Brighton's zero-waste restaurant in crowdfunding drive

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Silo chef Douglas McMaster hopes to raise money through Crowd2Fund to help improve the restaurant's green credentials
Silo chef Douglas McMaster hopes to raise money through Crowd2Fund to help improve the restaurant's green credentials

Related tags: Waste, Coffee, Waste management

A Brighton restaurant that claims to generate no material waste is running a crowdfunding campaign to further extend its green credentials.

Silo, said to be the UK’s first zero-waste restaurant, is attempting to raise £40,000 through by 30 January.

Improvements will go towards expanding the restaurant and shipping in non-native products, such as green coffee beans, red wine and cacao from boats that, whenever possible, are powered solely by wind.

The venue, which opened last October, is the inspiration of Douglas McMaster, a chef by trade who previously tested his zero-waste concept in Sydney and Melbourne, where he ran a pop-up restaurant called Wasted.

Claimed to be a restaurant, bakery and coffee house rolled into one, Silo recycles all of its food waste through a compost machine, which sits by the front entrance.

In addition, Silo cuts down on excess waste by only trading directly with farmers, using re-useable delivery vessels. 

Food groups

According to McMaster, food is prepared by “pre-industrial” methods, and the menu dishes fall into categories inspired by the principle food groups – plant, dairy, fish, meat – plus a ‘wild’ option.

Current menu items include potato steak with elephant garlic, alliums and herbs; poached chicken with sprout tops and mustard and rye breadcrumbs; and steamed molasses sponge with goat’s milk custard.

Dishes are served on plates made from recycled plastic bags, and most drinks come in recycled jam jars. The toilets, meanwhile, are flushed with waste from the coffee machines. 

Upcycled materials​ 

McMaster said that virtually everything in the restaurant is either upcycled or made from intercepted waste materials – from cutlery, jam jar glasses, plates made from recycled plastic bags, to chipboard furniture.

He explained: “The compost machine is functioning well, and each week we have made more than 100 kilos of nutrient-rich compost from our food, espresso and other biodegradable waste, which we have then reinvested in community food-growing projects and farms.

“We are seeking further investment to achieve a zero carbon delivery system, enabling us to source non-native products.”

McMaster added: “We believe that the world is waking up to the reality of sustainable issues, with waste leading the way as one of the biggest topics of recent years.

“We also believe that consumer trends mean that people are now more interested in how their food reaches their plates, and the carbon footprint associated with it.”

Related topics: Business, People, Restaurants, Venues

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