Bon Appétit Management Company has become a model for what is possible in sustainable food service. We were the first food service company to address issues of where our food comes from and how it is grown, and we are still the largest restaurant company with such a high level of commitment to socially responsible practices. Bon Appétit puts these principles into practice every day creating menus for special events held at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Some of our sustainability programs include:
Farm to Fork
Farm to Fork is a Bon Appétit company-wide initiative to buy locally. The first choice is to purchase seasonal, regional, and organic produce from local farmers and artisan producers within a 150-mile radius. These local products are served within 48 hours of harvest. We spend over $55 million annually with local producers. The result is delicious food, stronger communities, and healthier customers.
Seafood is purchased in accordance with the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch guidelines for sustainable seafood. Locally sourced fish is the first choice for seafood purchases. Tuna is dolphin-safe and packed in water.
Bon Appétit is actively working with ranchers to reduce the amount of drugs given to poultry, cows, and pigs. The company purchases only turkey breast and chicken that has been produced without non-therapeutic antibiotics. Hamburgers are made with fresh ground chuck from beef raised on vegetarian feed without antibiotics or added hormones. For other meats, Bon Appétit chefs buy products free of antibiotics as a first preference. Free-range, organic, and grass-fed beef and pork from local sources is served at many locations.
Bon Appétit has committed to purchasing cage-free shell eggs at all accounts. These eggs are from sources that meet the animal care standards of Humane Farm Animal Care, an independent farm animal welfare–certifying organization.
Fluid milk is free of antibiotics and recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). Local sources are the first choice for dairy purchase.
Bon Appétit supports farmers' rights and offers Fair Trade Certified, shade grown, and organic coffee options wherever possible.
Low Carbon Diet
The Low Carbon Diet is Bon Appétit Management Company's endeavor to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of all its service locations. Food production—including processing, transportation, packaging, preparation, and waste—is responsible for one-third of global greenhouse gas production. The Low Carbon Diet takes a bite out of carbon emissions by reducing use of high-carbon foods, promoting seasonality, providing alternatives to foreign and bottled water, conducting energy audits of equipment, and developing innovative waste management programs. Customer education is a major component of the Low Carbon Diet; diners have the opportunity to calculate and reduce the carbon footprint of their own food choices with an interactive calculator at www.eatlowcarbon.org.