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Menu design

The correct planning and composition of the menu is crucial. Here you will find tips for sustainable menu design.

Design a sustainable menu

  • Vary your menu regularly and include seasonal highlights.


  • Introduce special food weeks or months, (e.g. ‘tomatoes in the spotlight’, ‘red fruits go yellow’, ‘pumpkins and colleagues’, etc.).


  • Use regional and seasonal as well as organic and fair trade products.


  • Plan your purchases carefully to avoid waste.


  • Cook as freshly as possible and avoid heavily processed products or convenience products. Offer whole foods that are minimally processed (higher nutritional value, typically lower sugar, less trans-fat, etc.). Only use processed products if you can offer local and sustainably produced food out of season as a result.


  • Use certain foods on special occasions, such as Sunday lunches or “Easter treats.”


  • Focus on achieving well-defined goals and set priorities.

Analyse the ingredients you use

  • Analyse the recipes and choose the ingredients carefully. Focus on fruits and vegetables and try to achieve a great diversity across all meals and snacks. This allows you to vary your menu and adapt it depending on the season and the availability of regional products.


  • Make the dishes visually attractive for your guests by mixing different coloured fruits and vegetables.


  • Develop strategies to switch the menu to plant-based products and offer less meat-heavy dishes. The indicative values of the “Planetary Health Diet” nutritional guideline provide orientation.


  • Use sustainable, certified, local fish.


  • Increase the attractiveness of your food and drink offerings with different flavours. Work with spices, herbs, citrus scents and other aromas and flavours. Seasonal fruit and vegetables, for example, offer unique taste experiences.

Pay attention that you use resources efficiently when cooking

  • Use energy-efficient cooking routines like à la minute cooking instead of keeping large amounts of food warm for long periods of time. This helps to save energy.


  • Purchase energy from renewable sources with lower emissions.

Sustainable recipe ideas

Find inspiration for healthy and sustainable recipe ideas from the Love Food Hate Waste Initiative by WRAP and WWF UK.