According to recent research conducted by the National Restaurant Association, restaurants in the United States generate nearly 11.4 million tons of food waste annually. The total monetary cost of such massive food waste is $25 Billion per year. The discussion regarding food waste isn’t a new one within the hospitality industry, but such statistical data does provide us a clearer picture of how grave the problem is.
The food being wasted isn’t just the one that is leaving the kitchen, the unused and uneaten food, ingredients, etc. also plays a critical role in the overall food waste generation. Hence restaurants must become cognizant and pay more attention to how to reduce food waste generation at their establishment.
Ergo, we take a deep dive into how restaurants reduce their food waste generation and cultivate cleaner and more sustainable operations.
The Best Ways To Reduce Food Waste In Your Restaurant
Food wastage is one the most worrying aspects of the hospitality industry as a whole. Not only is the wastage of food an ethical problem, but also a financial one. Restaurants, cafes, bars, etc. run on razor thin margins, the wastage of food certainly increases the overhead costs and drives down your potential revenue.
Hence here we have the best four ways that you as a restaurant can adopt to drastically reduce your food waste generation.
#1 Create A Waste Audit
A waste audit is extremely important in understanding how much waste you’re generating. That in turn makes it harder to formulate solutions to your food waste problem. Hence conducting a waste audit is fundamental to create sustainable restaurant operations and increase your revenues.
A waste audit includes everything that is required to smoothly run your restaurant’s operations. No matter how innocuous you think a factor is, if it is required to operate your restaurant, it goes into the waste audit report.
You must go through your trash each day of a selected week and inspect the following broad categories;
- Towels, napkins, flyers, etc.
- Cups, plates, portable containers, etc.
- Fruits, vegetables, etc.
- Poultry, fish, chicken, etc.
- Different types of plastic
- Any other form of materials used
Depending upon your operations, you may add or remove more categories into the waste audit. Once you calculate your wastage for a week, you have a baseline ready that can be extrapolated to get a better understanding of what and how much of you waste.
#2 Document Your Progress In A Restaurant Waste Journal
While you’re in the process of conducting your waste audit, you must go one step further. Start a waste journal to document and track your restaurant’s progress in curbing food waste generation.
Give out clear instructions to your staff to record everything related to your operations. Encourage them to note down detailed descriptions of all items that are disposed of. From broken glasses to rotten produce, anything that is necessary to operate your restaurant at full capacity must be documented.
Initially, you might think that maintaining a restaurant waste journal is a waste of time, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Creating a restaurant waste journal gives you a holistic view of how your food waste is generated and what is being done about it.
#3 Educate Your Staff About Waste Management
Instruct and educate both front of house and back of house staff about approaches to lessen food waste, and show them strategies they can easily carry out in their everyday lives at your restaurant that aid in waste reduction.
Train your prep cooks cutting procedures that keep food things fresher for more, just as strategies that yield the most amount of product from a cut of meat, chicken, fish, vegetable, or other produce thing. The all the more a food thing you can utilize, the less of that thing will wind up as food squander.
#4 Plan Your Operations: Don’t Over-prep
In the event that your restaurant’s food waste journal is disclosing to you that you are tossing out gallons of salsa at regular intervals, it’s really clear that your kitchen is preparing a lot of salsa.
While some restaurant owners and supervisors would prefer to have an over the top item than sufficiently not, by making better gauges, your kitchen will actually want to anticipate occupied movements or days where they may have to load up on explicit fixings, or forego requesting them that week.
Preparing all the more precisely will get a good deal on food costs and on the work expected to prepare that food.
The above four ways are essential if you want to create a restaurant that is sustainable both ecologically and financially. Reducing the amount of food that goes to waste, is not only to help you increase your probability but also help sustain the already strained environment. Therefore, making attempts to reduce your food waste generation is not only a financially prudent thing to do, but it is also a moral one.