get the gossip
get the gossip
Food waste is a huge problem in our industry, waste from producers, preparation and from customers. Increasingly strict EHO rules mean that most foods cannot be kept for more than a day and for restaurants that serve fresh, daily menus a slow day, mis ordering or recipe changing can leave you with left-over food at the end of service. Thankfully due to our size, skilful teams and due to the nature of plant based foods our waste is relatively low. However, there are still some days where we don’t sell all we have of a particular item and we are faced with potential wastage. There are always hungry staff of course to help this issue but it is not a real solution to a problem that needs addressing.
Some scary facts//
1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year
Yearly CO2 emissions from food waste is equivalent to that of 3 million cars
Food waste equals 1 trillion dollars in losses, globally, annually
We were so happy this year to meet the people from Karma! Karma is a food app that lets restaurants connect to people looking for a good deal on food that would otherwise go to waste.
To date Karma has saved 350 tonnes of food, 525 tonnes of cO2 which equates to 41,000 days of car use compensated. We’re proud to join Karma’s 2000+ strong global partners in being part of this mission to lessen the impact food waste has on the planet. We are launching in all of our restaurants as Kama reaches London wide, the platform is easy to use and helps consumers make more sustainable choices, whilst highlighting this issue.
We hope that more restaurants will follow suit and realise that waste isn’t just something that affects the GP. We are living in a time of abundance in the west but this will not last forever and whilst British and worldwide business throw away millions of tonnes of food, millions go hungry. If the restaurant industry can start to lead the way in their waste management we hope the food industry as a whole including the supermarkets and producers will also look towards innovative solutions.
Trying to ensure that any waste we do have gets used up, ideally sold and ensure that we are using up every bit of our food we work so hard to create. Karma is an app that restaurants can use when they have surplus food. Surplus items are uploaded to Karma where their 100,000 London users are notified that it’s available for pick up at location. There’s no delivery logistics to work with which means more people through the door of our restaurants, problem meets solution!
We are both proud members of the Sustainable Restaurant association and we hope that more collaborations between, tech and solutions will happen to ensure that restaurants become for accountable for their contribution to Britains waste issues.
The SRA is holding an event on 20th May to highlight the issues we all face as responsible restauranteurs and how we can all make a little difference to our impact on the world. We have always tried to lower our impact through our food choices, packaging and recycling. It is great to feel empowered by a movement that the industry is now taking seriously. If you work in hospitality or just care about how businesses are tackling environmental issues, the event will be well worth attending : )
#sustainability #foodwaste #compassionateliving #sustainablebusiness #fightfoodwaste
'From next Monday April 1st, we will be launching a range of adaptogentic coffees harnessing the powers of medicinal mushrooms. 'Mushrooms in drinks?' I hear you cry! Yes, these mild edible mushrooms have been used in tonics and drunk in teas for thousands of years .
Their mild delicate flavour means they blend well into drinks especially into our modern day coffee pallet.
We want to take the best ingredients in nature that have been used to heal, sooth and nourish the body for thousands of years and create a modern way to integrate them into your daily routine .
Nature’s most powerful adaptogens are found in medicinal mushrooms. Chaga, Reishi and Lion’s Mane have been used as herbal medicines and healing tonics for generations in Asia and Northern Europe.
Incorporating beneficial herbs and plants into our diets is best done through routine and ceremony. In modern day living the most recognised and widespread routine we all share is coffee and tea drinking. Most effective first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and through key low points during the day when we need a boost, drinking medicinal tonics can become a positive routine to keep you at your best.
None of us are immune to the pressures of modern life, whether it be work deadlines, the daily commute or just simply never having enough hours in the day.
Our bodies are regularly exposed to physical and toxic stress – from household chemicals, pesticides in our foods, pollutants in the air, intensively farmed meats and refined sugar. Stress can cause not only mental effects, lack of sleep, anxiety but also decrease our natural immunity and leave our tired bodies more susceptible to minor and serious illness. Thankfully there are some incredible rejuvenating plants and herbs that can help. Medicinal mushrooms are one of the strongest natural adaptogens that we can use to ensure we fight off the daily stresses of modern life!
