Bon Appetit Management Company:

Profiles in local food series

Bon Appetit Management Company:

 

 

http://www.bamco.com

Over 400 locations in 31 states.

 

Who are they?

The food service company operates more than 400 cafés for corporations, universities, museums and specialty venues in 31 states.

Bon Appetit was started in 1987 by Fedele Baucio and Ernie Collins to bring a restaurant-quality experience to corporate and institutional catering. Their target was socially-responsible companies and institutions that “truly value employees and colleges alert to the fact that food plays an integral role in quality of life”.  The company placed an emphasis on hiring talented chefs, and these chefs’ challenges in the sourcing of ingredients led to an awareness of the many problems in the current food system (see this article, this article, this article).

And this is where Bon Appetit decided to be part of the solution. This was a business decision that meant hard work, and blazing a new path in an established industry. 

Recently Bon Appetit announced it was ramping up its animal welfare policy with a number of changes: eliminating gestation crates for pork and battery cages for hens, and entirely eliminating foie gras (the engorged livers of force-fed geese) from its menus, by a target date of 2015. “Bon Appétit has turned ‘very good’ into ‘great,’ setting a new high-water mark in the food-service sector,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.
 

Why does it matter?

Bon Appetit has the buying power (for example, 3 million pounds of pork annually, according to the Washington Post) to affect change from producers in the food industry.

In keeping with their mission, their commitment has gone beyond sourcing responsibly and providing high quality, healthy food to educating consumers on the impact of food choices, and helping them calculate the carbon impact of their diet. And the success of a sustainability-focused food service company forces Bon Appetit’s competitors to look more closely at their own supply chains.

screenshot: www.bamco.com

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