Implementing Sustainable Initiatives To Generate Positive Exposure, Community Goodwill & Increased Revenues
Case Study: Bokashi Zero Food Waste Program
THE CHALLENGE: To help our client, a golf club featuring a championship golf course, restaurant and new wedding venue, help attract new members as well as more golfers and weddings and to generate local publicity and ultimately, increase their revenue. The course had not made its budget in its 10 years of operation and never received any publicity.
THE SOLUTION: Sustainable initiatives can drive revenue and membership as well as generate positive exposure and community goodwill. Between their golf club restaurant and hosting weddings every weekend of the year in their banquet venue, the club was generating over four tons of food waste which they were paying thousands of dollars to haul to their local landfill. We pitched their executive chef on implementing a Zero Food Waste program for the club utilizing bokashi composting. . Bokashi is a composting method originated from Asian cultures that uses fermentation to break down all food scraps – including meat, dairy and oils, in less than half the time of conventional composting while minimizing unpleasant odors and deterring pests. The end product is like a natural fertilizer on steroids.
After visiting the club, we determined that they had an ideal setup for staging the bokashi composting. Another important component of the zero food waste platform that we developed was helping the club create an organic garden, where they could grow their own herbs and vegetables that they could use on their menu. We identified the perfect location for it and worked with the chef to determine which herbs and vegetables he wanted to grow. The chef enthusiastically embraced everything and with the management company’s approval, we began working on a press event to launch the promotion.
For the press conference to launch the event, we lined up local and state dignitaries and politicians, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, club members, local school officials, meeting and wedding planners as well as other local business leaders. In addition, we had arranged for a bride who was recently married at the club, to come dressed in her wedding gown. Our idea for the photo op was to have her stand with the other dignitaries in front of a bed of mulch we had spread and have her add leftover wedding cake to the compost pile of food waste to help emphasize the zero food waste campaign the club was set to embark on.
THE RESULT: We had a great turn-out of local network TV stations as well as Comcast Sports from Washington DC and local and community newspapers. We had close to 100 people in attendance for the press conference and for the reception we had planned following it. We served “bokashitinis,” which was just a fun drink we made up consisting of vodka and fresh herbs from the new organic garden at the reception, along with appetizers. The management company was thrilled with the coverage. The promotion generated a ton of positive buzz in the press, from members of the club, and from the meeting and wedding planners in attendance.
The second phase of our promotion, was to coordinated with a local school near the club to help them build an organic garden with their students featuring herbs and vegetables. We invited the Executive Chef from the golf club to join us. The event generated more press coverage.
The final stage of our overall plan was having the students harvest their herbs and vegetables and bringing them to the club where the executive chef would teach them how to make healthy recipes such as salads and home-made salad dressing. We staged another press event around this and again, it generated even more positive press coverage in the local and state media.
The Zero Food Waste initiative produced three press-worthy events and generated an enormous amount of both local and national coverage, as well as tremendous goodwill with the Club’s members and in the community.
The promotion was recognized as the Best “Business Idea of the Year” honor at the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCO) annual conference in Las Vegas, for our turn-key, sustainable Zero Food Waste Bokashi composting program for the club.
But perhaps the best endorsement is that the management company was so pleased with the positive impact and results which we generated for their club, that they made the decision to implement our program at all of the clubs that they own or operate.