8 Tips to Reduce Restaurant Waste
According to USDA, an estimated 30-40% of the food supply, which accounts for approximately 133 billion pounds of food from stores, restaurants, and homes, gets wasted. Waste from restaurants amounts to about 85% of their unused food.
Wasted food that gets disposed of in landfills also creates an environmental hazard, along with wasting millions of dollars.
In order to be more efficient in food storage and to reduce food wastage in small restaurants, an inventory management software was launched that provided ideas to Small Business Trends. Food waste assessment can be extremely informative in terms of the amount of garbage yielded by your restaurant, and ways by which waste yielded can be managed through waste management, recycling, and reuse.
Conducting regular inventory check
Various restaurant software is now available that will help with management of inventory. These inventories give you a quick insight into the daily consumption and help you identify the need for new purchases within a required time period. They also record expenses and keep track of goods that need to be disposed of as waste due to improper storage, expiration date, etc.
Proper Food Storage
Proper food storage, including cleaning and storing in airtight containers with expiration dates, extends the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. Storing food that is more perishable in front of the food that was bought more recently also helps keep your food fresh and cutting down on food waste. Another option would be dehydrating food so it lasts longer.
Educating restaurant staff
Your staff needs to be educated and trained on proper food storage rules, and when and what food should be disposed of. Since working in small kitchen or restaurant is a team effort, everyone should follow similar rules to ensure minimum possible wastage. Any new hire should also go through an orientation of your waste reduction culture. Encourage feedback on how you can improve processes.
Donating food to those in need is always a generous step. Several charitable organizations, food banks, and other national associations are always looking for excess food to feed the homeless.
It is advisable that small restaurants have a team dedicated to logging waste to help understand where it is occurring and how to reduce waste. Waste should be categorized based on how you dispose of it — compost, landfill or recycling. Tracking things this way gives you a very clear picture of what you sell versus what you throw away.
Buying High-End Equipment
By spending more on high-efficiency kitchen appliances and equipment, you won’t have to lose money later on escalating food waste and the costs associated.
Changing menu if necessary
A quick inspection of items that makes the most waste, can aid in reducing their portion or eliminating them altogether from the menu. You can also substitute your more perishable ingredients for another entrée on your menu.
Developing a Composting Program
Composting is a great option to take care of food waste. You just have to make separate categories and get the appropriate containers to dispose of what’s biodegradable.
In order to audit your restaurant’s waste, you can either hire a professional company or create a team within your restaurant. Technology solutions are also now available to solve complex problems in the restaurant business.
License: Image author owned
License: Image author owned
David Brown is an ex-line cook who’s turned to tech back in 1999 – He loves helping companies find smarter, brighter ways to inject tech into everyday problems in the kitchen.