Since its launch 27 years ago, LUX Catering & Events has gone from servicing small weddings to planning twenty-thousand-person events in the Salt Lake City area. After observing how much waste the catering industry creates, the family-owned business decided to go green. While it wasn’t an easy transition, LUX now operates under a long-term sustainability model and utilizes a recycling program that successfully diverts nearly 90% of its waste from landfills.
We recently visited the catering business to learn more about their sustainability efforts.
Sarah McClure, director of marketing at LUX, says that recycling was the first step to creating a more sustainable business model.
“We focus a lot on not creating a ton of waste. So, we have sustainability processes in order to help us recycle our green waste, and to recycle those man-made materials that are so present in our kitchen.”
The company turns leftover food scraps into fertilizers for city parks and local farms. In addition to recycling, LUX Catering & Events uses sustainable rental and linen options, provides public transportation for guests, and sources menu ingredients locally.
LUX is transparent about how difficult it can be to run a green business. “It requires time and effort, and sometimes the eco-friendly option is not the cost-effective one — but looking out for our planet and community is worth it in the end,” McClure says.
To help other businesses transition, LUX Catering & Events teaches them how to incorporate some of their sustainability practices into their business models.
By providing these resources to the community and sourcing the freshest ingredients possible from local vendors, LUX has been able to satisfy its client’s needs while positively impacting the catering industry.
Working in food service, LUX Catering & Events was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The business has 30 full-time employees and over 100 part-time and seasonal employees. Although McClure says finding and maintaining staff can still be challenging, employee culture is very important to them.
“We like to call ourselves the LUX unicorns,” McClure says. “We make [staff] feel like they are more than just a number to us because they are. They’re our family.”
Read more about LUX Catering & Events on CO— by U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s website.
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About the authors
Victoria is a communications coordinator at the Chamber. She previously worked at the U.S. Small Business Administration as a program support assistant.