Lots of savings due to menu adjustment in restaurants

Restaurants in Regio Foodvalley have saved 8% CO2 in a year with changes to the menu and have started purchasing 3x as many local products. These adjustments annually save more than 10 car trips around the world, 17,988 showers in water and 6 football fields in space.

Restaurants of Tomorrow

In 2018, the 'Restaurants van Morgen' or Restaurants of Tomorrow project was started in five regional municipalities *. 23 of the nearly 100 restaurants in the region within the Dutch-French cuisine target group participated in a baseline measurement and a guidance process with coaching, workshops, fact sheets and advice. The first baseline measurement revealed the climate gains that could potentially be achieved by making the so-called “tomorrow's menu” more sustainable. Greendish then guided the participants in taking concrete steps towards a sustainable menu. You can think of purchasing locally, using seasonal products, reducing food waste and serving less meat. The latter, in particular, yielded considerable climate gains, as the effect measurement in 16 of the participants showed a year later.

Main results

An average reduction of 8% CO2 emissions has been achieved through minor adjustments to the menu. Average portion sizes have also been reduced and the share of vegetarian dishes has increased from 8 to 13%. Half of the restaurants have partnered with local producers. The purchasing figures also showed that on average the restaurants bought 3x more local products than they did before participating in the project. Want to know all the results? Download the fact sheets with all research results and quick wins for restaurants.

What does it do for the restaurants?

Almost 70% of the participating restaurants indicated that the "Restaurants of Tomorrow" project contributed to making their restaurant more sustainable. Knowledge and awareness about sustainability has also increased. In addition to the climate gain, the businesses also save costs due to the adjustments. Especially in these difficult economic times, this is a much welcome result. Participating restaurants indicated that sustainability was easier than they thought. Toine van der Zanden, Chef in the Regio Foodvalley "The Restaurants of Tomorrow project has really put sustainability on the map. It has inspired me to add tasty and creative vegetarian dishes to the menu. It remains important to work on commitment of the team, they must bring it to the attention of the guests with enthusiasm. "

Diffusion of the impact

The Restaurants of Tomorrow pilot project has been completed. The main conclusions are that if restaurants change the menu, the environmental impact is high, knowledge and awareness are increased and the participants save costs. Leon Meijer, alderman for Food at Ede and administratively responsible for the food transition in Regio Foodvalley: “We already thought that restaurants could contribute to the environment. Now this is also apparent from a year-long study with a large number of restaurants in the region. It is great to see that entrepreneurs are committed to healthy and sustainable food in order to do business sustainably. Awareness of both entrepreneurs and residents in our region is important ”. Based on the experiences in Region Foodvalley, a 2.0 version of "Restaurants of Tomorrow" has been developed. Various municipalities have already shown interest. “Right now it is important to strengthen the business model for catering entrepreneurs. Governments can make a very significant contribution to this”, says Joris Heijnen of Greendish. Healthy for the consumer, sustainable for society and cost-effective for the catering entrepreneur, that is what the involved partners Regio Foodvalley, the municipalities, Province of Gelderland, DuurzaamDoor (RVO), Rabobank and Greendish want to achieve with Restaurants of Tomorrow.

Region Foodvalley: testing ground for knowledge development and innovation

The "Restaurants of Tomorrow" project, in collaboration, has given concrete effect to the regional Food Transition program. This makes the Foodvalley region a frontrunner when it comes to making the catering industry in the Netherlands more sustainable. The knowledge and impact developed within this program make an important contribution to issues at the cutting edge of climate and food supply.

* Participating regional municipalities and restaurants where results were measured:
Ede: Dixie's, Restaurant Buitenzorg, Red Pepper & Basil, RUIG Drinks & Bites, Stadscafé Oscar, Steakhouse Amadeus
Nijkerk: Brasserie de Vuurtoren, Grandcafé LUST, Old Niekark,
Rhenen: The King of Denmark, Restaurant Magnolia
Veenendaal: BITE
Wageningen: Café Buurman & Buurman, Café de Tijd, Café H41, Het Oude Pakhuis

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