Founding Member Spotlight
Tiffin Indian Cuisine creates happiness every day with delicious Indian cuisine, friendly and accommodating service, and easy to use technology. In March 2021, they launched their Return 2 Tiffin program, which enables customers to receive their take-out in reusable containers. Tiffin’s leadership in food system circularity makes them an invaluable resource to and inspiring example for other restaurants and food businesses looking to reduce the waste they generate while boosting their bottom line.
Why did you become a founding member?
For several years we searched for specific packaging that would allow us to start moving away from the hundreds of thousands of single use plastic containers that go out of our restaurants every year. When we found the right ones, it opened our eyes to the impact it would have on our business and our customers’ lives. Around that same time Circular Philadelphia was created and Nic Esposito was a valuable resource for us. We knew we wanted to contribute to this important, growing movement, be a resource to other businesses looking to adopt similar practices and benefit from the knowledge Circular Philadelphia provides.
What does a circular economy mean to your organization?
Adopting circular practices, simply put, is good business, and now that we’ve started making more sustainable choices it has opened our eyes to all the ways we can reduce our impact on the environment. Our reusable take out containers and bags eliminate waste from the source to the landfill, lowers our packaging costs and increases profits as customers who want a less damaging dining experience decide to order from us.
How is your organization practicing circularity?
A little over a year ago we offered customers the option to have their food packed in reusable containers with a reusable bag that can be returned and reused up to 1,000 times or more. To date this has saved about 125,000 containers from being produced and immediately landfilled after only one use. We have also stopped printing paper menus because they end up in the trash after only a few uses by the customer or because the menus would need to be updated and the old stock was thrown away. Our menu is available online and we have QR codes throughout the restaurant to make accessing the menu and food photos easy.
How can others advance the circular economy?
Commit to making a change and then pick one thing to change. Like us it will put other decisions and processes in a new light. Even the slightest action can have a huge impact.