I hate trash. When I first started Clover I was shocked to learn that commercial kitchens didn’t compost. Maybe it’s the engineer in me. I just couldn’t stand the idea that we were taking nutrients from the ground and locking them up in landfill. After years of work we got our comissary (Nuestra at the time) to agree to composting. Then we fought with Harvard, our first landlord, and now they compost campus wide. We moved 100% of our packaging to compostable. So this has been a lot of work over many years.
We designed our food systems such that food is made fresh to order, and daily, and we allow our restaurants to run out of food. So we used to operate with zero wasted food other than trim from prep.
But this year our food costs have been rising more than I expected they should, and I thought some of this might be waste. So now we need to figure that out.
This picture is from one of our restaurants the other day. That’s a lot of eggplant.
So apparently it’s a problem we’re facing as a company right now. It’s not enormous, I think we might be wasting a couple percent of our food, but I think that’s still a problem. Which means I want to solve it. There are some really straightforward things we should do a) better training, b) start to keep better track of waste. We haven’t had to take these things on in the past, so it’s new for us. Are there any other creative ideas out there? What stops you from creating unnecessary waste?