In an era where information is just a small click away for the consumer, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming an increasingly more important aspect for business across all industries. Whether it’s purchasing a product that is Fairtrade-certified or shopping around for companies that leave the lowest carbon footprint, an increasing number of consumers are now going out their way to purchase commodities they can empathise with.
This is no different for the hotel industry. In the December issue of the magazine we covered the committee of MPs investigating food waste across the country – unfortunately the hospitality industry was highlighted as one of the culprits.
Addressing the committee, celebrity chef and TV campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, called for a “cultural change” within the hospitality industry and said the hotel breakfast is one of the “big nightmares” when it comes to food waste. He criticised hotels and their “inexhaustible” displays – which he claimed had to look perfect and are constantly topped up until the last guest has finished eating – suggesting hotels could tackle the problem by warning guests who do not get up early that the breakfast offering will diminish throughout the morning.
The cost of wasted food in the UK from the hospitality and foodservice sector is estimated at a whopping £2.5bn in 2011, according to the charity Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) – a figure that is expected to rise to £3bn in 2016. With some planning and organisation hotel owners can do their part to cut this down, and at the same save on wasted costs and create a fresher made-to-order breakfast menu. It’s a win win.
Meanwhile, one of our focuses last month was on technology and how new innovations have revolutionised both how hotel owners operate their business and what guests now expect. Turn to page 23 to see some of the key suppliers that are shaking up the industry and making the life of hoteliers that little bit easier.
Happy New Year.