Bar & Kitchen sustainable initiatives
At the start of 2018 we’ve stepped up and introduced a variety of sustainable initiatives. Moving forwards we’ve always included sustainability in our decision making processes. Our aim is to be leading the way within the Royal Court as well as in the theatre industry. We would like to inspire and support other teams and other theatre bars and restaurants to also contribute to a better environment.
With many people visiting the Royal Court every year we have an opportunity, but also a responsibility to educate our audiences. We hope that our actions will help instigate change and encourage our visitors to take up initiatives of their own.
What are we doing?
Use of plastic and single use items
We’ve launched a campaign in 2018 to stop the use of single use plastic in our bar. With signage on the bar, in all our menus, and by talking to our patrons at the point of ordering we are communicating this green message to our guests. The response is very positive and we can see that our approach works. In 2017 we used 61,000 disposable plastic cups, in 2018 we used none.
Actions ongoing from 2017
- Our “no lids and straws” policy is embraced by our patrons and even hit social media
- We’ve stopped selling and using plastic bottles of water
- We don’t print customer receipts for bar orders as standard, only on request
- We use herbs from our own garden onsite, reducing the need to buy in herbs to be transported to us
- We promote Meat Free Monday to offer our colleagues a healthy vegetarian option
- We encourage team members to cycle into work
- We’ve replaced cling film with more sustainable alternatives where possible
Achievements in 2018
- Design and introduction of the Royal Court Sustainability logo on our menu’s
- We no longer use single use plastics
- Drinks to take into the auditorium are served in reusable polycarbonate glassware
- All “take in” coffee cups and lids (Vegware) are fully compostable
- All staff is encouraged to use crockery for their drinks
- We’re better at recycling which helped us to generate less general waste
- In-house made nuts selection served in Vegware compostable pots
- We’re grouping deliveries to reduce our carbon foot print
Aims and initiatives completed and coming up in 2019
- Sourcing more sustainable / fully recycled napkins for our restaurant
- Better monitoring energy usage in the bar and learning where we can reduce
- Introducing light sensors where possible to switch off lights in areas when not needed
- A new lock-up procedure which includes switching off all lights (instead of waiting for timers)
- Auditing the chemicals we use and look for eco alternatives
- Using more of our outdoor space to grow produce and herbs
- Investigating beehives on our roof
- Introducing a branded Royal Court keep cup
- Fully ending the use of disposable coffee cups by September 2019
- Continue to stimulate our teams to take green initiatives and support them in taking action
- We’re investigating the recycling of our coffee grounds.
We believe in fair opportunities for everyone and make efforts to build a diverse, all-inclusive team. This is reflected in our recruitment and equal opportunities policies. At the start of 2019 the Bar & Kitchen team employs 17 male and 14 female staff members. Our diverse team represents 10 nationalities with almost half of our team having international roots. Our Sous-chef and Bar & Kitchen Manager are both non-British. Our 3 Bar & Kitchen supervisors are female.
Most of our team members work on flexible contracts and their job at the Royal Court is only a small part of their life. We work closely with every team member to see how we can support them in their other life goals. We organise social events as well and offer training opportunities.
At the start of 2019 we’ve introduced new symbols to mark allergens in our dishes. In addition we’ve introduced symbols for vegan and vegetarian dishes. We’re doing this to give our patrons better and more detailed information to make their menu choices. We’ve also introduced more vegetarian and vegan dishes. Our soup of the day is always vegan and gluten free. Our vegan burger makes up almost 25% of our burger sales and we’ve had raving reviews about it. Our most popular sharing board, which is also our number two selling dish, is vegan too. Recent sales records show that 40% of our main courses sold were vegan or vegetarian. We’re currently curating our summer menu which will include a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes. We’ll continue to encourage our patrons to choose a healthier or meat free meal.
What are our suppliers doing?
When selecting new suppliers we always consider their sustainable policies. We’ve found that more and more companies are interested in having these conversations and supportive of our initiatives.
Our beer supplier Greene King has got several programs in place focussing on environmental, social and alcohol responsibility. Operating hundreds of local pubs they’ve got a strong sense of communities and work to reduce their footprint on the environment. They’ve got programmes in place to reduce water usage and cut down on waste.
At the start of 2019 we’ve finalised our tender for a new waste contract. Sustainability has been an important factor in the tender process. Over 6 small contracts will be replaced by one supplier, Sustainable Advantage. They will provide us with an online portal which allows us to monitor the different waste streams. Our new supplier is just across the river in Battersea Park and is able to collect multiple waste streams in a single compartmentalised truck.
Moving forwards we will be separating these waste streams
– General Waste
– Dry mixed recycling
Berry Brothers & Rudd is our wine supplier and is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. They are not just focussing on making their own working environment more efficient, they also aim to work with suppliers and producers that have a clear commitment to saving the planet. In addition to this BB&R reports on the Gender Pay Gap as well as Modern Slavery Act.
Our house Gin, Vodka and Rum brands, supplier by The Sustainable Spirit Company, come in 2.8L pouches. This dramatically reduces the number of bottles we use and bin as we now keep using the same bottle. It also reduces the volume and weight of our deliveries which further helps to reduce the carbon footprint. For Toti Rum (our house pour) they’ve partnered with conservation group Sea Shepherd in a tie-up that will see 15% of the profits from each bottle sold go to supporting marine conservation in the Caribbean
In the summer of 2019 we’re launching a new partnership with BarentsZ Gin. For every bottle of gin they sell, they pledge to remove the equal weight from the world’s oceans.
Our chef’s whites and other linen and towels used are washed by Stalbridge. They optimize pickup and delivery routes to save carbon emissions during transport and use washing machines that use less fresh mains water. They also work on new technologies to save energy.
Bread & Bakery
The Bread Factory is a local London bakery and committed to cut down on waste. The bakery runs on sustainable electricity and wastage is below 0.1%. The little waste that is produced is given to charities and farmers for animal feed.
Our main meat supplier IMS of Smithfield strongly believes in the purchase and continued supply of British Meat and for the 40 years, since IMS has been established, has developed strong relationships with many of Britain’s most prestigious farms that offer generations of experience, quality and ethnicity.
James Knight of Mayfair is our main fish supplier and we are committed to using sustainable fish species. James Knight is one of the sector leaders in helping the industry to improve and change its habits.
Fruit & Vegetables
We work with a local supplier from Covent Garden market, Ortaggi. We’ve got a good relationship with the company and they will advise us on seasonal specials that we can incorporate in our dishes. Ortaggi also supplies the dairy products we use which helps us reduce the number of deliveries we receive on a day-to-day basis.
Indigo Valley was our first supplier that was mainly selected for their sustainability efforts. They offer both 100% Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance products. They’ve partnered with Compassion UK in the RESPOND initiative to help bring safe drinking water to children and families for life. They’ve helped deliver projects in Rwanda, The Philippines and Ethiopia.
We’ve started working with Joe’s Tea in 2018 and selected them as they’re a local London starting business with a big passion for sustainable tea. They make sure everyone in the supply chain is operating efficiently and profitably and works closely with organic growers in Sri Lanka.
Would you like to know more?
If you would like to know more about u sustainable initiatives, feel free to get in touch.