Monitor reported on the Egypt’s bigger supermarket chains, who are wasting 20% of their produce because they lack the correct storage capabilities. The news outlet also reported that, like in Dubai, the issue of food wastage from hotels and restaurants is also particularly problematic in Egypt. Buffet-style offerings can reuse and recycle food not taken, but many customers “have the habit of piling their plates”, says Egyptian Food Bank CEO, Moez El Shohdi. Anything uneaten on the plate goes in the bin. 

What can be done to address the problem? We asked leading skip hire and waste management experts Reconomy, to investigate the various processes that are being implemented throughout the hospitality sector to tackle waste heading to the landfill. 

Waste food

JD Wetherspoons has joined up with FareShare in order to put its waste food to better use. SHD Logistics reported on the matter, saying that the food donated by the pub chain is surplus after a recent menu shake-up, or food that has had its outer cases damaged. While not problematic for the food itself, it isn’t cost-effective to make it commercial-viable again. 

Food reusing is gaining popularity as a means to keep it off our landfills. The Real Junk Food Project is a UK-based global movement with the goal to “abolish surplus food. This is achieved by intercepting food waste from a variety of places, such as hotels and restaurants, and using it as ingredient to prepare and serve in its many cafés and pop-up stalls across the country. The Real Junk Food Project also runs a “Pay As You Feel” scheme – basically, you pay what you want. You can part with your money, or your time by helping as a volunteer if you want to. The aim is to make sure everyone has access to a meal, which everyone could, if this usable food doesn’t go to landfill. 

The project has flourished to the point that they now have sharehouses for people to help themselves to surplus stock to use at home. Again, customers pay nothing or something, money or time. 

The idea of Pay As You Feel has grown across the world too. Over in New Zealand, Nic Loosley has opened a Pay As You Feel restaurant called Everybody Eats, where visitors can enjoy a three-course meal prepared from food headed to landfills. The food would only have gone to waste otherwise and is better used to help feed those who might not be able to enjoy a meal otherwise. According to Loosely, around a third of people do leave money for the meals. 

Relying less on others 

Customers respond well to local produce and supporting the local community, so the hospitality industry can certainly benefit from this. Forbes revealed some of the ways the eco-hotel and spa, Six Senses, maintains luxury with sustainability. From villas built to stay cool, to air conditioning that turns off if the doors are opened, Six Senses have thought of everything when it comes to embracing balance. 

The hotel has its own garden to supply the kitchen with fresh ingredients. The garden is tended to without synthetic chemicals and is fed with recycled water. Any hotel or restaurant with the capacity to do so should look into planting a garden for its kitchen use, even if it is just a small herb garden – any small change can reduce the need potentially over-purchase from a supplier. 

They even have their own still and sparkling water in reusable glass bottles. Plus, the company actually treats, purifies, and mineralises its own water! 

Consider plastic waste 

A study titled The Planet Around You: How Hospitality Businesses Are Addressing The Sustainability Challenge was conducted by BRITA UK. In the publication, it was noted that 70% of businesses are currently looking to cut down on single-use plastics, like straws and water bottles. Plus, 64% of consumers said they would likely return to a shop with the intent of making a purchase, if they could refill their water bottle. 

Refillable water bottle stations should be supported more, according to Green councillor Martha Wardrop. Speaking to the Evening Times, she said: 

“[There is a] need to help turn the harmful tide of plastic waste and little from single-use plastic bottles,” she said, “which is damaging the marine environment and blighting our streets.” The councillor went on to say that pubs and cafes could do their part by offering free drinking water to everyone, not only customers, by signing up to an initiative such as Refill. 

The plastic problem goes further than just bottles though. USAToday revealed steps a number of hotels are taking in an active attempt to lower the use of plastic. From the Hilton vowing to remove all plastic straws from its hotels by the end of 2018, to the Marriott replacing the individually offered toiletries with reusable dispensers, no one is resting on their laurels. Taking a look at airlines, United Airlines recycled 13 million pounds of plastic and other materials in 2016, and Alaska Airlines are currently in the process of replacing plastic stirring sticks with white birch stirrers. Over in the fast food sector, McDonald’s have chosen to remove plastic straws from use at their restaurants. 

Are there plastic-free alternatives that could be used in your own firm? 

