In the Netherlands, two and a half million tons of food is wasted every year. A large share of this comes from supermarkets that have to throw out perfectly good food every day.
But that’s something Arjan Konicks wants to do something about. Already at the head of two Albert Heijn stores, he has now opened the restaurant LEFT above the Albert Heijn on Amsterdamsestraatweg in Utrecht, reports RTL Nieuws.
Lunch habbits in the Netherlands
More and more Dutchies eat out during the day. Previously, people reserved eating out for dinner time but now people grab their lunch on the go or turn to fast food for a quick lunch.
Konicks says that because of this, supermarkets are “increasingly doing catering-related things.” But grabbing something from Albert Heijn to go is not very gezellig (and rarely healthy). As a solution, LEFT combines the fight against food waste with healthy meals and a place for people to sit.
The idea behind LEFT is simple. Located right above the Albert Heijn, the chefs use whatever produce can’t be sold in-store and create tasty and healthy meals. Mainly serving breakfast and lunch, the concept is perfect for people who’d otherwise grabbed something to-go from the supermarket, or sat down at a snack bar.
To cater to those with a short lunch break, LEFT uses a buffet concept where people can choose from various soups, salads, toasts, and sandwiches.
While LEFT has mostly had local customers until now, there’ll be no “I’ll have the usual.” The soup and sandwiches on offer change every day, depending on which ingredients came in from Albert Heijn. However, Konicks says that they will always be of a high standard because they work with the same trusted recipes (adapted to various ingredients).
Combating food waste isn’t the only way LEFT is committed to sustainability. All the chairs and tables in the restaurant are recycled from old furniture. For example, the tables are made from an old staircase factory. “That way we save more than just food,” says Konicks.
Work with InstockMarket
If the concept seems familiar to you then that’s because a similar franchise has existed in the Netherlands for some time. A chain of restaurants called Instock also uses “rescued” food in their kitchens but, during the pandemic, two out of their three restaurants shut down.
So if you were fond of Instock, you’ll most likely love LEFT as well! In fact, their concept manager and chef used to work for Instock.
However, the Albert Heijn on Amsterdamsestraatweg doesn’t have enough leftovers to sustain a whole restaurant. Therefore, Konicks works together with InstockMarket.nl. A wholesaler of rescued food, it collects food from producers, other wholesalers, and packaging companies. This way, almost everything served at LEFT aims to work with 70% saved food.
What do you think of the concept? Will you be visiting LEFT soon? Tell us in the comments below!
Feature Image: Sewcream/Depositphotos