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Monday, October 24, 2011

ZWZ: A Powerful Marketing Tool

Patrick Cuccaro
Zero Waste Zones Champion Patrick Cuccaro, Affairs to Remember (ATR) general manager, learned the easy way that green operating practices are good for business.  Implementing zero waste initiatives (recycling and food residual collection for composting) proved cost neutral and revenue rich.

The National Restaurant Association recognized Patrick Cuccaro with a profile on the NRA News BlogAiming for zero waste brings increased sales for caterer.  Read the profile for details on how Patrick's ingenuity and tenacity places ATR as a national leader in sustainability while proving green practices are good business practices.

Since launching the ZWZ-Caterers in the fall, 2009 as the Zone Champion, ATR has booked an estimated $165,000 due solely to their zero waste and other green operating practices.  As an off-premises caterer, ATR keeps the sustainability magic behind the scenes at their commissary kitchen and at client events. 

Understanding ZWZ is a powerful marketing tool, Patrick and his team created an understated, effective communication program of ATR's sustainability commitment from ordering and production to event execution and clean-up.  

According to Patrick, ""Fortune 500 companies are talking to us.  They're saying they believe in our mission of zero waste and are using us because of that, even if we cost more."

An ATR Sustainable Boxed Lunch
ATR researched and developed a 100% compostable boxed lunch filled with delectable food made with mostly local produce, at times coming from their chefs' garden.  The effort paid-off to the bottom line in 2010 when a 3,000+ boxed lunch order came in for a major Atlanta event.  So impressed with ATR's sustainability commitment, the client increased their budget to accommodate a higher price than the competitors.

Atlanta is fortunate to have powerful leaders who follow through on their vision and share with the industry.  See the ZWZ Blog post, ATL Zero Waste Team Hosts SC Hospitality Tour, where ATR hosted a "sustainable boxed lunch" during their northern neighbors ZWZ tour. Patrick and Executive Chef Ahmad Nourzad shared their zero waste experiences and fielded questions from the enthusiastic crowd.

Champions like Patrick Cuccaro are at the backbone of  Zero Waste Zones success. Thank you Patrick!

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