Embracing the Challenge and Finding Unexpected Solutions
506 S.W. Washington Street, Portland OR 97204
Meeting space: 8,226 sq. ft. | Rooms: 221
The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland houses the popular Red Star Tavern, a hot spot in the heart of downtown. The hotel’s staff fully embraced the challenge of implementing a food management roadmap, as part of WWF’s larger demonstration project. The roadmap, developed as an output of a 2-hour long leadership strategy session led by hospitality consultants Ned Barker and Steve Schein, resulted in a 3-year vision mission, and the development of SMART goals to address key drivers of food waste. Implementing this roadmap has provided leadership with the opportunity to empower staff to pursue food waste reduction efforts during their daily functions. This has led staff to identify large portions and excess condiments as opportunities for improvements.
After a period of 4-months focused on reduction and prevention of food waste, Red Star Tavern has decreased their dough waste by 22.5 pounds per week saving 65 pounds of butter a month leading to both cost savings and environmental benefits; started regularly donating on average 13 pounds of food a week since August; reduced ketchup costs by 20% by using smaller ramekins for serving; and finally, reduced the number of bread deliveries required per week by only opening one package of bakery items at a time to prevent multiple half full bags from going stale.
“Our commitment to the zero-waste menu and partnering with local charities for food donations will only enhance Red Star Tavern’s competitive edge when selling to our clients.”
Carole Lombardi, Director of Catering
Changes in management, which can affect the degree of success of food waste prevention, should be anticipated. For example, a significant challenge came half-way through the pilot when Red Star Tavern GM, left for a position with another company. For the remainder of the pilot Red Star Tavern’s Executive Chef pulled “double-duty”, and a few items understandably gravitated toward the back burner. While the Chef, with help from experienced managers, did an outstanding job of running the day-to-day operations, some of the initiative’s elements might have moved a bit more quickly, given a full complement of leaders.
Red Star Tavern will continue to develop menu items that can be cross-sold in the restaurant as specials, or via the restaurant’s lunch menu, staff will work on creating “secondary” recipes that utilize the trim from the restaurant and catering’s primary recipes with a major focus on cross utilization of recipe ingredients, and all staff will have an increased focus on the use of house-made stocks to ensure utilization of “whole” vegetables and butchered fish.