Consumer of today has become much more nuanced, health-focused and they want to know the source of food they are consuming. No wonder the demand for everything organic is growing leaps and bounds. Gluten-free, preservative-free, vegan and locally sourced are new buzzwords. In this context, the importance of sustainability and clean menu has become pivotal to the food business.
And, with this we have seen an emerging importance of sustainability including Clean Menus, Natural Ingredients and Green initiatives in the restaurant industry.
Keeping a Track on Zero-Wastage: “Sustainability is way above the gluten-free menu and sourcing local products. It is also zero-waste in the kitchen. Like if we have an event at the banquet we have number of people to be served but we anyway have 50-60 people in buffer. In that case in order to throw the food in dustbin tying up with an NGO is also part of sustainability,” says Anooj Wadhwan, Executive Chef, Roseate House by adding that it is also important working on low-wastage at the kitchen and also using re-useable ingredients which are also accepted by the audience.
Giving back to the Community: Not only this, sustainable cuisine or menu is more like a responsible cuisine and menu. It is not about what restaurants want to make and what they want to serve for customers. “It is important for us to realize that what we are doing on a daily basis for the community and first put things on the menu which are local, healthy and also keep a tap on what all we are wasting,” points Anurudh Khanna, Multi-property Executive Chef, Westin Hotels by adding that if we do this right, we can serve food for next 100 years and if we don’t, we are not going to exist.
Consumer engagement: It is also important to communicate the improved sustainability and green positioning to consumers because when people are eating out they are indulging into an experience. “It is a widely known fact that when people go out to a restaurant they are looking for tasty food but at the same time there is a certain section of the society or customer with concise who would like to make right/ wrong decision on what is there on the offer,” adds Hitesh Sangwan, Director - Food & Beverage, The Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel & residences by pointing that restaurants have lot of scope with sustainable menus and local produce where they can still innovate things.
Going Seasonal is the Key: “A happy cook is somebody who keeps on innovating. It is always a challenge when you are dealing with FLOSS- fresh, local, organic, sustainable and seasonal you need to have a very dynamic menu,” shares Balpreet Singh Chadha, Executive Sous Chef, Andaz Delhi who believes that the whole cycle of this clean menu starts from going seasonal.
Also, it is very important for restaurants and chefs as a fraternity to keep menu very brief. They shouldn’t have menus that run into pages and pages because it is an obligation to keep that menu running and then you ends up doing things which anyone and everyone does. Hence, to go sustainable restaurants need to have shorter menus which can change as per season, availability.