Over 20,000 chefs, restaurateurs and industry professionals attended the RC Show in Toronto on Feb 25-27th, 2018. LEAF was a co--presenter of the Eco Pavilion, which featured businesses and organizations to help attendees address waste, find rebates, learn about the ENERGY STAR program and more.
Day one featured a great discussion on the Business Case for Sustainability. Bruce McAdams of the University of Guelph's Sustainable Restaurant Program (UGSRP) started off the talk by highlighting the economic benefits of incorporating sustainability into operations and stats to provide context. A panel discussion with five LEAF certified restaurateurs followed, each discussing their challenges and successes in their sustainability journey, and providing valuable insight and advice.
The talk wrapped with each chef offering their recommendation for the best sustainable change they made - either economically or greatest impact with least investment:
- Chef Cam McGowan from CRAFT Beer Market suggested starting with a waste audit of garbage, compost and recycling - laying everything "out on a tarp" to seeing what you're actually throwing away.
- Ian Vickers, COO of Diversity Food Services, recommended placing compost containers by each service station and taking the garbage out of the way. Ian suggested placing the garbage at the back of the house created a "walk of shame" to throw something out, ensuring anything that could be composted or recycled, was.
- Evelyn Gharibian from Hearty Catering, favoured monitoring water use and implementing conservation systems as means to reduce water use and cost.
- Elio Zannoni of Gusto Commissary and Catering highlighted the ease and impact of eliminating plastic straws and stir sticks.
- Brad Long of Cafe Belong recommended working towards being a Certified B Corp, and stressed the importance of measurement.
Throughout the show we collected pledges in our Pledge to Win contest - encouraging foodservice operators to make a sustainability pledge. We captured pledges for everything from purchasing ENERGY STAR appliances and installing low flow fixtures, to eliminating plastic straws!
The final day of the show featured the SaveONEnergy Forum presented by IESO where the focus was on SAVING. We heard first hand accounts of how big and small energy efficiency strategies had lead to major operational cost savings.
Chic Alors! saves $700 per month with LED lighting and realized a payback within 7 months of the initial investment
Sheridan College campus was able to reduce the temperature by two degrees in the winter by installing ENERGY STAR window film, resulting in substantial cost savings
Kim of Montgomery's restaurant kept costs in check by choosing ENERGY STAR appliances, unplugging equipment when not needed, filling in cracks in the walls and around windows and doors, installing thick curtains and rugs as insulation, and more
At the end of the SaveONEnergy Forum, ENERGY STAR Canada, in partnership with Restaurants Canada, IESO, LEAF and Newspring Energy, launched their Foodservice Energy Challenge, which will give participating restaurant and foodservice facilities the opportunity for deep discounts on ENERGY STAR equipment and a chance to win prizing.
The show was capped off with the first LEAF Awards, presented to four incredibly deserving companies. Diversity Foodservices, Chic Alors!, Community Cafe and Creelman Market all took home awards. Learn more about the winners here.
Thanks to Restaurants Canada for putting on an amazing show and highlighting sustainability! We look forward to the RC Show 2019 where the theme will be Sustainability!