Garbanzo and North Dining Hall honored by Green Restaurant Association


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Bj 7Inset photo: Kaylee Litka serves up a meal at Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh. Above, Emira Kobaslija makes a pita sandwich for a customer. (Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame)

Following the University’s lead, Campus Dining has incorporated more sustainable practices. While celebrating delicious and diverse foods, the unit pays special attention to operations like food sourcing and resource management.

Campus Dining partners with the Green Restaurant Association (GRA) to measure the environmentally conscious accomplishments of new restaurants at Notre Dame while providing a pathway toward increased sustainability.
GRA certifications are based on 40 criteria ranging from the amount of vegan and vegetarian dishes served to the efficiency of appliances to recycling practices. Restaurants can earn a 1-, 2-, 3- or 4-star ranking or the association’s highest certification, the Sustainabuild Badge.

Behind the scenes, Garbanzo’s staff produces meals using antibiotic-free meats, plant-based proteins (such as hummus and falafel) and fresh produce sourced directly from local farms. Guests use takeout containers made of 90 percent post-consumer recycled paper and enjoy a menu that boasts 22 percent vegetarian main dishes.Campus Dining renovated the Garbanzo space in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies before opening the restaurant.

Garbanzo InteriorThe interior of Garbanzo's Mediterranean Fresh features repurposed furniture.

The unit improved its sustainability practices by installing digital menu boards, Energy Star appliances and occupancy sensors, and using green materials like zero VOC paint. Campus Dining also repurposed items like chairs and tables from the previous occupant of the restaurant space.This year, North Dining Hall was named a 2-Star Green Restaurant by the association, and Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh was awarded 3-Star Certified Green Restaurant status, which is a first for campus. Garbanzo earned 181 GreenPoints on the GRA scale, and 175 are needed to earn 3-star certification.

“We’re proud of Garbanzo’s three-star rating, an accomplishment shared by many of our partners and colleagues who helped in the facilities construction and provided input on menu design. Supporting the University’s sustainability goals by incorporating environmental best practices into daily operating procedures are priorities for our team,” says Chris Abayasinghe, senior director of Campus Dining.

Next on the list for certification is Pizza Pi, which opens Wednesday, Aug. 21.