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How to manage food waste in your restaurant

October 3, 2020

Head of Hospitality

Head of Hospitality

Article Overview

10min read

The benefits of reducing food wastage extend far beyond the walls of your restaurant. It is a shift that is welcomed for its vast economic, environmental, and social advantages. Data out of WRAP shows that – just in the UK – 400,000 tonnes of food goes to waste every year. This amounts to a loss of more than £682 million per annum. 

Controlling the wastage of food remains one of the biggest aspects that restaurants can hone in on to increase profits. If you reduce the amount of food you waste, your profits inevitably increase: it is a win-win on all fronts.

Keep reading for a few practical ways to reduce food wastage. 

Store Food Correctly 

Do ensure that freezers and refrigerators are running at the recommended temperatures. Low-risk foods such as fruits, bread, and baked goods must always be stored on a higher shelf than high-risk food items like fresh meat while the storage area must be kept neat and clean. Well sterilized conditions will preserve ingredients for long periods of time and prevent the growth of germs and bacteria that can ruin food and ultimately lead to wastage.

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Prepare Only The Required Amounts

Many restaurants prefer having too much food rather than too little. While this helps you quickly meet customer demands and orders, it does create a lot of waste on a regular basis. Instead, attempt to dissect order patterns and figure out your busy days and hours. With these forecasts at hand, you can stock up on the ingredients for bestsellers on the particular day when needed and reduce them for the rest of the week. Such a strategy reduces wastage while meeting daily orders, thereby saving on both labor costs and food costs.

Train Employees On Food Wastage

Your hospitality consultants can help educate both your servers as well as the kitchen staff on the importance, benefits, and effective strategies to reduce food wastage. They can even teach chefs how to keep ingredients fresh for longer and how to make the most out of the produce. This will ensure that they understand you are encouraging the most possible use out of all ingredients.

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Ensure Consistent Portions 

Keep an eye on your jumbo sides and oversized portions and always opt for quality over quantity. A 2012 study noted that a quarter of restaurant guests leave behind the food on their plates, with french fries and chips being the most commonly discarded food items. The study further states that these were left out because patrons consider them extra additions to the meal that they did not order.

Pair Up With A Charity To Donate Leftovers

Link up with a local charity and donate all leftovers from the end of the day to those who are in need of it. If you cannot pair up with a charity, look into local food banks. Such measures ensure that leftover food is put into good use. Moreover, depending on where you live in the world, you may be eligible for tax breaks if you donate leftovers to charities or food banks. Consult with your restaurant advisors on how to proceed.

Disposal of Waste In Compost Bins 

Restaurants rank among the biggest contributors to food waste. Instead of adding waste to the landfill, consider using compost bins if your restaurant premises allow it. Many types of foods including peelings, tea bags, grains, and old bread can be discarded into a compost bin. Doing so will help you keep your waste to a minimum and help the ecosystem as well, labeling your restaurant as an environmentally conscious one. This is definitely an aspect that customers appreciate about a restaurant and will help boost customer loyalty in the future too.

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These changes can be overwhelming to implement immediately so it is recommended that you begin with smaller changes that will have larger effects. Finding new ways to reduce food wastage every month will lead to a positive effect, both for the restaurant and the environment in the long run.

Head of Hospitality

Angela Soudi is a visionary writer with 20+ years of experience in Sales and Marketing across Europe, Canada, and the Middle East. She is highly invested in actively contributing articles to pioneering hospitality platforms and websites.

Head of Hospitality
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