MRM EXCLUSIVE: Food Tankers Group Launches to Attack Restaurant Industry Problems

Taking the motto, “We Eat. We Drink. We Think. We Solve,” The Food Tankers, a group comprised of restaurant industry professionals, is launching in Los Angeles with the goal of working collectively to produce solutions for current issues affecting restaurants and the food industry such as waste, sustainability and safety.

“The Food Tankers Group came out of an idea to first start yet another ‘dining’ group and moved full speed toward something bigger, an opportunity to get a group of professional, successful women and men together to make a difference in today’s food industry, specifically restaurants,” explained organizer Elizabeth Thompson, who has experience as a culinary instructor, restaurateur and food marketing consultant. “We are banding together to socialize, try out new restaurants, talk about things related to the meal such as the food, service, the plates … and then move to bigger topics that need to be addressed today. The name The Food Tankers Group is a twist on a think tank and the word tankers I use very loosely as the definition of a tanker is a vessel that holds liquids, which is what we are when we drink.”

We Eat. We Drink. We Think. We Solve.

One issue on Thompson’s mind is dealing with the complexities of food waste.

“My vote is to work on the issue of waste in the restaurant industry caused by both customers not being educated on the impact of being a ‘no show’ on food waste and how we can develop a program that can teach chefs/cooks how to create a menu with absolutely no waste.”

The diverse members of the Food Tankers include culinary educators as well as a restaurant accountant, cookbook writer, hospitality website designer, chef, nutritionist, ingredients representative, food stylist, front of the house staff and owners. Thompson believes this eclectic grouping can come up with multiple ways to address the problem.

“I think we could put something together. If there is broccoli on one plate, there should be broccoli slaw on another. If there are carrots on the menu, why not something with a carrot stock made from carrot peelings. If there is Duck a l’Orange on the menu, there should be something with candied orange peel.”

The Food Tankers Group’s first meeting is set for October 15 and membership is open to industry professionals interested in sharing information in this forum and on industry panels where the members can offer their expertise.

“We will bring all of these issues ‘to the table” and create a plan,” said Thompson. “While there are many food and restaurant conferences and symposiums, not all of them include panelists from all sides of the business.”

In addition to problem solving, the group will also provide support and encouragement, she added.

“The Food Tankers Group is made up of people who have known one another through work relationships or various professional organizations. We have all kept in touch through the marriages, divorces, restaurant closings, publishing of books and career changes, all the while coming back to meet over a great or not-so-great plate of food and service and a glass of wine or the hottest cocktail.”

 For additional information on Food Tankers, reach out to Thompson at