Archive: Detroit Zoo Lands Prestigious Award for Food Services

April 6, 2022

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS), in partnership with its food and retail provider, SSA Group, is thrilled to announce that both Buddy’s Pizza and Table 28 are now verified by the Green Restaurant Association (GRA) as 3 Star Certified Green Restaurants. Both locations have committed to sustainable practices and have been recognized for their efforts by the GRA.

The GRA is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to making restaurants more sustainable. In 29 years of research into the relationship between restaurants and the environment, the GRA implemented certification standards to measure each restaurant’s environmental accomplishments and provided recommendations each restaurant could take towards increased environmental sustainability. The GRA’s rigorous standards include categories like water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable food, chemical and pollution reduction, and energy efficiency.

For a three-star certification, a minimum of 175 Greenpoints is required. Both Buddy’s Pizza and Table 28 exceeded that standard by acquiring a whopping 189.5 Greenpoints. Many environmentally friendly practices went into receiving this number, highlighted by SSA Group’s comprehensive recycling programs, and its decision not to use polystyrene foam products at either location.

Instead, the Detroit Zoo’s restaurants offer numerous eco-friendly products, including bowls, plates, cutlery and cups, and utilize 100 percent LED lighting throughout the buildings. The wide range of vegetarian and vegan menu options positioned both locations to receive many points in the sustainable food category. At Table 28, staff use washable cutlery to eliminate the need for plastic. All these practices combined to qualify the locations for recognition as 3 Star Certified Green Restaurants.

“As representatives of our partners at Detroit Zoological Society, this certification reflects our unified charge towards making our home here at DZS an industry leader in environmental sustainability,” said Michelle Hurley, assistant general manager for SSA Group. “We are excited about the tremendous strides that have been taken to get to this point, and we’re excited to continue this mission into the years to come.”

Guests can be on the lookout for new decorations at Buddy’s Pizza and Table 28 to celebrate the certification, including a badge on menus to commemorate the award.  The DZS, in partnership with SSA Group, is proud to offer both Table 28 and Buddy’s Pizza as verified GRA 3 Star Certified Restaurants.

“Receiving a three-star certification is tremendous news to us here at the DZS,” said Andy McDowell, manager of sustainability at the DZS. “This certification furthers our commitment to extraordinary leadership in environmental sustainability. Though we are tremendously excited by this news, we are challenging ourselves to reach even higher with our sustainability goals heading into the future.”


About SSA Group:

SSA Group partners with cultural attractions across the United States to drive revenue, innovation and impact. SSA manages the entire revenue generation through our best-in-class integrated services. This unified operational platform means more opportunities to maximize our partners’ mission and streamline the guest experience across exquisite food services, guest-centric retail and smart admissions. To learn more, visit: