With our focus on fresh ingredients and making our food to order every day, we have developed an efficient food distribution and operation system to enable our operations to run smoothly. It also means we rarely have significant leftovers to dispose of or donate. We’re committed to further minimizing our waste and developing food waste solutions that will help protect our environment.
In 2020, Wendy’s partnered with the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio to pilot a food waste diversion program in Columbus, Ohio. This pilot program will be valuable to help us optimize our approach to restaurant food waste diversion and proper procedures and training for the team. Using what we’ve found, Wendy’s and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio are jointly exploring how waste diversion approaches might work for Wendy’s at scale.
As part of our commitment to quality, Wendy’s assesses our products every day in a lab at our Restaurant Support Center. Continuous improvement projects have reduced the product volume we receive to sample, and unused ingredients that remain after sampling are donated to charitable causes. In 2021, the Restaurant Support Center donated nearly 7,000 pounds of unused product samples to the Mid-Ohio Food Collective.
Our Company-operated and franchised restaurants in the U.S. and Canada work with Darling Ingredients’ service brand DAR PRO Solutions to convert used cooking oil from our fryers into renewable diesel fuel, an energy source that emits up to 85% less greenhouse gas compared to petroleum diesel. In 2021, we converted more than 22 million pounds of used cooking oil into 2.6 million gallons of renewable diesel in the U.S. and nearly 2.4 million pounds of used cooking oil into renewable diesel in Canada.