Are you interested in minimizing the cost of running your restaurant? Running a restaurant isn’t easy as it involves ordering all your required ingredients on time, managing your staff properly and balancing your finances. But what happens to the food that your customers don’t eat? According to a recent survey by Feeding America, it was discovered that 70 billion tons of food are wasted annually. 47% of customers are willing to spend extra money to ensure that the place where they eat from is consciously trying to reduce its food waste. Food waste makes it all the more important for you to find more ways to reduce your food waste.
Conduct Food Waste Solutions
The first step that you can take to reduce your waste is by finding out how much food is being wasted. The main purpose of conducting a waste audit is to identify where your restaurant’s waste is coming from and how to reduce it.
Find Food Waste Solutions
Consult your staff about ways to reducing your food waste in restaurant. Find out what the biggest factors that contribute to the wastage of food in your restaurant are. Are there any specific food products that are being avoided and wasted? The following is an easy way to divide your waste types into 3 categories:
- Pre-Consumer Waste is food that doesn’t leave your kitchens.
- Post-Consumer Waste is food that’s ordered and paid for by customers but left uneaten.
- Disposables involve stuff like packaging, plastic utensils and paper goods.
- Pre-Consumer Waste
You can make positive changes due to factors that are within your control such as ordering, storing, and preparing your ingredients along with how you handle your leftover ingredients.
- Evaluate your inventory and make sure that your food does not sit for too long in storage.
- Store your perishable ingredients properly.
- Find ways to repurpose your ingredients in other dishes.
- Train your staff to reduce food waste.
- Keep your stock well organised and maintain accountability so perishable products don’t spoil.
- Offer your staff free meals with the leftover ingredients to reduce food waste.
- Donate leftover food that is still good for consumption to charity and claim charitable donation on your tax returns.
- Leftover foods can also be used for animal feed.
- Post-Consumer Waste
You can’t do much once your food has left your kitchen so make sure to give your customers accurate information about the size of the portions of your dishes so they know what to expect and can order accordingly. You can do this by:
- Monitoring the portion sizes of your dishes to ensure that your customers a standardized amount of food.
- Live up to your customer’s expectations as they will be less likely to send a dish back if it has been described to them accurately and completely on the menu.
- Track the popularity of each dish on your menu so that you can remove any unpopular dishes.
- Encourage your customers to make use of their “to-go boxes” so that no food is wasted.
Using disposables helps reduce waste in restaurants as they have been designed to be discarded so try and choose disposables that can be used more than once to prevent wastage. You can do this by:
- Encouraging your customers to bring their own mugs by offering incentives,
- Use biodegradable products if using disposable items is necessary.
- Only a fraction of the energy and resources are needed to recycle plastic packaging. Packaging makes up 25% of all waste generated which can be further reduced in a sustainable manner with the help of industrial shredders.
Here are 2 other waste disposal techniques:
Recycling is the best and simplest way to deal with glass, cardboard and plastic waste which can’t be avoided. A lot of hotels and restaurants already use it to reduce their environmental footprint
- Food Composting
Waste food composting is a more cost-effective alternative to traditional disposal techniques. Simply separate the compost worthy material from the regular garbage and start food composting.
Even if your hotel or restaurant is doing well, it is always a good idea to try and reduce the amount of waste that your restaurant generates by recycling food waste.
Written by Erich Lawson: Erich Lawson is very passionate about the environment and is an advocate of effective recycling. He writes on a wide array of topics to inform readers on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly wastage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment saving techniques by visiting his blog on Compactor Management Company.