Cambro Products

Sustainable Catering: Streamlining Your Catering Operations

Throwing away food, wasting energy and contributing disposable waste never felt good but the foodservice industry had accepted it was just something that had to be done. However, in recent years, a greater focus has been placed on improving the sustainability of foodservice operations. Businesses are realizing how much their practices are impacting the environment negatively and many customers appreciate seeing businesses working to decrease their carbon footprint. Becoming more sustainable may seem costly or difficult, but there are small, surprisingly inexpensive ways to make a big difference.

1. Use Energy-Efficient Equipment

upchMany state governments, local governments, and utilities offer rebates for foodservice equipment that is deemed energy efficient. Jaime Soltero Jr., owner of Tamale Boy, was able to purchase Cambro UPCH400 units at a big discount thanks to the rebate offered by the Energy Trust of Oregon.

“[The UPCH400] is at a lower wattage, so it’s like a lightbulb. It’s a lot of energy being saved,” said Soltero. “I think [the rebate] is a great incentive because it allows operators to control hot-held foods at the correct temperature, avoiding a lot of people getting sick if the [food’s] temperatures drop.”

Our UPCH400 is certified by Energy Star to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient use of energy. By transferring food directly into his UPCH400 units after cooking, Soltero is able to save both gas and electricity when he’s working in his food truck.

Cambro insulated transport units like the UPCH400, UPCH800, UPCH1600 and Camtherm® are designed to be energy efficient without compromising on performance. For more information about the rebates available in your state, search this Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

2. Source local ingredients

Ordering ingredients from local farmers is a great way to support your community and decrease transportation emissions. When you order food locally, you can tailor your menu to each season and highlight ingredients that are special in your area. Whats more, local ingredients will arrive much fresher than those that took a road trip to get to you.

3. Reduce Food Waste

When food is thrown away, it emits methane a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Although food waste has become very common, it’s extremely easy to prevent!

  • Proper Storage: When you receive produce, take it out of cardboard boxes and immediately put it into food safe Camwear® Boxes. After cutting and preparing your ingredients, make sure everything is stored in a food safe container with a lid. For delicate produce like chopped tomatoes and pineapple, use a drain shelf or colander pan to lift food away from drippings.
  • Serve Smaller Portions: After a wedding, you can always find half eaten cake slices strewn about on every table. Very few people want to eat an entire cake slice in between dances. Offer pre-portioned desserts in dessert glasses to give guests a little taste that will satisfy their sugar craving without leaving a graveyard of crumbly cake behind.
  • Provide Eco-Friendly To-Go Containers: Encourage guests and customers to take home leftovers rather than throwing them in the trash. Most people would love to enjoy a second helping the next day and are more inclined when containers are sitting at the ready.
  • Find a Food Rescue Organization: The EPA offers a comprehensive guide to donating food to organization no matter where you are serving.

4. Reduce Use of Disposables

Many catering operators use two disposable items that can easily be replaced by reusable, sustainable items instead.

  • Dinnerware: If you must use disposable dinnerware, make sure it’s compostable. Although compostable plates still end up in the trash, they’re able to decompose in less than a year rather than plastic that can take centuries. Plus, items used with food can be difficult to recycle, but food remnants have no negative impact when it comes to composting.
  • Deli Cups: Disposable deli containers have been a staple in nearly every foodservice kitchen for decades because of their size and convenience. There was never a legitimate alternative until now. CamSquares® FreshPro Translucents are the food industry’s first commercial grade ½ qt and 1 qt reusable deli containers. CamSquares FreshPro Translucent have the advantages of deli containers without the smells, stains, leftover grease and environmental concerns.

Becoming more sustainable can seem intimidating but implementing even one of the ideas above will make an impact on the environment. Contact your local Cambro sales rep for more information about increasing the sustainability of your business.


Categories: Cambro Products, Catering

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