LinkedIn café offers plant-based by default
The headquarters building of LinkedIn, based in San Francisco, has converted their employee café to be plant-based by default. The company was looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, and the food they served in their cafeterias provided them with a big opportunity to make a difference. Working with an organization called “Greener by Default” alongside their catering partner, Sodexo-owned Good Eating Company, they were able to gradually move to a 65% plant-based menu and the replacement of cows’ milk with oat milk as the default.
Although they still serve meat dishes, these are limited in number, and they only serve the most carbon-intensive options such as beef or lamb, in one dish per week. They have worked to create vegan versions of the most popular meat dishes in the café, so that diners will likely choose the most climate-friendly options. As they made the transition to offering more plant-based options, they carried out regular surveys of the diners to see how they felt about the new choices that were being offered. As the feedback received was positive, they were able to make more changes over a three-month trial period, and ended with having switched the ratio of foods from five meat meals to three plant-based meals to five plant-based meals and three meat-based at each meal. Other LinkedIn offices will now start working on the same menu transformation.
“When a corporate trendsetter like LinkedIn shows that people are happy to choose plant-based foods when they’re accessible and appealing, it’s a huge leap forward towards a more sustainable food culture,” said Katie Cantrell, CEO of Greener by Default. Greener by Default works with a range of clients including healthcare facilities, universities, restaurants and more. They include Harvard University, Stanford Medicine and a global soap manufacturer Dr Bronner, as happy clients alongside LinkedIn. They present plant-based food as being more sustainable, cost-effective and inclusive. Clients note that by making plant-based meals the default, they also increase the healthfulness of their meals. They seem to have hit on a winning formula to help businesses make a significant switch to their cafeteria options.