Mar 13, 2024

Driving change with green benefits

Being a contract caterer serving multiple clients and hosting hundreds or even thousands of guests offers a remarkable opportunity to make a tangible difference. Feeding such a large number of people empowers caterers to create a meaningful impact, and the prominent contract catering players are taking ambitious steps.

Actions from top players in contract catering

Sodexo and WWF, for instance, collaborated to introduce ”Green & Lean” meal options. These meals emphasise plant-based proteins known for their flavour, health benefits, and ethical sourcing —without additional cost to customers.

Aramark, one of the world’s largest contract caterer, is committed to reducing food loss and waste by 50% by 2030 from its 2015 baseline. Furthermore, they are actively working to minimise single-use plastic and emphasise the use of local ingredients.

Danish contract catering provider Meyers is equally committed to making a positive environmental impact.Meyers places a strong emphasis on increasing the utilisation of local produce and organic foods, sourcing only sustainably caught fish, and implementing measures to reduce their overall carbon footprint.

Inspire clients to make an impact and empower them with the tools to take action

At Pej, we have years of experience helping food service businesses digitalise their customer journeys, and with digitalisation comes ways of working more sustainable.

The hallmark of the Pej solution for contract catering lies in its robust and sophisticated rules engine. As a caterer or client, you can build any incentive using any data — personalise subsidies to a granular level or offer rules to rule them all. The administrative aspect is straightforward; no coding required, and the user interface is intuitive for all.

This flexibility empowers clients to set up benefits and meal plans that resonate with their company’s sustainability goals. Coupled with a best-in-class rule engine and autonomous administration, clients can tailor their green food service benefits to suit their specific requirements. Moreover, they can pioneer initiatives aimed at reducing their climate footprint on a larger scale.

5 examples of green benefits you can suggest to clients

1. An extra subsidy on the green items

As reported in the Global Eating at Work Survey, the demand for healthy foods from catering clients and customers is rising. Younger generations, like Generation Z (born between 1996 and 2010), advocate for eating less meat, and vegetarianism/veganism and flexitarianism are becoming more popular. 63% of Gen Z workers seek plant-based options, which can be compared to 37% of Gen X.

To align with these preferences, why not introduce a program where the items with a low carbon footprint like the vegetarian lunch or the locally produced bread, have an extra subsidy. With manual handling of benefits through pen and paper or plastic coins, the administration process takes forever. With the Pej platform, easy administration is included.

2. Embracing the “All-in green”

Some clients may prefer a comprehensive approach to sustainability by opting for exclusively vegetarian and locally sourced meal plans for their employees. This ”All-in green” strategy aligns with the growing demand for environmentally friendly options and can be easily implemented and managed using the Pej platform, similar to the additional subsidy program mentioned earlier.

3. Encouraging Meatless Mondays

Consider embracing the Meatless Monday trend by subsidising vegetarian or vegan dishes specifically on Mondays. This initiative encourages staff to opt for greener meal choices once a week. While seemingly small, this effort can bring significant long-term benefits in promoting sustainability and fostering mindful eating habits among employees.

4. Combating food waste

Based on a sustainability report for the catering industry by WWF and Sodexo, one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. You can introduce many types of initiatives to ensure you reduce food waste. Read more in Unexpected ways to reduce food waste in contract catering.

For a lunch restaurant that offers a buffet or specials of the day, it’s challenging to make precisely the right amount of food. A good way to reduce food waste from lunch is to repackage and sell the food as delicious and cheap dinner options. With connected fridges, employees in the building can pick up a leftover lunch and take it home for dinner as a benefit from the employer/your client.

5. Communicating the footprint

This option serves not as a subsidised benefit but as a means to visualise the impact of food purchases, whether it’s from an individual guest or collectively from all guests associated with one client. The communication of the CO2 footprint could be integrated into the ordering app. Additionally, clients could monitor the footprint through the client benefit portal. Consider offering comparisons with the average guest or other companies as a fun context to inspire competitiveness.


The contract catering industry holds tremendous potential for driving sustainable change in food service. As highlighted by the initiatives of industry leaders like Sodexo, Aramark, and Meyers, there’s a significant push to reduce food waste and combat climate change.

At Pej, our commitment to sustainability is reflected in our innovative digital solutions for contract caterers. By empowering clients with customisable green food service benefits, such as subsidies for low-carbon footprint items or initiatives like Meatless Monday, we enable you as a contract caterer to align with evolving consumer preferences and environmental goals.