Hällsnäs and Restaurang Signum are awarded the 2023 Stepping up Sustainability Award of the Year

Judge’s remarks: Stepping up Sustainability 2023 winner:  Tourism Business

‘The establishment of Restaurant Signum at Hällsnäs is a bold and purposeful investment in sustainability and quality. The holistic approach includes everything from home-grown ingredients and collaborations with quality producers, to minimizing food waste and taking good care of the team. Restaurant Signum is a shining example in its endeavour to create a food destination worth a trip.’

Chef of the Year, Di Weekend’s award as Destination of the Year, a star in the Guide Michelin, and now Stepping up Sustainability Award 2023 for Restaurant Signum. Star restaurateur Thomas Sjögren’s prize cabinet may soon need an extension!

Thomas Sjögren received the prize for Stepping up Sustainability Award 2023 from West Sweden Tourist Board CEO Fredrik Lindén and Deputy CEO Marie Linde

Acclaimed work on food waste

On 9th November at the West Sweden Tourist Board annual conference held at Biograf Bergakungen in Gothenburg, Hällsnäs Hotel & Restaurant was awarded the Stepping up Sustainability Award 2023 in the category ‘Tourism Business’ for Michelin Starred Restaurant Signum, founded in 2022. The judges highlighted Signum’s approach to minimising food waste, which includes weighing and keeping track of waste to help calculate how to optimise portions effectively.  

– A big advantage here at Hällsnäs is that we have two restaurants at the hotel, which means that there is significantly less waste. What we cut out that isn’t used at Signum, we use instead as ingredients at the other restaurant called Sjö. Then we work hard to find new ways to throw away as little as possible. For example, right now we have a cloudberry dessert on the menu, after making the dessert we use the kernels from the cloudberries for flavouring our own applesauce. 

Social sustainability is also important

Restaurant Signum has been a success story since its inception in the spring of 2022. The accolades have been constant after the Göteborgs-Posten eating out guide gave it a full thumbs up in its review. It has continued with the Di Weekend Destination of the Year award, a star in the Guide Michelin and also Stepping up Sustainability Award 2023. Thomas Sjögren insists that a large part of the success can be attributed to the talented staff.

– We have found very talented people who are all genuinely interested in food and drink, and who all feel that they get to work with a fun product. We have an incredible atmosphere in the team, and I really think we offer an attractive workplace. Our philosophy is that as an employee you should have a fun and challenging job, but also the opportunity for a fulfilling private life outside of working hours. Even though we are a Michelin starred restaurant where everyone is passionate about what we do, it must be socially sustainable to work here.

Big challenge

Another dimension of sustainability included in one of the four basic principles of Stepping up Sustainability is that of working for resilient businesses that can be open during all months of the year. What is it like to run a Michelin starred restaurant in 2023 in the shadow of inflation and interest rate increases?

– It is clearly a challenge. Not just for us, but for the entire industry. We already knew when we started that we wouldn’t be full all the time, but we have had great support, not least from the local population. You could say that we didn’t make it very easy for ourselves by placing this type of business so far outside of town. But we have many returning guests from Mölnlycke, Landvetter and Partille, which is very rewarding and a sign that we are doing something well.