The food and beverage industry has faced huge challenges during the coronavirus outbreak. While people’s health and wellbeing are currently the number one priority, it is now more important than ever to ask questions about the world and the environment we have created. At Cassette, our focus has always gone beyond just food. We wanted to create a business with sustainability and environmental awareness at its core.
Going green is not a new concept. However, our approach has been totally unique to our brand. We have worked hard to create a world-class, sustainable restaurant menu, without compromises. We want what we do to have a positive impact on our planet where possible. Our core values have been at the forefront of every aspect of our planning, including our efforts to save energy, reduce waste and reuse.
At the heart of the project is the restaurant itself. During the design process, it was important to me that the building reflected our values. We worked hard to create a space that was inviting, practical but also made use of sustainable materials where possible. We used reclaimed material for flooring, fixtures and fittings and we have plastic-free straws, plant-based disposable cups and takeaway boxes.
Creating our sustainable and environmentally focused restaurant menu was one of the greatest challenges and it’s what we’re most passionate about as we feel it’s something that has the greatest immediate impact on the planet. It has taken a team effort to help achieve this, with our chefs, management and even our customers needing to understand and be on board with the concept. We strive to use organic ingredients sourced from local suppliers. This approach is multifaceted. It means we cut down on transportation and the pollution it generates, the environmental cost is reduced and we ensure support our local farmers are well-supported. It also lends itself to an adaptable and fresh seasonal menu, which our customers love. We have a popular special menu which changes weekly and is dictated by nature and creativity. Purchasing fresh produce when it is at its peak also means our meals are as delicious and nutritious as they can possibly be.
We are constantly working towards reducing food wastage. Some approaches have been easier to implement than others, but all are equally important. We are conscious of portion sizes and achieving the delicate balance of leaving customers satisfied without being wasteful. Other measures include using all the ingredients we purchase to make every meal from scratch. For example, we make our own bread rolls, pickles, dressings and stock. We find this allows us to make use of every part of the food we purchase and we can be rigorous about using only what we need specifically to minimise waste. The results taste better too.
Being located in the heart of Dubai, we are determined to help set the standards for sustainable and eco-friendly dining in the UAE. We understand that even if the demand is there, it is not as easy to meet it in this country as in some others. By keeping true to our core beliefs and brand values, we are demonstrating how it is possible to uniquely offer uncompromising, environmentally focused dining.
We believe Cassette offers an unparalleled approach to dining. Our menus and practices are sustainable, our ethos is good for the planet and our seasonable delicious food has empowered our customers to make better choices. We have no doubt that this is the future of the restaurant industry and that many may well follow suit. Until then, we are proud to be one of the first sustainable restaurants in the UAE.
- Haider Madani is owner Cassette Restaurant and Cafe in The Courtyard, Al Quoz, Dubai