SAVOR…Chicago at McCormick Place, a Platinum Sustaining Partner of IFSC, is a food service company that strives to integrate into the communities that surround it, by focusing on sharing opportunities with their neighbors while working on reducing or eliminating any negative impact they might have on the environment. They are the food service company that manages all the food in McCormick Place, including the four Convention buildings and the Wintrust Arena. McCormick Place was the first convention center in the world to receive Green Seal ® certification for environmentally responsible food purchasing, operations and management, and SAVOR…Chicago has been the recipient of several other environmental awards and certifications. Among its sustainable initiatives, SAVOR is known for its half-acre rooftop garden atop the West Building, where nearly 100 different varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs, edible flowers, perennials, bushes, and trees are cultivated, providing farm-fresh produce for use in their operations. The rooftop garden is also home to 20,000 bees that pollinate the garden’s crops and produce honey. SAVOR also incorporates composting and compostable service ware into its waste reduction initiatives, with their Green Angels SM helping visitors properly sort items into proper compost, recycling, and landfill bins.

Savor...Chicago logo

“During the process of working on the best ways to reduce our waste to landfill, we learned of IFSC and after attending a meeting realized there were many likeminded people in the organization whose goals were aligned with ours and we wanted to do our part to provide financial support,” said Doug Bradley, Vice President of Culinary for SAVOR.

Recently, Mr. Bradley shared some insights into how the current pandemic has impacted SAVOR…Chicago. “For the meeting business in general, and for convention centers specifically, thepandemic has been devastating. There was virtually no business for 15 months, with the exception of the Temporary Care Facility at McCormick that we provided food for early in the pandemic,” said Bradley. He says that with the reopening “we are delighted to be getting back to work.” When asked what, if anything, about normal operations had to change as the result of the pandemic, he said, “There have been many changes, at least some of which face everyone. Mask policies, social distancing, vaccination policy, preparing for increased disinfecting processes, managing a disrupted supply chain, and working to ensure that our team feels safe when they come back to work,” are some of the changes their team have dealt with.

SAVOR…Chicago has been able to be fully open again since July 9, 2021. They have hosted a Nike Basketball competition, the ASI Trade Show and the Special Edition 2021 Auto Show. “We recommend the wearing of masks, and social distancing while on site,” said Bradley.

When considering learning experiences during the pandemic Bradley shared, “You must be ready for change, empathetic to how the pandemic is impacting different people differently, and never lose sight of the core principles that you operate by, like reducing waste, buying locally, and supporting the communities that we live and work in.”

Green angels

Green Angels assisting visitors prior to the pandemic.

As for hopes moving forward as we continue to navigate the pandemic and work to regain aspects of “normal life,” Bradley said they hope “that our convention and event business comes back quickly and safely so that our staff and managers are all able to come back to work as soon as possible and we can get back to the business of doing our part to support the convention business for the City of Chicago. The best way the community can support us is to come to our public shows!!”

IFSC appreciates the contributions of SAVOR..Chicago to creating a sustainable food system, waste reduction, and promotion of food scrap composting in Illinois. We look forward to continued collaboration in the future.

Learn more about SAVOR…Chicago on their website:

rooftop garden