We have more than doubled our waste diversion rate since 2008 and continue to make advancements in minimizing food and plastic waste in our restaurants.
Where We Stand
In 2020, we completed an in-depth waste characterization study to help us better understand what gets thrown away in our restaurants and what can be recycled. This allows us to identify areas where we can get better so we can continue to optimize waste diversion.
Knowing what is in our trash is only the beginning, as our efforts are also dependent on available recycling infrastructure in the communities we serve. We continue to track and monitor recycling rates across our restaurants and optimize waste diversion and recycling in markets where infrastructure exists.
Recycling rate of 32%
100% of our restaurants recycle used cooking oil
More than 80% of restaurants with recycling programs
Minimizing Food Waste Through Our Harvest Program
Food waste is the single largest component of our waste stream. In addition to improving our forecasting efforts to minimize food loss, we reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills through our Harvest food donation program. Each day, every one of our restaurants collects wholesome, surplus food that was not served to guests and prepares it for weekly donation to local nonprofit organizations. This allows us to maximize usage of excess food and make an impact in the fight against hunger — rather than dispose of it. Since the program’s inception in 2003, we have donated more than 120 million pounds of food through Harvest — which is equivalent to more than 100 million meals for those who need it most.
Harvest Donations Over Time
(Total pounds of food)