What will restaurants look like in 2030? Sian Cooke reports back from February’s Casual Dining Show, which offered a glimpse into a possible, planet-positive future for the industry
How Pizza Hut Restaurants UK is tackling key aspects of sustainability
Q: Plastics are a complex and critical issue for businesses right now; how is Pizza Hut UK facing the challenge?
A: We took the decision around ten months ago now to ban plastic straws from our restaurants. Having navigated many complex stages of procurement, all Pizza Hut restaurants in the UK will be moving to paper straws from this summer. We will now be identifying other sources of plastic packaging within our supply chains and looking for the best alternative solutions, both for the environment and our business.
We are proud to be one of the 42 businesses to have signed up to WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact, which was launched on 26 April 2018, and commits us to achieving ambitious targets for 2025 on plastic packaging. The key to tackling unnecessary and unsustainable plastic use is to work together with other businesses and retailers to generate collaborative power and action.
Q: You have set yourself an ambitious target for zero food waste to landfill, how are you progressing?
A: For food waste, we are very nearly at 100% food waste diverted from landfill. One of the challenges with implementing a food waste collection system from all our restaurants is establishing the infrastructure across the country, but very soon we expect to get to 100% food waste either composted or used for anaerobic digestion, where food is converted into heat or electricity.
Q: Pizza Hut Restaurants UK was awarded the Treat Staff Fairly award by the Sustainable Restaurant Association in 2017. How does your employee development programme contribute to this?
A: We employ around 8,000 people across the UK. For lots of our staff, it’s their first entrance into working life and we feel a responsibility to set them up for their career and give them a good impression of what work looks like. We are proud of our employee development programme, which includes emotional training. We also co-sponsor a degree level hospitality apprenticeship scheme with Manchester University. We have an online personal development tool, which allows all our employees to complete a self-assessment, looking at how they come across to their colleagues and customers and help them to identify how they can be the best version of themselves.
Q: What’s the future for casual dining?
A: Customers are looking for more control, information and customisation, and the market is moving quickly. Restaurants need to innovate and respond to changing customer needs, whilst remaining business-focused and maintaining a high-standard, enjoyable dining experience for our guests.
We can help casual dining outlets create sustainability strategies to help deliver their ambitions.