Bon Appetit is the on campus food service provider for Lafayette College. We operate under and implement the standards of both Bon Appetit and Lafayette College, but identify ourselves as Lafayette College Dining Services.

Bon Appétit Management Company’s definition of sustainability:

A sustainable future for food service means flavorful food that’s healthy and economically viable for all, produced through practices that respect farmers, workers, and animals; nourish the community; and replenish our shared natural resources for future generations.

Leading by example

We are proud to be the first food service company to commit to:

What we are doing

We are proud to have reduced our food waste by 30 percent in 2007 in our cafes across the country, when we first launched our Low Carbon Diet program (which has a major food waste component), and have been able to keep it down since. Currently, we estimate that the teams at our cafés divert approximately 40 percent (by weight) of what remains of their food waste from landfills. We try to stop waste from happening in the first place by:

  • Preparing food from scratch. All of our chefs cook from scratch using fresh, local, and seasonal products. We encourage snout-to-tail and stem-to-root cooking by making all of our own stocks and soups — great destinations for bones and vegetable trimmings.
  • Batch cooking. Our vegetables are prepared in batches at the last possible minute and served in the smallest possible quantities, to ensure both freshness and that we don’t prepare more food than is needed.
  • Talking people out of trays. In 2005 our general manager at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine pioneered trayless dining after he found he could cut consumer waste in half simply by removing the trays from the café. Trayless dining is now a nationwide movement – dozens of our college dining halls and corporate cafés have tossed their trays. Going trayless encourages people to take just what they can eat, not what they can carry, and substantially cuts down on post-cooking food waste. 
  • Farm to Form program. Our path toward greater social responsibly and sustainability started as a quest for flavor. When you cook from scratch, you want the freshest ingredients. This led to the launch of the Farm to Form program back in 1999 – long before local food became the phenomenon it is today. By buying directly from farmers, we have much more control over what types of agribusiness we are supporting. We seek out true family farms where the owners live on or nearby the land, work it themselves and therefore are conscientious stewards, who don’t rely on pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified seeds. We honor their ingredients by preparing and serving them within 48 hours of harvest.
  • Disposables are one of the most complicated areas of sustainability. The one simple rule to remember is that choosing reusable plates, utensils, and cups instead of the kinds intended for a single use (whether you recycle, compost, or trash them) is always a better choice.

Our first choice is to buy reusables. Where disposables are used, we opt first for those made with post-consumer recycled fibers, then that are recyclable, and then compostable if we have a closed-loop system with little chance of contamination. All of our cafes and catering services at Lafayette use the disposables with these standards.

At Lafayette College we have introduced eco-clamshells: a hard plastic clamshell that can be used many times and go through our dishwashing process to be sterilized. Guests make a one-time purchase of the clamshell from one of our cafes. These clamshells can be used in any café on campus. The program runs by the guest handing in their dirty clamshell to a cashier (we wash and sanitize each one for reuse). If you’d like to use the clamshell immediately, you’ll receive a clean clamshell. If it is a case where you just want to return the dirty and utilize the clamshell during a different visit, you’ll exchange it for a globe keychain. The next time you’d like to use the clamshell, you will hand the cashier your globe keychain and receive a clean clamshell.