WHAT WE LIKE
- Hearthy vegan food that is bound to satisfy.
- Sustainable cafe that is also zero waste certified.
- Created circular systems within Veg Out’s operations.
ZERO WASTE CAFE THAT LOOKS OUT FOR LOCAL PRODUCERS
Veg Out cafe lies along Shichijo-dori street in Kyoto, looking out to the famous Kamogawa River. It is not quite the area for tourism, yet many still visit the cafe for meals. The menu is healthy and varied, offering also volume for a satisfactory vegan meal. However, it is not just a simple vegan option. Veg Out cafe may be humble in size, but it has a big heart for sustainability.
Sustainable actions and circular systems
Veg Out introduced circular systems into the cafe’s processes too. For example, Veg Out has an electric composting machine, which turns the cafe’s food waste, like food scraps and leftovers, into compost. They also have a Veg Out Garden where the compost is used to grow plants. The plants are then used in the cafe’s menu, thus closing the loop.
Furthermore, Veg Out gets its vegetables direct from local farmers. They give some of the compost to the farmers to use in their fields, which in return improves the quality of the yields for their organic menu.
Veg Out is currently certified a Zero Waste cafe. When they first started on their journey of zero waste, Veg Out realized that it had a lot of stereotypes to break. For example, there was a discussion whether it’ll be rude not to provide packed towels. But eventually, they implemented hand washing, which was a successful switch.
Cafe as a starting point of promoting a sustainable lifestyle
As soon as you enter the cafe, you will be able to see Veg Out’s bulk store. This is one of Veg Out’s ways to promote a sustainable lifestyle among their customers. One of the key drivers to start this was the concern over abundance of plastic packaging. Japan is well-known for having too much packaging because of its hospitality influences. However, Veg Out wants to show customers that there is an alternative to reduce plastic and avoid single-use plastic.
The bulk store can be self-operated, or the staff will happily assist you if you are unsure of how the system works. The weighing machine is laid on the counter, for use with the containers you bring or the paper bags provided by the cafe. Vegetables are also available for purchase, along with an assortment of eco-friendly products.
Veg Out also listens to their community to take sustainable actions. For example. they were deciding on what to do with their straws, like no straws or using paper. Feedback from customers helped them settle on stainless straws.
In fact, customers who have never thought about sustainability before are starting to have those conversations when they are coming to Veg Out. The customers see Veg Out’s efforts in taking sustainable actions, and it piques their curiosity in learning about it.
Aligning the Veg Out team for a common zero waste goal
Before the pandemic, messages about sustainability weren’t as popular as desired. It is because of the coronavirus that businesses realized that we cannot continue like this, and we have to do something.
With this renewed revelation, Veg Out too has taken further steps to minimize their impact on the environment too. However, their staff were on varying levels of awareness of zero waste and philosophy for the extend of hospitality to offer. What Veg Out then did was increase awareness within the team.
Veg Out organized a study tour to Kamikatsu Town, famous for its rally to become Japan’s first zero waste town. That is where the Veg Out team studied about sustainability and zero waste actions (including the then-unfamiliar bulk store system.) The staff discovered those relevancy to Veg Out, and the team was able to come together to strive for a common vision.
Veg Out as a role model of sustainability for other cafes
There are many reasons why Veg Out continues to strive strong despite the devastating pandemic. Some include how Veg Out’s beliefs in sustainability and zero waste are manifested in their actions, and that their customers are beginning to share their goals too.
As we have learnt from the “Sustainabili-Tea Talk” event about driving zero waste and sustainable actions at cafe and restaurants, cafes and restaurants can lead the change towards a sustainable lifestyle. Veg Out is a model example of how the F&B industry can achieve sustainability and zero waste. They are a role model for other cafes and restaurants, by reasserting their vision as a vegan and zero waste cafe. Veg Out have also found a foothold in showing customers change is possible, and have begun using their leverage as business to negotiate a more sustainable business relationship with their partners.
What we would like to see
None at the moment.
(updated 11 July)
|Brand name||Veg Out|
Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, Inaricho, 448
|Opening Hours||LUNCH: 11:00 ~ 15:00
CAFE TIME: 15:00 ~ 18:00 (L.O. 17:30)
Closed on: Check before going
|Instagram Account||Instagram URL|
|Facebook Account||Facebook URL|