The report concluded that over 40% of hospitality companies want more advice to become more sustainable. If you are one of these businesses, reach out to Reconomy for advice. Could you offer water refills, or switch out plastic single-use bottles to alternatives? What can you do today to avoid leaving a mark on landfills? 

Sources: 

https://www.thenational.ae/uae/dubai-s-lavish-hotel-and-restaurant-displays-a-major-source-of-food-waste-campaigners-say-1.744839

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/06/egypt-tackles-food-waste.html

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/travel/2018/05/31/hotels-airlines-airports-cruises-getting-rid-plastic-straws-and-waste/658804002/

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/16311352.call-for-free-glasgow-water-points-to-cut-plastic-waste/

https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/food-news/104458184/the-restaurant-where-meals-come-from-waste-and-you-pay-what-you-like

https://therealjunkfoodproject.org/who-we-are/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michellemartin/2018/05/30/6-sustainability-lessons-from-this-eco-chic-hotel-brand-you-should-know/#55e454413903

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Hotel.pdf

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Pubs.pdf

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Restaurants.pdf

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/QSR.pdf

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Staff%20catering.pdf

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Leisure.pdf

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Services.pdf

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Healthcare.pdf

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Education%20(6)AS.pdf

http://www.shdlogistics.com/news/jd-wetherspoon-partners-with-fareshare-to-reduce-food-waste-and-tackle-food

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London’s Brightest Culinary Stars for Summer Series of ‘Allpress Lates’

Allpress Espresso will be teaming up with some of the most respected names in food and drink this summer to mark their 30th birthday, in a new exciting series titled Allpress Lates. The series of free to attend, one-off weekend events will showcase old favourites and new creations from the likes of Mr Lyan Studio, Margot Henderson, Claire Ptak, Bad Sports, Olia Hercules, Towpath Café, SnackbarBelles Hot Chicken, WildflowerThree Sheets and Max’s Sandwich Shop. 

Sharing in Allpress’ desire to unite independent thinkers, the line-up of guest chefs and mixologists will bring fun, creative and unique events to the Allpress Dalston roastery garden, which will be open late into the evening for the first time.

Kicking off proceedings on Friday 26th July will be Regent’s Canal’s beloved Towpath Café. The iconic waterside eatery will bring their honest, seasonal and homely food inland and into an evening setting for one night only. Max’s Sandwich Shop, which has built a cult following from their small restaurant in north east London, have devised a grilled Brindisa chorizo bun for the evening, which will be popping up on Friday 9thAugust alongside cocktails from Dalston favourite Three SheetsBelles Hot Chickenwill be making the journey over from Australia especially for Allpress, to serve their hugely popular chicken and natural wine selected by former Noma sommelier Yukiyasu on 31st August. 

Snackbar, the former pop-up and soon to be permanent café from Freddie Janssen, will be next on Friday 6th September. Hackney’s favourite taqueria and dive bar Bad Sports will bring their own unique brand of party to the Allpress garden on Friday 13th September, and ex-Peckham favourite, Wildflower, will serve a menu of fresh vegetarian and vegan food on Friday 20th September. To finish the series, fellow New Zealander and acclaimed chef Margot Henderson of Rochelle Canteen and renowned Californian baker Claire Ptak of Hackney’s Violet (and baker of the last Royal Wedding cake for Prince Harry and Megan Markle) are partnering for a special grand finale on Friday 27th September. Plus, from 9th August and onwards at all the Lates, Allpress will be serving the ultimate Tennessee Nitro Espresso Martini, created by Mr Lyan Studio and Jack Daniels, using Allpress cold brew coffee.

Alongside their summer Lates series, Allpress will be collaborating with sustainable food brand Knuckle, who will bring award-winning chef and cookery writer Olia Hercules to the café for a ticketed supper club on Friday 2nd August. Additionally, Alex Hely-Hutchinson of Covent Garden’s much-loved 26 Grains will host a one-off ticketed event on Thursday 29th August. 

The Allpress team comment: “Allpress Lates was hatched over a few wines on one of many evenings spent in the garden at the roastery. We came up with our ultimate wishlist of creatives and innovators who would be involved and the line-up has blown us away. It’s a privilege to work with such an exciting group of restaurants, bars, bakers and chefs on this series of events. We’re delighted to share our thirtieth birthday celebrations with them.”

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Square Root: Zero Alcohol Is Having Its Moment

Following news that Sainsbury’s are going to be opening an alcohol-free pub later this month, Square Root – the East London-based soft drinks company – have created a high-quality alternative to other non-alcoholic drinks on the market.

