Leading By Example: How Dubai-Based Cassette Aims To Sustain Sustainable Dining In The UAE "We want our practices to have a positive impact on our planet where possible. Every aspect has been planned bearing our core values at the forefront, including our efforts to save energy, reduce waste, and reuse."
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
During the coronavirus outbreak, the F&B industry in the UAE and around the world has faced huge challenges. Whilst people's health and wellbeing are currently the number one priority, it is now more important than ever to question our world and the environment we have created.
At my Dubai-based café, Cassette, our focus has always gone beyond just food. We wanted to create a business with sustainability and environmental awareness at its core. Now, going green is not a new concept. However, our approach has been totally unique to our brand.
We have worked hard to create a world class sustainable restaurant menu, without compromises. We want our practices to have a positive impact on our planet where possible. Every aspect has been planned bearing our core values at the forefront, including our efforts to save energy, reduce waste, and reuse.
Cassette's Interiors. Source: Cassette
At the heart of the project is the restaurant itself. It was important for me during the design process that the materials and building reflected our values. We worked hard to create a space that was inviting and practical, but also made use of sustainable materials where possible. Reclaimed materials for flooring, fixtures and fittings help house our plastic-free straws, plant-based disposable cups and takeaway boxes.
Creating our sustainable and environmentally focused restaurant menu was one of the greatest challenges. We are most passionate about this, as we feel it is one of the aspects that has the greatest immediate impact on our planet. It has taken a team effort to help achieve this, with our chefs, management and even our customers needing to understand and be on board with the concept.
We strive to use organic ingredients sourced from local suppliers. This approach is multifaceted. It means we cut down on transportation pollutants, costs to the environment, and ensure our local farmers are well supported. It also lends itself to an adaptable and fresh seasonal menu that our customers love. We have a popular changing weekly special menu dictated by nature and creativity. Purchasing fresh produce at its peak supply also means our meals are as delicious and nurturing as they can possibly be.
We are also constantly working towards reducing food wastage. Some approaches have been easier to implement than others, but all are equally important. We are conscious of portion sizes, and achieving the delicate balance of leaving customers satisfied without being wasteful.
Related: Innovative Approach Helps Dubai-Based Cloud Restaurants Bolster Its Delivery-Only Offerings Amid The COVID-19 Crisis
Other measures include using all the ingredients we purchase to make every meal from scratch. For example, we make our own bread rolls, pickles, dressings, and stock. We find this allows us to make use of every part of the food we purchase, and strictly control what we specifically require to minimise waste. It also makes for better tasting results.
Being located in the heart of Dubai, we are determined to help set the standards for sustainable and eco-friendly dining in the UAE. We understand that there is a demand for this approach that may not be as easily met as it is in other countries. By keeping true to our core beliefs and brand values, we are demonstrating how it is possible to uniquely offer uncompromising, environmentally focused dining.
The Cassette Team. Source: Cassette
We believe Cassette offers an unparalleled approach to dining. Our menus and practices are sustainable, our ethos is good for the planet, and our seasonable delicious food has empowered our customers to make better choices. We have no doubt that this is the future of the restaurant industry, and that many may follow suit. Until then, we are proud to be one of the first sustainable restaurants in the UAE.
Related: Support The UAE's F&B Sector Hit By The COVID-19 Crisis: A Call For Delivery Apps To Cap Their Commissions At 10%