Kahala aims to make an impact with sustainability plan

Kahala aims to make an impact with sustainability plan

SCOTTSDALE ARIZ. Kahala Corp. [3], parent company and franchisor of such quick-service brands as Blimpie International, Coldstone Creamery, Ranch*1 and Samurai Sam’s, said it is in the development stage of a three-year plan to incorporate more sustainable and green practices at all 12 of its concepts, which together operate 4,600 stores worldwide. —

The plan, said Chris Prasifka, executive vice president of Kahala, consists of such initiatives as incorporating more water- and energy-efficient equipment at the company’s headquarters and eventually at chain units, challenging suppliers of both food and paper products to provide more sustainable and fair-trade goods, and the eco-friendly remodeling of existing stores and modified build-out of new stores in the system. —

Referring to new build-outs, Kahala spokeswoman Kate Guess said: “Green is certainly top of mind. We are exploring sustainable products, including flooring, lighting, paints and more.” —

Prasifka said the company plans to formally announce the initiatives to franchisees in its “very next communication,” the spring edition of its quarterly in-house magazine, Pipeline, in April. —

“We will ask for their support and share with them things they can do right now to work towards producing a more sustainable environment,” he said. —

Prasifka added that it was too early in the plan to determine how much the implementation of the eco-friendly initiatives would cost franchisees. —

“Going forward [the plan] will include stores, once we’re able to identify materials we will use to modify store build-outs,” he said. “As it relates to store remodeling, we’re at the infancy stages.” —

He declined further comment on costs, saying: “Until we know what the cost and what the result of that investment would be, I can’t take a position, can’t comment on that. But rising costs are certainly an issue for all small-business owners and will have to be assessed by the company and its franchisees working together. —

“My gut [feeling] is we’re going to find a number of things we can do right away with little or no cost and then take on [projects] that may have costs attached to them,” he continued. “We’ll address that when we get to them in partnership with our franchisees.” —

Prasifka said Kahala Corp., which posts sales of $1 billion annually, is “very excited about this.” “We’ve been very concerned about what’s happening right now [to the environment],” he said, “however, as a billion-dollar foodservice company, we need to take a strategic view [of how best] to make an impact.” —