Sainsbury’s have noted a huge spike in low and non-alcoholic drink sales over the last year alone, with almost a third of 16-24 year olds not drinking at all. Even more staggeringly, the supermarket have recorded a 31.8% increase in sales of low and non-alcoholic drinks in the last twelve weeks alone.

As a counterpoint to the big brand supermarket products, and part of the bigger picture on 0% drinking habits, Square Root launched their non-alcoholic Gin & Tonic earlier this year for this exact reason. Founders Robyn Simms and Ed Taylor spent over 12 months developing a drink which has all the botanical magic of a gin & tonic – full of zesty, crisp, citrus notes, a hint of spicy pepper, aromatic herbs and the all-important bitterness of quinine – but none of the alcohol.

What’s more, this July they have launched a brand new Strawberry Soda, a celebration of British summertime and the perfect accompaniment to Wimbledon, picnics in the park or Friday night drinks in the pub. 

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The Nation’s Favourite Dish Has Almost 75g of Fat and Over 1,100 Calories

New research conducted by a professional marketplace with the help of nutritionists on their platform has uncovered the nation’s favourite dishes, as well as how many calories and grams of fat each contains. The traditional full English fry-up topped the list, containing 1,180 calories as well as 74.9g of fat, with a beef roast dinner following closely, with 1,012 calories and 27.2g fat. 

Alongside uncovering the nations favourite dinners, the research also found that over half of Britons never eat their five-a-day, with a further one in 11 admitting they never eat fruit and one in 16 admitting they never eat vegetables.  

The team at professional marketplace www.Bidvine.com polled over 2,000 UK-based adults on what they enjoy eating the most and then, using nutritionists on their platform, they calculated how many calories are in each dish as well as the amount of fat.

Individuals were first provided with an extensive list of meals and were asked to select what their favourite dish was, with the following five emerging as the nation’s favourites: 

1.      A full English – 13%

2.      Beef roast dinner – 12%

3.      Chicken tikka masala – 12%

4.      Pizza – 10%

5.      Fish and chips – 9%

Taking this into account, nutritionists that are on the Bidvine platform then calculated how many calories and grams of fat are in each of the nation’s favourite dishes, using their insight. The results were as follows:

1.     Pizza – 2,900 kcal, 140g fat

2.     A full English – 1,180 kcal, 74.9g fat

3.     Fish and chips – 1,077 kcal, 59.8g fat

4.     Beef roast dinner – 1,012 kcal, 27.2g fat

5.     Chicken tikka masala – 956 kcal, 51.4g fat

When asked if they manage to eat their recommended five-a-day, over half (51%) stated they ‘never’ do. What’s more it was uncovered that one in 11 (9%) admitting that they ‘never’ eat fruit and a further 6% admitted to ‘never’ eating vegetables.

Russ Morgan, Co-Founder of www.Bidvine.com, commented:

“It’s shocking to read about just how many calories are in dishes that some of us may eat on a weekly basis. Some of these meal choices take up a large chunk of a calorie and fat RDA and, in pizza’s case, it exceeds them both dramatically. Try not to eat these meals too regularly and be sure to balance the effects of consuming so many calories and a high level of fat by doing some exercise throughout the week and eating a few healthier meal options.”

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The House of Angostura – Angostura® AGCC UK Entries Now Open

The Angostura® Global Cocktail Challenge is a hotly contested and highly anticipated event in the international professional bar industry. The UK heat will be held on the 17th of October and the competition is now open for submissions. 

The winning bartender will represent the UK at the final in Trinidad and Tobago in February 2020 against fellow competitors from 36 countries around the world. Whilst they are there, the finalists will enjoy a tour of the Angostura Distillery and Museum, visit local pan yards, and get the chance to “play mas” in full costume during the world-famous Trinidad Carnival — the greatest show on earth!  

The champion of the Angostura® Global Cocktail Challenge will receive a cash prize of US $10,000 and a two-year contract as the Angostura Global Brand Ambassador. The ambassador will tour the world’s major cities, influencing other bartenders to experiment and explore products in the Angostura® portfolio. Trophies will also be awarded for Best Rum Cocktail and best Amaro Cocktail. 

