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Sustainability Efforts at Lettuce: How We’re Working Towards a Greener Tomorrow

Conscious actions at our restaurants

Lettuce Entertain You is committed to a more sustainable future and we will continue to do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint. Our commitment is a continued effort and includes responsible sourcing, reducing the usage of single-use plastics, and more.

These are some of the steps we are currently taking:

Going Plastic-Free

Paper gift card in restaurant settingPart of our sustainability commitment includes reducing plastic use and waste. To meet this goal, Lettuce restaurants have switched to plastic-free straws, eliminated single-use cups for employees, and are converting to compostable food containers for to-go orders. In partnership with San Pellegrino, Lettuce Entertain You is working to create nearly 100 percent recyclable beverage programs by utilizing mixers like Q that come in aluminum cans and only purchasing glass bottled water and more. Lettuce Entertain You has also partnered with Shedd Aquarium for their ongoing Let’s Shedd Plastics initiative.

Lettuce recently released a plastic-free version of our gift card, replacing over 400,000 plastic gift cards produced annually.

Sourcing Sustainably

Summer ProduceOur chefs and beverage directors have a responsibility not only to our guests but to suppliers, purveyors and supply chain partners to ensure that they are working to source seasonal, organic and sustainably farmed meat and produce wherever possible. For example, a large percentage of our produce is sourced from farms within 100 miles of our restaurants, such as Mick Klug, Local Foods and Nichols Farms. And where local offerings cannot accommodate, we work with trusted purveyors like Regalis and Rare Tea Cellar to responsibly source ingredients such as truffles and other delicacies from small businesses around the world.

wine glass with red wine at the oakvilleSourcing sustainable food products and ingredients also extends to our wine lists. Lettuce beverage directors, especially at RPM Restaurants nationwide, are making it a priority to work with vineyards across the world that are committed to sustainable and biodynamic winemaking. To read more about the sustainable sips at RPM Restaurants, click here.

Minimal Waste Cooking Practices

Beef on grillOur chefs are getting creative with all of the tasty ways that they can utilize parts of ingredients that are typically thrown away. The notion of minimal waste cooking is not new in our kitchens, but it remains top of mind. Here are a few examples of ways our chefs are maximizing every part of particular ingredients to maximize flavor!

BBQ Salmon at The Oakville Grill & CellarChef Max Robbins and his team at The Oakville Grill & Cellar utilize leftover kale stems to make the signature BBQ sauce for the Faroe Island Salmon, giving the sauce a unique and deep flavor. Traditionally, in the South, stewing greens results in a sauce known as potlikker, which is the liquid left from cooking. Chef Robbins employs this technique with the leftover kale stems to infuse a punch of flavor into his BBQ sauce.

RPm Steak Westhole Wagyu TartareAt RPM Steak, Chef Bob Broskey and his team aim to utilize every part of the products they source. For example, the whole Westholme New York Strip is not only utilized for 12-oz. portions but also perfectly cleaned for tataki portions and tartar, and then extra scraps get used in sauces. Unique to RPM, the chefs also utilize the leftover beef tallow to create beef butter, which is used to brush each steak before serving – a practice that reinforces the rich flavor of the beef. At RPM Italian, the leftover trim from prosciutto is routinely incorporated into the tortelloni, as well as used in stocks and sauces.

Aba FalafelBeyond meat, Aba uses Parmesan rinds in stocks, and leftover fresh herb stems as flavorful toppers for the restaurant’s signature hummus and falafel dishes. Elsewhere, sustainable seafood is shared across restaurants, from RPM Seafood to Sushi-san and more, to not only minimize waste but to maximize quality and streamline responsible sourcing.

Operating in Green Spaces

Summer House Las Vegas dining roomAs we continue to grow, we prioritize spaces that offer eco-friendly amenities such as energy-generating wind turbines, green roofs, high-efficiency glass, recycling programs, energy-efficient lighting, electric car charging stations, and local and sustainable building-use materials during the construction process.

Composting at the RPM Restaurants and The Oakville Grill & Cellar

RPM Restaurants WasteNotChicago locations of RPM Restaurants, which includes RPM Seafood, RPM Steak, RPM Italian and Pizzeria Portofino, as well as The Oakville Grill & Cellar in Fulton Market, and Aba in Austin have all implemented a composting program inclusive of glass, cardboard, and food waste. RPM is partnering with a local Chicago-based company WasteNot, which supplied the restaurants with bins and composting bags, and also provided comprehensive training for staff and managers at the restaurants. We look forward to having more Lettuce restaurants implement these practices soon.

Sustainable Practices with Events and Catering

Our catering and private event teams have made strides to utilize more sustainable practices for large party orders and events. As a first step, we did an audit of  disposable and plastic items that we’ve been using, then determined which of these could be replaced with more sustainable alternatives. This has included everything from utilizing bamboo serving pieces and plateware for individual passed appetizers, to incorporating foil containers instead of plastic for any hot or cold hold items. Whenever possible, our teams return to catering sites to pick-up any items that can be reused at future events.

We are enthusiastic about our role in helping make sustainability attainable and a priority in our industry. We have a long way to go, but we appreciate the support of our teams and guests.

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