wonderland work

Restaurant Nolla is the first zero waste restaurant in the Nordic countries. One of the founders of the restaurant, Carlos Henriques, came to Wonderland Work’s Waffle Wednesday on 27.2. to tell us more about how the restaurant was founded and how it works.

In short, the story of Restaurant Nolla began as follows: Carlos Henriques, Luka Balac, and Albert Franch Sunyer met each other while working at Helsinki’s top restaurants. They shared love for their work, but they were all frustrated with the waste of the restaurant industry. According to their experience, the products were not respected enough and the way the restaurants dealt with the waste was old fashioned. That’s why the buddies decided to try out if the restaurant business could succeed completely without waste. The concept was first tested in the form of pop-up restaurants and when it was discovered to work, it was decided to seriously plan a zero-waste restaurant.

Restaurant Nolla was opened in February 2018 at Liisankatu in Kruununhaka. Normally, at the heart of the restaurant’s activities are the portions, but at Nolla, all the ingredients are thought about separately; where the products arrive, how they are packaged, what kind of delivery is etc. The restaurant has worked with different parties to reduce packaging and other waste.

The foundation behind Nolla has been the idea that all previous knowledge of the industry’s activities should be reconsidered. As a result, the business model differs significantly from a traditional restaurant. However, Restaurant Nolla is a proof that zero waste restaurant operations can definitely be profitable!

Here are a few examples of Nolla’s activity:
  • Everything is measured! If a restaurant has a lot of a particular product, they are already thinking about how to make the best use of that particular raw material. For example, potato crusts can be used later!
  • All bio-waste is composted in the restaurant, after which it is send to farmers and the neighborhood to use as fertilizer. In this way, the restaurant does not waste. This is also important because waste management is usually the third largest cost for a restaurant. At Nolla, it is basically 0 €.
  • Expensive containers have not been bought for raw materials. They use transparent used candy boxes at Nolla. That is a lot of money saved. In addition, transparent boxes allow the kitchen to see directly what raw materials are available and what should be used as soon as possible.
  • Suppliers have been required to make changes in order to enable zero-waste. For example, Kaffa Roastery agreed to change their packaging for Nolla.
  • The clothes are made of used fabrics, the glasses are made from bottoms of used bottles, etc.
  • There is no trash bin in the kitchen.
  • Remember, the waste is actually just a lack of creativity!

Here are a few more tips from Carlos on how to reduce your waste at home:
  1. Everything begins with the desire to reduce waste – start thinking more actively!
  2. Keep your food in transparent containers. This makes it easier to see what’s left and what products should be used next.
  3. Place your favorite raw material in the refrigerator behind and fewer favorites in front. That way you are more likely to eat everything and not just your favorite food.

If you want to learn more about zero-waste, read: https://nollahukka.wordpress.com