"Firstly, we all need to make sure we understand the waste in our lives and continually assess what type of waste is actually necessary. The next step is to collaborate with those around us that can help us make changes to eliminate the unnecessary."
Daryl Naidu, New Normal founder
What was the motivation behind New Normal Bar + Kitchen?
Darryl Naidu was an engineer with an appetite to create positive change. He knew he wanted to build a business dedicated to creating a more sustainable future and identified food, and the hospitality sector as a great place to start.
Together with his business partners Justin and Dru New Normal Bar + Kitchen was bought to life – serving as both a viable business as well as a platform to showcase the huge gains that could be made by embedding a no-waste approach into the day-to-day operations of a hospitality business.
Did you know?
Cafes and restaurants can be BIG waste generators – from food leftovers and scraps from the kitchen to empty bottles, dirty napkins and takeaway containers.
An almost no-waste restaurant… how do they do it?
The New Normal team are leading by example and encouraging everyone to think more critically about how they use and consume food – from meal planning to sourcing produce and changing kitchen habits! These practices are applied daily to avoid waste, and the good news is, a lot of this can also be applied in the home:
The Season. Plan and cook food that uses seasonal produce (as opposed to requiring ingredients that are out of season and need to be imported). Less transport and packaging means less waste!
The Source. Source as much local produce as possible. The team regularly forage for ingredients such as lilly pilly, lemon myrtle and cherry blossom flowers and they also aren’t afraid to reach out to others (in person or on social media) if they need an ingredient that others might have in abundance, such as lemons, passionfruit, papaya, or zucchinis.
The Method. The kitchen adopts a nose to tail approach to food preparation. For example, tomato skins are removed, dehydrated and blitzed to create a tomato powder full of flavour. They have uses for all of the other parts of a tomato too!
The Packaging. Know that its perfectly acceptable to BYO containers when sourcing produce, such as meat from local butchers. Plastic and cardboard packaging costs small businesses and can be avoided to reduce waste.
The Disposal. New Normal donates surplus fresh produce to Food Rescue, recycles everything they possibly can by working with specialist recyclers, like local organic waste business Kooda. This leaves them with less than 10L of general waste per day of service – a pretty impressive feat for a busy restaurant.
The Setting. New Normal Kitchen + Bar is located in an old heritage building, a former furniture factory. There are no printed menus – they are displayed on blackboards on the walls.
The Challenge. Encouraging everyone in their supply chain to own their own impact - from suppliers, to business partners, guests and industry peers.
What impact is New Normal Bar + Kitchen making?
100% of organic waste from the kitchen, bar and service has been diverted from landfill to the nutrient cycle of soils since opening in June 2017.
Everything that is served to the table is edible – there is no consumer waste aside from glass bottles and cans which are recycled!
It’s not just physical waste they are tackling, they are also looking at energy consumption too – and in the interest of transparency they are will soon be reporting this on the restaurant’s website.
What does the future hold for New Normal Bar + Kitchen?
The team at New Normal Bar + Kitchen are always considering new ways to share their approach to fresh produce, food preparation and waste management with a wider audience.
Their next venture – a tour of the South West to help local growers get their fresh produce to market – is well into planning and the team are also working towards reporting their performance on energy consumption and waste management on their website.
How can YOU get on board?
- Remember that YOU cast a vote every time you open your wallet (whether that be your restaurant choice or the items you put into your trolley at the supermarket) – if you choose to support waste savvy businesses you are supporting positive change and in time that will hopefully encourage others to own their impact too.
- If you have an abundance of fruit, vegetables or herbs growing in your garden, contact New Normal who will take it off your hands and turn it into mouth-watering, culinary creations.
- Going away? Invite family and friends over for an "empty the fridge" dinner that will reduce the amount that goes to waste.
- Change how and what you recycle. Establish more collection containers to help you separate your general recycling, your organic waste, and items that can be recycled through specialist programs like soft plastics, coffee pods, batteries and light globes.
- Try to eat nose to tail, and be prepared to think creatively about how you can maximise every part of your produce when preparing food.
- Check out our tips to help you combat food waste at home.