Hilton pilots zero waste menus across four UK hotels  

by: Felicity Cousins | April 24, 2024

UK: Hilton has launched a zero waste menu in four flagship hotels across the UK to mark Stop Food Waste Day, today.

According to UNEP’s Food Waste Index Report 2024, one billion tonnes of food is wasted annually, with the food services industry responsible for more than a quarter of the waste produced.

An estimated 8-10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food that is not consumed.

Hilton’s zero waste menus, which will be available to guests for one month, are being piloted as part of the group’s Travel with Purpose target, to reduce waste sent to landfill by 50 per cent by 2030.

The zero waste menus have been curated using techniques Hilton’s chefs hope will encourage commercial operators to implement simple steps that eliminate or significantly reduce food waste.

Techniques to reduce food waste under the Taste of Zero Waste initiative  include:

“Root-to-shoot and nose-to-tail cookery”: This means using everything from a given ingredient – from salmon cheeks to ox heart, to fermenting vegetable stalks, trimmings and peelings to make sauces and stocks and using bruised or overripe fruits in cocktail making.

“Rescuing and repurposing” leftover food: helping to significantly reduce waste from breakfast buffets by using items such as pastries, bread, fruit and coffee beans to create puddings 

Pickling: collecting surplus fruit and vegetables which would have otherwise been thrown away and preserving them through pickling 

Each menu in the pilot will feature 5-7 dishes and be accompanied by zero waste drinks. Some examples of dishes include Applewood Ox Heart – charcoal grilled, potato skin risotto, pickled magnolia petals, Vegetable Korma – root and spring vegetable, sticky rice biscuit, tomato, coriander stalks, Scottish Salmon cheeks – poached, seaweed stock, asparagus stalks, tomato.

Emma Banks, vice president, F&B strategy and development, EMEA at Hilton said: “The launch of these new menus marks another step in the global fight against food waste. Conscious dining isn’t just a trend; it’s a deeply held value that guides where we all choose to indulge and unwind.”

The zero waste menus have been created by some of Hilton’s top UK chefs and will be available at London Hilton on Park Lane, Hilton’s first hotel in the UK which opened in 1963; Hilton Manchester Deansgate, Hilton’s largest hotel in the North of England; Hilton London Metropole, Hilton’s largest hotel outside of the US; and DoubleTree by Hilton Brighton Metropole, which was refurbished last year.

The hotel group is looking at implementing food waste reduction programmes in every hotel kitchen with a “low waste” menu also launching at almost 20 properties across the UK.

Banks added: “These dishes have been designed to demonstrate the best-in-class techniques in use across our hotels all over the world every day – brought together to raise awareness of our ambition to continue reducing food waste across our operations, simultaneously empowering guests to make more mindful choices and inspiring them to reduce waste in their own kitchen at home.” 

The initiative builds upon Hilton’s success in reducing waste sent to landfill by more than 50 per cent (according to a 2008 baseline) and sits alongside its commitment to implement a food waste reduction programme in every hotel kitchen. 

By partnering with AI food waste technology Winnow, Hilton has also helped kitchen staff see how much waste is  produced and chefs at more than 200 hotels have made small changes with trials leading to a reduction of 61 per cent in breakfast waste.

Hilton London Metropole has also been working with the Felix Project since 2020 when, during the global pandemic, hotels across the country closed their doors to guests, leaving huge amounts of surplus ingredients. 

The hotel’s kitchen was transformed into a community kitchen hub, preparing thousands of meals for those in need across London. This partnership continues today, and the hotel has now cooked more than 75,000 meals for those in need. 

 Hilton will donate a meal to a person in need for every dish purchased from the new Zero Waste menus during the coming month. 

 Paul Bates, executive head chef, Hilton London Metropole said: “As chefs, we are the catalysts for positive change and have the opportunity to set the bar for sustainable dining. 

“Our menu inspires diners to embrace new flavours, while empowering them to lead the charge when it comes to tackling food waste.”

 Hilton plans to roll out the initiative across more hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa over the coming year.

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