COLORADO SPRINGS, CO—In catering, it is much better to have too much food prepared than to not have enough for guests. This, inevitably, leads to varying amounts of leftovers.
Instead of sending the food that never makes it out of the kitchen to landfills or the compost heap, The Broadmoor here has partnered with Springs Rescue Mission, the largest shelter for people in need in the area, to provide a steady supply of donated food. In 2017 alone, more than 3,500 pounds of food was donated.
The food rescue movement has spread across the country with hotels, restaurants and college and university foodservice operations providing their unused food to local charities, keeping it from going to waste.
“This is a program that ownership saw as a way to help the local community; plus, it is a shame to take perfectly good food and have it go to waste,” said Justin Miller, an executive sous chef for The Broadmoor, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ Legend Collection.
“When you’re thinking about the waste that occurs, it goes to the landfill, [but it]could benefit somebody—the good that this does is invaluable to the community and the environment,” said Jack Damioli, The Broadmoor’s president/CEO, noting that food waste in landfills generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
The amount of food donated each week varies. “Our donations mostly come when we have large programs in-house and big holiday events,” said Miller. “We have to be prepared to accommodate our guests with enough of all elements on the menu, which inevitably means there will be items that they do not go through.”
Proteins, grains and vegetables have all been donated by The Broadmoor and distributed through the partnership, with the ingredients then carefully prepared and adjusted to meet specific dietary standards and preferences.
The resort is now encouraging other local hotels to be a part of the program. “This is a benefit for the community,” said Miller. “The more properties that join in, the more of a reward it is for those in need.”
Added Damioli, “We are happy to take the lead in this, but this is bigger than The Broadmoor.”
Taking the lead in the food rescue program is in line with the 100-year-old resort’s previous practices. It has been involved in the sustainable food movement for years, including growing produce in the property’s garden and greenhouse for its 20 restaurants and cafés, as well as harvesting honey from its own hives and raising Wagyu beef at the resort’s ranch.
In addition, the resort partners with a long list of niche purveyors, both local and international, including Colorado Springs’ Red Leg Brewing Company, which brews an exclusive beer for Broadmoor guests, and Valrhona Chocolate, whose custom Broadmoor blend is used extensively in the resort’s in-house chocolate program.