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itsu

Strategic partnership with East Asian-inspired Restaurant chain

Case study // A fresh approach for itsu

Asian-inspired restaurant chain itsu is renowned for having exceptionally high standards when it comes to choosing their suppliers and producing their meals. Everything from wasabi to waste is carefully considered – which is what you’d expect from a company whose mantra is ‘light, green and good for you’.

During a visit to Japan, founder Julian Metcalfe was inspired not only by the freshness and quality of the food, but by the way almost nothing is wasted – and he incorporated much of what he’d seen and loved into itsu. Now with more than 60 shops in London and prime sites in Central Oxford, Richmond, Bicester Village and Brighton, itsu is definitely on the up.

Biffa has been working in partnership with itsu since 2015, supporting the company with their waste needs and enabling them to meet their green goals. For itsu, being socially responsible is as important as the food they serve. “One of itsu’s key principles is avoiding waste,” said itsu's Operations Director Nicolas Barnoin. “In order not to waste the work of our talented employees or the food that they create, every itsu store holds a half-price sale every day before closing.” The company’s attitude extends beyond food waste, so it’s only natural that itsu want to ensure that whatever waste they do have is handled in the best possible way.

Unique challenges

As a business predominantly based in city locations, itsu have their own unique waste needs. Melanie Sims, Biffa Account Manager for itsu, explained: “Biffa has been able to provide dedicated trucks for collections, and this allows for multiple collections a day. We’ve adapted our service to meet the company’s needs, so our drivers even collect directly from waste cupboards, rather than making on-street collections.”

As a fast-paced food chain, itsu rely on the regular and reliable service to keep each store running effectively. “Space is at a premium in our restaurants and waste would build up if it wasn’t collected on time, every time,” said Lee Chie Lau, Business Operations Manager for itsu. “By allowing Biffa to collect from inside our locations, rather than on the street, it helps to keep the surrounding area cleaner and more accessible.”

With Biffa’s support, itsu has diverted 100% of its waste from landfill, sending it instead to be converted into Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) – a process that is consistent with UK Government policy.

“Once there, recyclable material is removed and the remaining waste is dried, shredded and then baled. The resulting product can be used to generate heat and electricity – meaning reduced reliance on fossil fuels and less waste going to landfill,” explained Melanie.

“Another advantage of this type of collection over having separate waste streams on the premises is, on the occasion when waste might be incorrectly sorted – perhaps by a customer – the whole waste stream would end up going to landfill. RDF offers an efficient as well as environmentally sound solution to this problem."

But Biffa is always looking for ways to improve our service and offering, and now with a strong relationship firmly established, discussions are already taking place about the possibilities of extracting other elements from itsu’s waste.

“For a successful company like itsu,” added Melanie, “knowing that you’ve got a trusted supplier in place nationally means that there is one less thing to worry about.”

 

Martin Nobes - Head of New Business

Martin Nobes

New Business Enquiries - if you're interested in how Biffa can help support you with strategic sustainable solutions contact Martin by emailing martin.nobes@biffa.co.uk

“Biffa has been able to provide dedicated trucks for collections, and this allows for multiple collections a day. We’ve adapted our service to meet the company’s needs, so our drivers even collect directly from waste cupboards, rather than making on-street collections.”

100%

The amount of waste itsu has diverted from landfill

0 60

Shops in London, Oxford, Richmond, Bicester Village and Brighton

0 21

itsu was founded in London back in 1997