Each year the competition has gone from strength to strength with a growing number of entires. Last year, New Zealand bartender Ray Letoa was crowned the winner of the competition after impressing the judges with an Amaro di ANGOSTURA® cocktail called ‘Deliciousness’ and a rum cocktail made with Angostura 1824® and two dashes each of ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters and ANGOSTURA® orange bitters, called ‘Old Flame.’ 

The competition is open to anybody working as a full-time professional bartender, who can communicate using conversational English and who holds a valid passport. Entrants must submit two cocktail recipes; one containing Angostura® Rums and the other containing Amaro di ANGOSTURA®. There is both a written component, a video submission and Theatre of Mixing (TOM) online assessment. All the information on how to enter the competition can be found online, and submissions should be entered via Angostura’s designated website: www.angosturaglobalcocktailchallenge.com

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Drink and Dine Inside a Human-Sized Birdcage this Summer

The Nyetimber English Garden terrace has launched at Bluebird Chelsea for the summer in partnership with Nyetimber, England’s leading sparkling wine producer. West London’s favourite summer hangout has arrived, complete with a large-sized birdcage with a round table and banquet seating, an abundance of entwined florals and a dedicated Nyetimber menu showcasing the variety of sparkling wine styles produced by the estate.

A stunning flowery arch installation leads the way as guests enter the Chelsea landmark’s iconic terrace before they head up to the elegant bar where the sophisticated birdcage structure, with interweaving lush foliage and blossoms sits. Available to book for drinks, nibbles and afternoon tea, The Nyetimber Birdcage will transport Londoners to the English gardens and long summer evenings of their childhood as the sweet-scented florals greet them. 

Guests can enjoy a choice of six sparkling wines from Nyetimber including their signature Classic Cuvee Multi-Vintage; Rosé Multi-Vintage or England’s first Prestigue Cuvee, Nyetimber 1086. These can all be accompanied by Bluebird’s much-loved bar snacks such as truffle fries with parmesan and sea salt; halloumi fritter with spiced ketchup or buttermilk fried chicken with lime and fermented chilli mayo.

The stylish and exclusive Nyetimber Birdcage will also act as the perfect setting for Bluebird’s traditional afternoon cream tea, including a glass of Nyetimber and accompanied by a selection of sandwiches; smoked salmon and cream cheese and egg, mustard cress and truffle. For sweets, the three-tier stand includes passionfruit curd macaroon, banoffee chocolate cup, snickers slice, lemon meringue pie, coffee mocha choux bun and of course their signature scones with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam.  

In the quintessentially Nyetimber English Garden on the terrace, the cafe menu can be enjoyed amongst the flowers including a tuna poke bowl with quinoa, edamame, carrots and avocado; BBQ prawns with sesame kimchee; grilled halloumi and courgette with spiced couscous and yoghurt, and a whole or half rotisserie chicken with roast potatoes, spring greens and a garlic aioli.

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No Plastic Project’s New Shopfront Window Stickers

Businesses across the UK who have stopped using plastic straws, cups and bags are standing out on the high street by displaying new vibrant stickers in their shopfront windows created by No Plastic Project. The window stickers allow businesses to benefit from their decision to step away from single-use plastics by converting more passing trade. The campaign was launched this week during Plastic Free July, a global movement to reduce plastic pollution.

1,000 high street consumers were asked the question, ‘If you saw one of these stickers in a business’s window would you be more likely to purchase from them?’ and 891 (89%) of them answered ‘Yes’. It’s clear that the anti-plastic movement has moved beyond environmentalists and has entered the minds of general consumers.

On average single-use plastic alternatives cost 350% more than their plastic counterparts. However, consumers are increasingly opting for businesses that prioritise morals over margin and for the first time No Plastic Project’s window stickers make it possible for passing trade to identify these businesses.

The World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) has reported that, on current trends, the amount of plastic the UK is throwing away is set to increase by over a million tonnes by 2030, equivalent to 87,000 more double decker buses worth of waste each year. The forecast report also saw that by 2030, the UK will use 41% more plastic straws, 33% more cups and lids. More positively, though, it predicts that plastic bag use will decline by 85% over the same period.

Whilst there are government plans to ban the sale of single-use plastics such as straws, coffee stirrers and cotton buds to the public via shops and supermarkets in the UK, there is no planned regulation to ban the use of plastic straws, cups and bags by bars, restaurants and shops.

