Our mission to reduce food waste
Food wastage in the hospitality industry accounts for 12% of total food waste in the UK, approximately 1 in every 8 meals. We care about where our produce comes from, taking an interest into the farming techniques, so we know we source the best ingredients. Through this passion comes the desire to celebrate as much of each ingredient and throw away as little as possible.
Our mission begun in 2019, working with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) and required us to measure the extent of our food waste. There was no shortcut, we set up industrial scales at various points and, over a six-week period, weighed all our food waste from spoilage, plate and preparation. For every cover who dined at the OXO, half a kilogram of food waste was produced.
With no basis for comparison, we set a 7% reduction target to be achieved by the year 2030 and identified where the main contributors of food waste were. We found fast perishing items like bread rolls and sandwiches made up a considerable volume. We started working with Too Good to Go, an app focussed on redistributing food waste. Any Afternoon Tea sandwiches left because of no shows or cancellations were sold as surprise ‘magic bags’ with proceeds going to our chosen charity. OXO, pre-pandemic offered between 8-10 different menus across a week, many of which required prepping on the day. We have now reviewed this number and carefully reduced the offering while still with careful consideration to the guest experience.
By April 2021 we had reduced the level of food waste per cover by just over 50%, keeping us aligned with the target set out by the Courtauld 2030 commitment. Something we as a team are immensely proud of. Our work in monitoring food waste is ongoing with audits taking place this year so we can maintain (hopefully improve) this statistic. We will be looking at ingredients known to have larger impact per gram on the environment, for example milk, often poured down the drain and not measured currently in most food waste statistics.