Affecting Change One Bite at a Time Keynote with Michael Oshman of the Green Restaurant Association

Keynote with Green Restaurant Association's Michael Oshman


SUNDAY, MARCH 3, 2019, 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

As the pioneer of the Green Restaurant® movement, Michael Oshman's mission is to educate consumers and restaurateurs...affecting change one bite at a time. Michael will kick off the NY Restaurant Show's Center Stage presenting us with a compelling case as to why and how integrating sustainability into the fabric of your restaurant will be the best investment you can make this year in HR, customer service, financial savings, marketing, and your supply chain. He will discuss the tools needed on how to successfully tackle consumers' environmental sustainability needs. Immediately following his keynote presentation, Pankaj Pradhan, Chef and Owner of Red Lentil, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant will join Michael on Center Stage to demonstrate how to add a stellar vegan item to your menu. Michael will then moderate a special "Sustainable Education" track in meeting room 1C04. See additional details below...

About Michael Oshman

About Michael Oshman


Michael Oshman is the Founder and CEO of the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), a national non-profit organization formed in 1990 to shift the restaurant industry toward ecological sustainability.

A true expert in the Green Restaurant® arena, Oshman has been featured in Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, on NBC Nightly News, NPR, CNN, Fox News, ABC, and hundreds of other local and national media outlets.

The GRA’s notable press coverage has lead Michael to keynote speeches and guest lectures at conferences in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Asia.

Michael Oshman founded the Green Restaurant Association at the age of 19. In 1998, the Do Something Foundation honored Oshman’s work toward positive environmental change. In 1999, he was named one of the top thirty young leaders in the world by Youth for Environmental Sanity.

As the pioneer of the Green Restaurant® movement, Michael Oshman continues his mission to educate consumers and restaurateurs…affecting change one bite at a time.


Sustainable Education Track


11:45 AM - 12:45 PM 
Achieving Near-Zero Waste in 1 Year 
Learn how you can eliminate waste while also saving money at your restaurant. We’ll teach you how to integrate policies and staff training in a way that will provide a better customer experience while saving environmental and financial resources.  After all the waste output has been reduced, we will teach you how to create a positive and effective system to send the remaining items to recycling and composting. You will walk out of this session with ideas that will change your business, and you will learn how to comply with the city’s recycling and composting laws.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM 
Integrate Sustainable Food Into Your Menu 

Do you think it’s too expensive to integrate sustainable food into your menu? Have you wondered how to integrate millennials’ food preferences of organic, vegan, and sustainable fish, when your current menu is far from that?  Learn how to appeal to your current base while meeting the increasing demand for sustainable foods.  Offering sustainable food in the right way can bring in new loyal customers.  We’ll discuss labelling, transparency, changing demographics, food portions, and more.

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM 
Small Steps, Big Savings 

Billions of dollars are being wasted every year in the restaurant industry.  There are easy changes that almost every restaurant can implement that are low cost and offer a quick ROI.  This session will focus on the easy environmental steps, from changes in your restrooms to updating your lighting, that take little time and money.





  • Food, on average, travels 1,500 - 2,000 miles to reach our plates. 
  • Organic ingredients not only prevent soil erosion and the negative effects of petroleum usage, but also protect our health by keeping chemicals away from farms, off our plates, and out of local water sources. 
  • By sourcing sustainable seafood, restaurants lessen the burden on overworked fisheries. 
  • Raising livestock and producing their byproducts account for up to 51% of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The average restaurant produces 100,000 pounds of garbage each year. 
  • Occupancy sensors have been shown to reduce unnecessary energy use by an estimated 25% in offices and 45% in storage areas. 
  • On average, restaurant use 300,000 gallons water per year. 
  • LED Lighting uses up to 90% less energy, lasts longer, contains no mercury, and emits fewer greenhouse gases than incandescent bulbs. 
  • Energy Star equipment is 30-40% more efficient than conventional models. 
  • By recycling and composting, restaurants can divert up to 90% of their waste from landfills.
  • Four billion pounds of water bottles end up in the landfill each year.
  • Adding a 0.5 GPM low-flow aerator to just one hand sink could save your restaurant $500, 36,000 gallons of water, and 262 Therms per year. 
  • Approximately 500 million straws are used every year in the United States, which is enough straws to wrap around the Earth 2.5 times.

For more facts and information please make sure to attend a session or check out