The stickers and their packaging are made from a custom elemental chlorine-free non-coated paper and are classified 100% biodegradable by EN 13432 standards. Stickers are available to purchase from the No Plastic Project’s website for £8.00 with 10% of profits being donated to The Ocean Cleanup, the largest ocean cleanup in history.

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Marques de Caceres Premium Wines Stocked in Asda

Tying in your weekly shop with a detour past specialist wine stores could now be a thing of the past as Spain’s leading wine producer Marqués de Cáceres vegan wines come to the supermarket aisles.

For the first time ever the full bodied red and vibrant white can now be added to your trolley in Asda stores around the country.

Whether you’re enjoying an evening relaxing at home or looking for the perfect wine to accompany a summer bbq, Spanish Rioja brand, Marqués de Cáceres has the wine for you.

The spicy Crianza (£9.50) is perfect with rich tomato dishes and ideal for those special meals. While the Blanco (£8.50) is a must for the wine cooler on a hot summer’s day.

Marqués de Cáceres Crianza (£9.50) and Blanco (£8.50) are available from Asda now!

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How to Keep Your Vintage Car Looking Its Best

If you love cars, chances are, owning a vintage car is your dream. After all, let’s be honest to ourselves, these old cars just look better when on display than new ones.

But, if you do own one, you’ll want to show it off, and there’s plenty of opportunity with multiple vintage car festivals taking place throughout the UK. However, if you’re going to get a vintage car, and show it off, you’ll need to keep it looking its best at all times, and this starts with the paint.

To help you with this, we’ve highlighted the best ways to care for the paint on a classic car below.

Keep it covered

First things first, you’ll want to keep the paint on the car looking its best at all times, which means you’ll need to keep it covered.

You can do this by using car covers, which help to prevent everyday damage to the paintwork. Whether that’s from dust, grime or even sunlight, you’ll be able to keep it safe.

Washing

However, that doesn’t mean you won’t need to wash it. But, you’ll need to make sure you’re washing it properly.

Now, remember, when it comes to cleaning products, it’s not a one size fits all situation here. Cheaper products won’t give you good results, so it’s better to shop around and ask other people with vintage cars what type of products they use. This should ensure you’re using the best products for your car. 

Also, car washes are an absolute no, no. You won’t know what solutions they’re using, and the system could damage the paint – so it’s hand wash only.

Remember though, don’t over wash. Only do it when it is needed, which will probably be just before an event, or once a month if there isn’t one coming up anytime soon.

Wax

Lastly, wax your car. Yes, just like your everyday car, you should be waxing your vintage one too.

This won’t just give it a wonderful shine, but will also add a protective coating to the car, which can help protect against UV light, and ultimately, fading. It can also help protect against bird poo, which is corrosive and could damage the paint. Just make sure you get a wax that has been tried and tested.

And there you have it, with these handy tips, you’ll be able to keep the paintwork on your vintage car looking its best at all times.

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Bastille Day 2019 at 108 Marylebone Lane

This Bastille Day 108 Bar at 108 Marylebone Lane will be paying homage to France’s most iconic celebration with a menu of cocktails expertly blended with France’s coolest cider, Normandy’s very own Sassy Cidre. The cocktails will be available throughout July and August allowing guests to toast to 14th July and enjoy a taste of France in the heart of Marylebone all summer long.

From raspberries and mint to rosemary and passion fruit juice – Tomas Vykopal, 108 Bar Manager, has curated the list of five cocktails with the season’s freshest ingredients. Think camomile foam, hibiscus infusions, yuzu and more in this menu full of fresh, surprising flavours complete with stunning presentation. 

Sassy Cidre Cocktails On The Lane

Bastille Day Spritz  £16

108 Gin, Salted Yuzu Water, Grapefruit Juice, Passion Fruit Juice, Rosemary, Thyme, SASSY Cidre Rosé

Sass Factor £17

Hibiscus-infused 108 Gin, Baron de Sigognac-infused Cherry, Lemon Juice, Sugar Syrup, SASSY Cidre Rosé

Riding High £14

108 Gin, Cherry Purée, Lemon Juice, Sugar Syrup, SASSY Cidre Rosé, Camomile Foam

Sassy Punch £15

108 Gin, Plymouth Sloe Gin, Lemon Juice, Cherry Heering, SASSY Cidre Brut

Marylebone Crush £13

108 Gin, Cranberry Juice,  Ginger,  Lime Juice,  Raspberries, Mint Leaves, SASSY Cidre Brut

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