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The City of Portland, Oregon

Sustainability at Work

Providing free tools and expertise to achieve your goals

Phone: 503-823-7037

Email: sustainabilityatwork@portlandoregon.gov

Tips from Fire on the Mountain

Fire on the Mountain plate of chicken wings

“Food waste is pretty important to us,” said Fire on the Mountain Co-Owner Sara Sawicki. “The financial impact when you waste food is huge. But it’s also simply part of our philosophy to not be wasteful.”

A big part of reducing wasted food comes from training employees to prevent waste before it happens.

“Two of our biggest opportunities to prevent wasted food are improving ordering accuracy and not cooking more wings than we sell,” said Sawicki. “We’ve put feedback loops in place where we can track ordering mistakes and overcooking, and sharing that information with staff is very effective at keeping food waste prevention fresh in their mind.”

The training has paid off, creating a culture of long-time Fire on the Mountain employees who sustain efforts to reduce food waste.

“In addition to our prevention efforts, we have folks who will see a bag of trash in the compost bin, pull it out, and let new employees know how to properly compost,” said Sawicki. “It’s great to have staff take the initiative and believe in reducing food waste. But it’s an ongoing process; it often takes a few reminders before it clicks.”

Fire on the Mountain employees’ buy-in of sustainability efforts is also reflected in the business’ loyal customer base.

“Not only does preventing food waste resonate with our employees, but it resonates with our customers too,” said Sawicki. “By having customers who appreciate what we’re doing, they’ll keep supporting us because they know we’re supportive of their own values, and that’s been a huge part of our success.”

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We want to hear from you! Have you found ways to reduce food waste? Email or give us a call at 503-823-7037.