Chipotle has followed up their Back to the Start video featuring Willie Nelson with a new animated video The new video has a theme similar to the first video – using a creative and beautiful animation to show a critical view of large, industrial meat production.  This time they used a Fiona Apple’s version of Pure Imagination  from the original Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Oddly, the video was made to promote a new smartphone game…by defeating “the evil plans of Crow Foods.”  Well said!



After many years of work, Energy Star with support from the Food Service Technology Center, the NRA and the Restaurant Facility Managers Associations are developing a criteria so restaurant can be certified as Energy Star buildings. Up until this point, restaurants have been kept off the labeling potential of Energy Star because of the variability in energy use among the buildings, and the variability of the types of restaurants.

However, in order to develop the certification program, they need your data. They are currently conducting the 2013 Food Service Energy and Water Survey to collect energy consumption data of restaurants across the country to help develop the performance score for the label. The purpose of the energy and water use data collection is to develop an Energy Star building energy performance score that will allow restaurants to compare their energy consumption to the national, industry-wide average and also to other stores within their brand. Eligible survey participants include full-service restaurants, limited-service restaurants, coffee or beverage shops, educational, military, corporate, or hospital cafeterias, and other formats. So get out your electric, natural, propane (and water) bills together and enter them into the survey to help develop the new Energy Star labeling program.

The first 40 restaurants to complete the survey and supply their energy use information will at least receive $20 Starbucks gift cards, and $450, $250, $150, and $50 gift card to randomly selected participants as well.

The survey runs from Wednesday, September 4th through Friday, November 1st and once the data is collected, the EPA will be able to develop a rating system from 1-100 and any restaurant scoring in the top 25% of their peer group can earn the Energy Star for their restaurant.

Visit the RFMA page for more information and to fill out the survey.


We just added a do-it-yourself “energy” audit to the Tools page of The audit was created by the Food Service Technology Center and covers operational and equipment upgrades for both energy and water conservation measures in five areas of the restaurant.


I Forgot My Birthday!

Author: Paul

View of Golden GateI knew I was forgetting something recently and I finally figured out that officially turned 4 last Friday. I say officially because March 15, 2009 was when I announced the launch of the site, but it had really been around since late 2006. While the concept for the site and a lot of my research dates back to 2002, the site came to life in an incredible studio apartment my wife and I had in San Francisco – that was my view of the Golden Gate Bridge and inspiration while I hacked out some code for this site.

Unfortunately, the view was short lived, as she was working a traveling job and after a few months the job was finished as was the apartment her company housed us in. The view for the following few months was a rock backyard in Mesa, AZ – not nearly as picturesque.

I spent the next couple years building the site out as I could between jobs and consulting gigs, as I do now, though the work is constant now and the sites gets less attention.

It’s been a really treat to maintain the site and hear from people all over the world that are building restaurants, developing mixed use developments, creating food waste programs for their cities, universities, high school, middle school, elementary school, every kind of school… I’ve chatted with people making their own chocolates, running kitchens for summer camps, remodeling restaurants, buying restaurants, wanting to compost, looking for sustainable packaging, and selling sustainable packaging – anyone want to import biodegradable packaging from China? I know of about a hundred options. It’s been a great run so far.

Thanks to everyone that emailed, called, posted or provided support over the years. Here’s to another four plus-ish years!




Author: Paul

Since the NRA and everyone else is currently listing their predictions and “What’s Hot” for 2013, I thought I would through a few out there. Just three in fact – you’re just leveraging your odds when you list ten. So here it goes.

1. Food Waste – Nothing new here. In fact, 2012 seemed to be the year of food waste. Everyone from the New York Times to Foodservice Equipment Supplies Magazine was writing about food waste. It’s a huge issue globally and people are starting to realize the effect it has on their pocket book and the environment. This is going to stay a strong issue for a while, and likely just get more focused and complex as the industry becomes more interested and better educated.

2. Water – There are always stories in the media about water and water shortage, but I think it is going to become a big topic this year, and not just in the foodservice industry but everywhere. For the foodservice industry it is going to be a broad issue. Rising food prices because of drought are effecting menu pricing and profit margins, aging sewer systems will start driving utility costs up, and a large push for innovative, water efficient equipment will all drive the focus on water efficiency.

3. GMOs – This isn’t a new issue, there has been a big push from the food production industry to get GMOs into the marketplace where they already are not, but became a big issue late last year as the FDA approved GM salmon for human consumption. This is going to be a tipping point for many. The potential for GM salmon to taint the wild salmon populations is going to garner opposition from a huge and diverse of collection of groups that normally have nothing to do with each other. Celebrity chefs will be climbing over the top of each other to shout their opposition to GM fish with support from commercial fishing organization, conservative hunting and fish groups, virtually everyone in Alaska, environmentalists, Native organizations, health advocates, politicians, and scientists from all over the world as this fish has the potential to effect native fish populations globally.