Wahaca targets sustainable sites as it looks to expand in the capital

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Photo credit: Joseph Burns
Photo credit: Joseph Burns

Related tags Wahaca P-THREE Sustainability Mexican cuisine

Mexican restaurant group Wahaca is pursuing a ‘measured’ expansion programme in London that will be focused on sustainable sites.

The group has instructed property agent P-THREE to help it identify locations and landlords who prioritise the environment as it ‘further aligns its brand with the surge in conscious consumerism’.

Wahaca plans to open new restaurants in key locations such as King’s Cross, Victoria and strong London suburbs.

The expansion strategy is supported by Wahaca’s introduction of carbon ratings to its menus from this week, measuring the climate impact of each of its dishes.

Billed as an industry first for a British restaurant group, the move coincides with the introduction of mandatory calorie labelling for groups that have 250 or more employers and is ‘designed to help diners make conscious choices around dishes that are kinder to the planet’.

To calculate the carbon footprint of each dish on its menu, Wahaca partnered with food and climate specialists Klimato to give a low, medium or high rating.

By conducting a ‘life cycle analysis’ of each ingredient, the resulting data provides a picture of the overall greenhouse gas emissions from every dish served at Wahaca.

The brand launched its own avocado-free Wahacamole last autumn, providing diners a sustainable alternative to guacamole, one of the mainstays of Mexican menus. 

“We have always prioritised sustainability and the environment, but believe actions speak louder than words,” says Wahaca co-founder Mark Selby. 

“So as well as continuing to innovate with initiatives such as the carbon food ratings and being the UK’s first carbon neutral restaurant business, we are putting sustainability at the centre of our expansion strategy.”

“We want to work with landlords to open restaurants in places that share not only our ethos, but are as committed as we are to taking positive, affirmative action on the environment.”

“While some may see this as a bold step, we see it as a necessary one. It has also been well-received by the landlords we have spoken to, all of whom are seeking more sustainable partners.”

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