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Zippy's Gets Eco-Smart
Inside Feature

Zippy’s Gets Eco-Smart

Story By Sarah Pacheco Photos By Nathalie Walker
March 6 - 12, 2011

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“Sustainability for us comes in different forms,” says Zippy’s president Paul Yokota. “(It means) efficient use of our resources; sustainability of the local economy through support of local agriculture and industry; personal sustainability, which is learning to take better care of ourselves so we’re here to support our families, co-workers and neighborhoods.”

  • Waiau Zippy's interior
  • Spaghetti with Garlic Bread ($5.05/$6.05)
  • Portuguese Omelette with Rice ($5.05/$6.05)
  • Zip Min ($7.15)
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The local food institution may be celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, but Zippy’s is showing it’s still fresh with ideas by incorporating new, eco-smart innovations, starting with its menu.

Beginning March 7 through April 3, all 24 Zippy’s Oahu locations will be offering a special Sustainability Starts at Home Value Menu packed with three of the restaurant’s most beloved meals: Zippy’s Zip Min, Portuguese Sausage or Spam Omelette with Rice, and Spaghetti with Garlic Bread.

Available daily at Zippy’s dine-in restaurants only, Zippy’s Zip Min ($7.15) is one of the restaurant’s specialties. The heaping bowl of savory broth comes loaded with a lip-smacking assortment of saimin noodles, wun tun, breaded shrimp, choi sum and fish cake, then topped with dried seaweed and egg to make it that much more ono.

Another Hawaiian treat is Zippy’s Omelette, which comes made with a choice of Spam or Portuguese sausage and two scoops rice. Order it anytime, day or night, at Zippy’s dine-in restaurants for $6.05, or pick up a plate to go for $5.05 between 11 p.m. and 10:30 a.m. at Zippy’s Fast Food Counters.

And how can you talk Zippy’s without mentioning its spaghetti? This signature noodle dish is topped with choice of meat sauce or Zippy’s chili and comes with two pieces of garlic bread on the side. Price is $6.05 for dine-in orders, $5.05 at the fast-food counter.

“These value offers are ways for Zippy’s Restaurants to encourage our customers to keep supporting local businesses such as ours and in turn help to sustain them in Hawaii,” explains Zippy’s creative specialist Jay Crisologo, adding, “Many of the products used for our menu items come from local business operations, from the saimin noodles and wun tun in our Zip Min, to the island-fresh eggs used for our omelets.”

Customers can also feel good about their food purchase knowing that Zippy’s recently switched from Styrofoam plates to a new product that is both recyclable and microwavable.

“In addition to packaging materials,” Yokota adds, “our efforts come in a wide variety of forms, from an upcoming installation of photovoltaic panels on our production plant, to replacing the lighting in our restaurants with LED fixtures, solar fans, energy-efficient air-conditioning systems and more fuel-efficient delivery vehicles.”

Last year the company kicked off these upgrades by retrofitting many of its restaurants with new lighting, air-conditioning units and energy-efficient kitchen equipment.

“We are constantly investigating smarter ways to be more energy-efficient through facility design and daily operational practices,” Yokota says. “We learn more with each project that we’ll build on for future work.”

Yokota adds that the Zippy’s team would like to pass on this knowledge to its valued customers through its Sustainability Begins at Home Giveaway. With any Zippy’s purchase through April 3, customers will receive an entry blank for the chance to win a solar heating package from RevoluSun valued at $15,000. See stores for full details.

“If we do the ‘right’ things in terms of sustainability, we ask for our guests’ support and participation, and we’ve found that they take pride in a local company doing things for our local communities,” says Yokota, who tries to do his own part by recycling plastics, glass and aluminum containers from home.

“While some forms of this sustainability appear new, the philosophy really is based on the principles of our founders, Francis and Charlie Higa, and that is to take the long-term view and make good decisions today that will have positive outcomes into the future.”

Another initiative Zippy’s is implementing to benefit those in the community is its Hearts for HUGS fundraising campaign. From March 7 to 27, Zippy’s will be selling hearts for $1 or $5 to raise funds for the nonprofit group HUGS (Help, Understanding, Group Support), which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for families facing the emotional and financial hardships of caring for a seriously ill child.

Customers also can donate to in-house collection boxes now through April 30.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have dedicated and loyal customers who take great interest in the initiatives we’ve undertaken,” Yokota says. “Admittedly, there is much more for us to learn about and to institute. As with most everyone we’re far from perfect, but we’re working hard every day to improve ourselves.”

Zippy’s Restaurants

  • Where
    • 1725 South King Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96826
    • (various other locations)
  • Call
    • (808) 973-0877 (South King)
  • Hours
    • Open 24 hours, seven days a week
  • Website