Food is at the centre of everything we do – we’re a restaurant business, after all. We’re passionate about putting quality food on plates and constantly experiment in our innovation kitchens, searching for ways to improve and adapt the menus of our brands.
Quality and animal welfare is a high priority for us and we work very closely with our suppliers to ensure the farms from which they are sourced are managed in a responsible way.
Our ‘cage free egg pledge’ and fish sourcing policies are industry leading initiatives that demonstrate our dedication to achieving ‘best in class’ for responsible procurement along the entirety of our supply chain.
We insist that all UK and overseas suppliers comply with UK and EU legal welfare requirements as a minimum. In addition, our farms uphold the principles of the RSPCA’s Five Freedoms to ensure the health and welfare of animals throughout our supply chain. These standards are independently audited by certification bodies.
Farm Animal Welfare Five Freedoms:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease
- Freedom to express normal behaviour
- Freedom from fear and distress
We believe that the health and welfare of animals is paramount and sick animals must be treated. We support the responsible, controlled use of antibiotics to treat sick animals and not routinely applied to prevent disease. We expect farmers, veterinary experts and our meat suppliers to work together to ensure that administering, measurement and monitoring of antibiotic use complies with all relevant legislation and best practice.
As part of our continuous improvement programme on animal welfare, we are pleased to have signed up to the European Chicken Commitment and will be working with Compassion in World Farming, our suppliers and other industry partners going forward on an action plan. For further information, please click here
Provenance and authenticity
We require all suppliers to have comprehensive traceability systems and be able to determine the provenance and authenticity of any product at any given time to ensure the quality, legality and safety of our food. We have also invested in intelligence systems which help us to ensure the authenticity of the ingredients we use and minimises the risk of food fraud, wherever possible.
Food safety is paramount to all of our practices at CDG. We’re an industry leader in the number of 4 and 5 star ratings our kitchens receive when inspected. Rather than resting on our laurels, we’ve gone one step further and introduced our own six star rating system across all our brands that reinforces industry leading practices towards food safety.
During the development of our children’s offer, we used the Children’s Food Trust guidelines and guidance from the Department of Health to create a balanced and nutritious children’s menu. We will continue to focus on further improving the nutritional value of children’s dishes focusing on keeping salt, added sugar and saturated fat to a minimum and stipulating the non-use of artificial additives including colours and flavourings. We also support the 5 a day fruit and vegetables message and offer a portion of fruit and/or vegetables wherever possible in starters, main courses and desserts.
In addition, we are putting into place a new Children’s Product Development policy to ensure that all criteria relating to nutritional content, product integrity and quality and marketing is adopted consistently by our food development teams and relevant suppliers.
Genetically Modified foods
We do not permit the use of genetically modified ingredients, additives, flavourings or derivatives in any of our products.
Allergy management and dietary requirements
All suppliers are required to provide allergy information on all products including assessment of allergy cross-contamination in line with the latest Government Food Information Regulations. As a standard, we provide allergy information on all food and drink items on our menus, websites and on request to our team members. All our team members in our restaurants are trained on how to prepare and serve food to allergy sufferers.
Current major allergens which require labelling as detailed by the FSA and EU legislation are:
- Cereals containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut)
- Soya beans
- Tree nuts (including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew, brazil, pecan, pistachio, Queensland macadamia)
- Sesame seeds
- Sulphur dioxide and sulphites at levels above 10mg/kg
We always ensure that vegetarian options are available on all menus and take all reasonable steps to maintain the vegetarian status of products during preparation and cooking. As such, additives and processing aids from animal sources are not permitted in vegetarian products. Information on the suitability of specific dishes for vegetarians are available on our brands websites and also on request in our restaurants.
We acknowledge that the number of guests who are either diagnosed with coeliac disease or who choose to follow a gluten-free diet is on the increase and have subsequently curated a menu option to cater for these special dietary requirements.
While we can provide dishes that do not have gluten-containing ingredients, we cannot guarantee that our restaurants are gluten free sites due to current operations.
We will continue to work on developing gluten-free options and are engaging with Coeliac UK to ensure that our approach is appropriate and relevant to those who have this dietary requirement.
Where ingredients or products are sold as ‘suitable for coeliacs’ we require our suppliers and restaurant teams to have the required controls in place, and that these are regularly audited to ensure full compliance with the Codex standard revised in November 2007 as laid out by the Codex Alimentarius Commission
We are committed to removing food additives wherever possible whilst maintaining food safety, quality and consumer acceptability. The inclusion of additives is always challenged and where these are deemed to meet no specific need in the product, they will be removed.
We do not permit the following additives under any circumstances:
- Flavour enhancer: E621 Monosodium glutamate
- Colours: E102, E104, E110, E122, E124 & E129