Commitment to the cause: From client sales to cross-utilization
4900 S Syracuse St., Denver, CO. 80237
Total square footage: 506,463 sq. ft. | Meeting space: 60,000 sq. ft. | Rooms: 605
The Denver Marriott Tech Center under the leadership of their Executive Chef participated in a 4-month demonstration project that enhanced measurement of their organics separation program to help the property further prevent food waste within their operations. The following are highlights from their participation in this process.
The Denver Marriott Tech Center is located in the heart of a bustling city with an unemployment rate of 2.1% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). To introduce this program, Denver Marriott Tech Center held weekly staff meetings to reinforce the new separation and measurement scheme, which set them up for early and continued success. They were one of the first pilot properties to successfully roll out the program and begin reporting data, while others required additional weeks of logistics organization. Through thoughtful bin placement, use of WWF-created signage, and tracking of bins by stewarding staff, there has been a noticeable decrease in trash compactor pulls. This change has been noted by many staff members. Culinary and stewarding staff have become more conscious of the quantity and type of food items being wasted, which has resulted in an increase in the cross-utilization of ingredients from different events, the development of menus that deliberately incorporate cross-utilization, and an increase in the recovery of food for reuse on-site.
All participating staff will work on the best approach for integrating food waste reduction as an event sales tool, making it a selling point in client discussions.
Low unemployment rates in Denver lead to obstacles recruiting and retaining talent, necessitating use of temporary staff teams. Training this revolving staff and the dispersed nature of property food service (multiple kitchens and multiple outlets) creates a strain on resources and labor hours. It has been difficult for property leadership to determine an appropriate food recovery partner.
A result of this project is the property’s commitment to continued separation of food waste streams and cross-utilization of food across events whenever possible. Property supervisors will continue to search for reliable food donation partners that can manage overproduced food that cannot be reused on-site. The chef and culinary staff will begin planning for a “menu of the day” program that will cross-utilize ingredients across food operations through menu matching and by-the-minute reuse. Lastly, all participating staff will work on the best approach for integrating food waste reduction as an event sales tool, making it a selling point in client discussions.