©220 by Zero-Waste Providence. 

The Sandwich Hut

A legendary sandwich shop

 

“I would crawl over broken glass to get to one of your Italian Deluxes” reads one of the many comment cards embedded in the tables, it shows just how much people love this place. The Kammer family has operated this sandwich shop in the streets of Providence since 1963. Peter Kammer, the owner, talks about their commitment for great customer satisfaction and their love for the community, which reaches beyond the kitchen through their deicision to cut on their landfill footprint by composting their back-of-house food scraps. The Sandwich Hut hires The Compost Plant for their compost pick-up, it is a solid zero waste effort that the owner plans to continue and expand. 

Why did you decide to compost?  

Adding a compost bin to my business was both practical and idealistic. I knew I was doing the right thing not only for my business as a whole but for the city and the planet.

 

What are some challenges with composting at your restaurant? 

Fortunately, composting is not a challenge for us. Contamination of the compost bin was a worry at first but the employees were trained well on it and we keep a diagram in front of the compost plan for reference. 

What are some of the rewards?​

The reward is building an environment in the workplace that does what is right for the earth. We are saving food from going into landfill and at the same time keeping cleaner dumpsters without any of the food going to waste.

 

How has it affected your bottom line? 

The reality of it is that composting does not save us money, the trash service and compost service are two different companies and we still dump the trash just as frequently. Coming up with a strategy to dumping less trash is crucial and it really makes you think about all the things you are throwing out which in turn makes you waste less so that is a goal for us now. ​

How do you train your employees? 

Training our employees was not a challenge, it was very easy and they got used to it doing it quickly. 

 

What other things do you do in your restaurant to meet your sustainability goals? 

Although composting reduces the amount of food waste we challenge ourselves to use every last bit of food and veggies, nothing is better than making the most use of what we already have before throwing it in the compost bin. We also reuse everything for a new purpose before throwing it out.

 

What are some of your wishes?

We have always wanted to incorporate alternative energy sources, and if money were no issue, or if there was substantial financial and technical help to install these systems, we would do it. This would make a tremendous difference for the restaurant’s waste footprint 

What advice would you give to another restaurant considering composting? 

Sorting your waste is a cleaner and neater way to operate, composting overall promotes a more successful environment in your workplace. Not only is it a great way to promote sustainability in your restaurant but it is the right thing to do for the planet we live on.

 

Sandwich Hut exterior | photo credit: from [in] form

Peter Kammerer and his mother, Denise | photo credit: Grace Lentini

Offerings at the Sandwich Hut | photo from instagram

Offerings at the Sandwich Hut | photo from instagram

Graphic poster distributed to the restaurant by

The Compost Plant

A look into a compost scrap bucket | Photo credit: Ana Duque