End of 2019, CREM started a Circular Restaurants Leaders Group in the cities of Haarlem and Rotterdam. These Leaders groups are a follow-up to the Circular Hotels Leaders Group that started in 2017. The Leaders groups in Haarlem and Rotterdam consist of around 20 restaurants each that, together as a group, explore circular solutions. Prevention of food waste plays is of course an important objective, but is not the only focal point. The project also focuses on circular procurement (from sustainably produced, local ingredients to circular clothing and alternatives for plastic straws), packaging, the menu, kitchen management, waste management and communication with guests.
After inspiring kick-off meetings at DeDAKKAS in Haarlem and Aloha in Rotterdam, a circular scan was conducted with every participating restaurant to identify circular opportunities. During a second meeting in February (in Haarlem at Stayokay and in Rotterdam at wholesaler Zegro), the scan results were discussed and the restaurants shared experiences on circular solutions. In Haarlem, a cooking workshop was organised in which chef Bas Cloo showed how creative cooking can prevent food waste.
In both cities, the next step will be a matchmaking between the restaurants and circular suppliers and initiatives. During a final meeting the results will be shared with a wider audience and a kitchen poster with circular tips will be presented, as well as a practical hand-out with an overview of circular solutions.