We have created a range of drinks to complement your daily routine and use ancient healing foods in a modern context.
bullet proof chaga
espresso, hot water with chaga, coconut oil
a morning coffee with a boost – helps wake you up, focus and kick start your day without the coffee jitters
a blend of reishi, lion’s mane and turmeric with almond milk (caffeine free)
strong anti-inflammatory and immune booster - aiding concentration and focus
mood enhancing mocha
espresso, chaga, guarana & cacao made with coconut milk
a perfect mid day energy boost
rich in polyphenols helping to increase blood flow to the brain and stimulating ‘happy hormones’
Why medicinal mushrooms? – the health benefits have been known for generations but with more science and investment being put towards looking at natural healing products mushrooms have come into the spotlight.
Many species of fungus are already used as the base of modern medicines from small pox and HIV anti-viral to antibiotics and Alzheimer’s drugs. Lion’s Mane has the ability to repair and regenerate neurons, resulting in improved cognitive function, and the mushroom has been known to mitigate and even reverse the effects of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia, among others.
Reishi is known as the Queen of mushrooms, used in traditional Chinese medicine for at least 2,000 years, with the first known written records dating from the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. to A.D. 220). Reishi has the ability to boost the body’s immune system to protect it against pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Even when pathogens aren’t present, an optimally functioning immune system will exponentially increase your overall health and wellness to the point where you can witness the effects of aging being reversed — both physically and cognitively.
The compounds in reishi work externally and internally to keep you looking young by reducing dermal oxidation (when proteins on the skin are damaged, causing wrinkles and other signs of aging) and protecting your cellular DNA and mitochondria from oxidant damage, allowing you to remain energized and alert.
If reishi is the queen of mushrooms, then chaga is the big daddy, the implacable and respected father of the mushroom world. The first recorded usage of chaga dates to 17th-century Russia, where it was widely used in folk medicine to treat everything from cancers to gastrointestinal issues.
We have been so intrigued to discover more about these amazing....erm…..what are mushrooms?! They are not plants or vegetables, herbs or grains, they sit in their own category of fungus.
Though don’t be put off, mushrooms are closer to humans than plants and with thousands of species yet to be discovered their health benefits could contribute to some of the most significant medical discoveries in the 21st century.
Come and check out our new range of coffees from monday 1st april.
Let’s hear it for the shrooms!
#medicinalmushrooms #adaptogens #health #wellness
It was really lovely to be asked by Holly Branson to take part in her series on entrepreneurship on virgin.com.
As a quick bit of background, I started at Virgin in 1996 as a kind of junior runner at Virgin Cola - it was a crazy, fun time in Virgin’s evolution and there were so many opportunities for intellectual, career growth - as well as getting inspiration from meeting creative, liberal, irreverent people. Richard always said, "with the right kind of people you can achieve anything", and it certainly felt that way.
Over the 17 years I worked in various brand roles and eventually rose up to become Group Brand Director of one of the most diverse brands on the planet. Every 10 minutes we were discussing how to apply our brand and marketing passions to a different industry sector and territory. Someone said it was like "brand yoga". I like to think I was entrusted with that top job for so long because one hopes I did it without too much ego or posturing, without stepping on others, rather by original thinking and hard work.
We worked out at Virgin that business needed to become a force for good. Virgin gave me the entrepreneurial bug to start my own business, and I wanted to do something good for society, to create a cool brand with a heart of gold. Looking at trends around the world I could see there was a gap for a really healthy socialising concept. Could it be launched in London? Could it be profitable? Could it make a positive contribution to society? Redemption was born. I knew I needed an industry expert and I eventually met Andrea who became my #workwife and now here we are, with 3 sites in London, a book, 2 products (detox tea and a candle) and heads bursting with ideas on how we can make it cool and sexy for people to do the right thing - whilst having fun.
This interview series with Holly actually turned out to be quite a personal one, I think because her questions were so insightful. So if you are interested in finding out what I have learned along my journey then please feel free to check it out here on virgin.com
top: me and Holly back in 2010 with some Virgin Stars winners at the Kensington Roof Gardens
below: me and Holly last month doing the interview