Bon Appétit Policies

Bon Appétit Management Company is an onsite restaurant company offering full food service management to corporations, universities and specialty venues. We are committed to sourcing sustainable, local ingredients and preparing fresh food from scratch for all our 400 cafés throughout the country. A pioneer in environmentally-sound sourcing policies, Bon Appétit has developed programs addressing local purchasing, the overuse of antibiotics, sustainable seafood, cage-free eggs, the connection between food and climate change and, most recently, farmworker rights. Through our fellows program, young advocates who were sustainability champions on their campuses work directly with farmers to assess overall sustainability and visit campuses across the country to involve and educate students. We have even won several awards for our work, including the prestigious Ecological Society of America Corporate Award, the Humane Society of the United States Excellence in Food Service Award, and the Food Alliance Keeper of the Vision Award. Our programs have been recognized as being groundbreaking, both inside and outside the food service world.

We believe that food service serves a much larger purpose for the community. Dining rooms and cafés are gathering places. Breaking bread together helps to create a sense of community and comfort. We are honored to fill an important role on the Goucher College campus and strive to exceed the expectations of our guests.

Farm to Fork

More than a decade ago, we launched our groundbreaking company-wide initiative to buy locally. Today, we spend over $55 million per year supporting nearly 1000 small local farmers and artisans, all within 150 miles of our cafés.

Responsible Disposables

Just like our food choices, our selection of to-go containers and disposable serviceware has environmental impacts. At Bon Appétit Management Company, our first choice is always to encourage the use of china and silverware. When to-go containers are necessary, we try hard to reduce the effects of the production and disposal. In select locations since 2001 we've been using plates, clamshells, cups, bowls, and flatware from renewable sources like corn, sugarcane, and potato starch. We are conscious that questions remain about the energy inputs required to manufacture and transport these products and the resulting impacts on climate change from both manufacturing and disposal. We continue to research options and await more public, peer-reviewed studies.

Sustainable Seafood

Eating local has become a way of life for many consumers, but even dedicated locavores flounder when they enter the murky waters of local seafood. Just because a fish came off a nearby dock doesn't always make it a local fish, and local doesn't always equal sustainable in regards to certain species or how the fish were caught. Meanwhile, many conscientious consumers avoid farmed seafood entirely, unaware that responsible local producers exist. In September of 2011, Bon Appétit Management Company announced a breakthrough in sustainable seafood sourcing with Fish to Fork, a program that outlines what local and small-scale means for both wild and farmed seafood and elevates certain overlooked species that have both great flavor and robust supplies.

Among the guidelines:

  • Traceability: Seafood suppliers must present a reliable system of traceability from the farm or the boat to Bon Appétit kitchens.
  • Size: Boats must be individually owned and operated, and not process the seafood on board. Aquaculture operations will be limited to those grossing less than $5 million per year per species. Small-scale fishing and aquaculture operations that practice integrated multi-species fishing or aquaculture will be emphasized. 
  • Distance: Boats should travel no more than 100 miles out to sea per trip. Distribution distance for wild fish or aquacultured products is limited to 500 miles by truck from dock or farm to Bon Appétit kitchens.
  • Species preferences: Low-on-the-food-chain species (such as sardines, oysters); species whose edible portion could be better utilized (such as scallops, much of which gets discarded by U.S. processors); less-widely eaten larger species (Seafood Watch "green"- or "yellow"-rated) that can substitute for one of the "Top Ten" species, such as tuna, whose popularity is endangering the species.

Bon Appétit is also designating 14 of its chefs in different areas of the country as "piscators." Like the Farm to Fork foragers, their role will be to locate and develop purchasing relationships with local fishers and fish farmers who meet the criteria and who will then serve clusters of cafes. Similarly, Fish to Fork will also channel Bon Appétit Management Company's supply-chain clout toward helping hundreds more small, environmentally responsible producers, creating local jobs and healthier communities. 

rBGH-Free Milk and Yogurt

We serve milk and yogurt free of artificial bovine growth hormones.

Antibiotic Reduction

Our turkey breast and chicken is raised without antibiotics as a routine feed additive, and our hamburgers are made from natural beef from cows fed a vegetarian diet and raised without artificial hormones or antibiotics.

Circle of Responsibility

With this comprehensive educational program, we help our guests learn about how their food choices impact the environment, community, and personal well being.

Bon Appétit Foundation

The Foundation educates consumers, institutional purchasers and culinarians about the underlying dynamics of the food web, and works to catalyze change in the food system.

Cage-Free Shell Eggs

Our shell eggs are Certified Humane and cage-free.

Eat Local Challenge

This annual event challenges our chefs to prepare a meal made completely of local ingredients from within a 150-mile radius.

Mercury Awareness

We provide information to protect our guests from mercury and help them make informed seafood purchases at home.

Low Carbon Diet

Did you know that a full 1/3 of greenhouse gas emissions come from our food system? Through this revolutionary program we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions created by the most impactful areas of our business by at least 25% over three years and educating guests to do the same. On Low Carbon Diet Day, all Bon Appétit cafés are transformed into "low carbon learning venues" to educate our guests about the impact their food choices have on climate change. Our Low Carbon Diet Calculator is an interactive, web-based tool that helps our guests compare the carbon impact of different foods.

Student Garden Guide

A comprehensive guide about how college students operating gardens on campus can best work with their onsite food service operations.

Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee

WorkersPartnering with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, we established game-changing fair labor requirements for Florida tomato growers.

Cage Free Pork, Cage Free Eggs

On February 21, 2012, Bon Appétit announced the rollout of the food service industry's most comprehensive farm animal welfare policy to date, to be implemented in all of our 400 cafes in 31 states. 

As part of the new policy, Bon Appétit is:

  • Requiring that ALL pork it serves - currently 3 million pounds annually - be produced without gestation crate confinement systems, using higher-welfare group housing systems instead, by 2015. 
  • Switching ALL of its pre-cracked (liquid) eggs - currently 11 million eggs annually - from hens confined in barren battery cages to hens living in cage-free farms, as it already does for shell eggs, by 2015* 
  • Entirely eliminating foie gras (livers of force-fed ducks) and veal from calves confined in crates from its menus, effective immediately. 

Bon Appétit will continue to work with the most responsible meat and poultry producers to pursue Animal Welfare Approved, Food Alliance, Humane Farm Animal Care or Global Animal Partnership certification of their animal welfare practices. These four programs have standards that not only prohibit such cruel practices as gestation crates and battery cages, but also require animals to be allowed to engage in their natural behaviors. Bon Appétit vows that by 2015, 25 percent or more of its meat, poultry, and egg purchases companywide will be sourced from producers that meet at least one of these four certifications.The company has always encouraged the best farms amongst its suppliers to get the recognition they deserve. This announcement sets an important new baseline for the minimum standards it will accept.